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Tag Archives: Black & White

 
A very blessed and Merry Christmas to all!

Unto Us, a Child is Born

“Unto Us, a Child is Born” (Nativity Scene) Nikon D300, 55mm, F/2.8, 1/30s, -1.0EV, ISO 1250, Built-in Rear-Curtain Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ diffuser, -1.0EV, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Stained’ Filter, Nik Color Efex Pro ‘GG’ Filter

 

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A few weeks back, right before the digital photography class I was teaching was about to start, there was a sudden power outage in the room. Try has he may, the building maintenance “guy” was unable to fix the problem so I simply moved my class to the lobby of the building. While it’s not the most lovely of places, the suspended ceiling just happened to be covered with more than a dozen strands of colorful garlands made up of origami paper cranes. Neat! 🙂

“Soarin’ ” (Origami Paper Crane Garland) Nikon D300, 120mm, F/5.3, 1/160s, ISO 3200, Built-in Fill-Flash w/Gary Fong “Puffer” Diffuser, -1.0 EV, Nik Silver Efex Pro “Infrared Film Soft” Filter w/Selective Toning & Vignette

Not one to miss an opportunity for intriguing subject matter, I instructed my students to shoot the birds (with their cameras, of course 😉 ) and look for angles and patterns that create interesting compositions. I also joined in the fun, playing around with different camera settings and switching back and forth between shooting in color as well as in black and white.

Those shots remained completely forgotten until today when I came upon them while scanning through my media cards. Turns out, I preferred the compositions I’d taken in color except for the stained drop ceiling tiles in the background (which I thought would have faded away with the shallow DOF I was using). 

So, I popped on over to Nik Silver Efex Pro to see if one of the trusty black and white filters could diffuse that not-so-great background and perhaps, bump up the contrast to make these birds really sing. A few clicks later and that’s an affirmative on the background and the contrast but now, I missed the color. 😦

Hmmmm, lemme think. Welllll, it was the orange bird who caught my attention in the first place soooooo let’s give him the spotlight and see if that does the trick.

Click, click, click – Boom! One fun abstract image! 🙂

Each spring, the air is filled with an intoxicating fragrance emanating from my Korean Spice Viburnum. With its unmistakable aroma, you cannot help but be drawn closer.

“Aurora” (Korean Spice Viburnum, Carlesi Compacta ‘Aurora’) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/3.5, 1/160s, ISO 640

The individual flowers of the viburnum are tiny and for me, have always proved difficult to photograph. Since it’s only the buds that are pink, when they ‘pop’ all you can see from above are rounded clusters of white. But, by getting underneath, I was finally able to capture the whole story of these sweet little blossoms. Hooray! 🙂

Across the yard, putting on a show of its own, stands the giant pink powderpuff that is the ‘Cornell Pink’ Manchurian Azalea. Now, while its ‘pinkness’ is indeed impressive (as seen here), I found this time I was more captivated by the flowers’ graceful stamens as they reached out with inviting gestures to all the insects and bees swarming around.

“Come to Me” (Pink Manchurian Azalea, ‘Cornell Pink’) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/3.5, 1/640s, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro “Expressive” Filter

So there they were, doing all the work but being overshadowed by the showiness of those fantastically colored petals. I thought by converting the image to black & white I was able to give the stamens some long overdue recognition. Don’t you agree? 🙂

As promised, here are the revelations as to what the images I posted yesterday in Abstract Reality actually are! Everyone had really, really good guesses! I was very impressed! 🙂

First image: Grill Cover Tear

“Fissure” (Grill Cover Tear)

I focussed in tight on that top corner and then converted the image to b&w. Boy, this thing is really in sad shape, huh? 😉

Second image: Rusty Metal Wing of Hummingbird Garden Stake

“Wired” (Rusty Metal Wing of Hummingbird Garden Stake)

I composed this image using just the wing of the hummingbird garden stake. Because the leaf-strewn ground color was so close to the warm colors of the wing I decided to desaturate the entire image and then selectively bring back those wonderful rusted tones of the metal. Works for me! 😉

Third image: Rusty Saw Blade on Dirty Grill Cover

“Rusted” (Rusty Saw Blade on Dirty Grill Cover)

Yep, nothing more than a very rusty saw blade on a very dirty grill cover. Can’t fake this kind of texture! 🙂

Fourth image: Grill Cover Mesh Panel

“Grilled” (Grill Cover Mesh Panel)

Okay, I admit it, this one really wasn’t fair but Scott never said we had to play fair. 😉 Inverting the colors on the mesh part of the grill cover with the very reflective stainless steel behind gave this abstract a sequin-ish look (I really liked that guess, Kiwi! 🙂 )

Fifth image: Star Suncatcher

“Inprismed” (Star Suncatcher)

Going in close on the center portion of a bevelled-glass star suncatcher made for an interesting abstract. Except for the blue center, the glass is actually clear and gains its colors by reflecting all that is around it (green/blue tones from the evergreen trees close by and warm tones from the leaves and cedar mulch that lay below). My, that 105mm lens gives a lovely shallow depth of field at such a close range, doesn’t it? 😉

Sixth image: The Inside of a Sunflower Bird Bath

“Rosebud” (The Inside of a Sunflower Bird Bath)

I figured most would guess this one! (Does it make up for the grill cover mesh image? 😉 ) The inside of my sunflower bird bath has such interesting patterns and textures. Small red buds from the tree overhead added just that tiny pop of needed color.

Seventh image: Water Bottle with Reflection

“I.C.U.” (Water Bottle with Reflection)

My trusty Cool Gear water bottle! LOVE that it is orange and hot pink! (Yeah, sometimes I’m really such a girl). This thing is GIANT and is with me pretty much at all times when home. One evening, it was sitting on my desk when I noticed the light from the monitor was creating an eerie glow as well as a very cool miniature reflection of the bottom ring in the water line above. I played with many different compostions and angles and ended up liking how this one looks cyborgish.

The eighth imagewas fairly obvious: One Red Sneaker, Two White Pant Legs, Three Black Rails

“One Red, Two White, Three Black” (One Red Sneaker, Two White Pant Legs, Three Black Rails)

A pair of legs (if I recall, belonging to a man) wearing white pants and red sneakers. This shot was taken pretty much by accident while watching a parade in the Magic Kingdom and aside from a slight levels adjustment, is straight out of the camera.

So, there you have it, folks! Thanks so much for playing! 😀

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