Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Photog class: Monochrome

Last week's assignment: monochrome or "all one color."  Take two monochrome shots and then transfer each one into black and white.  Here's the tricky part of this assignment: Every shot you take, you have to keep in mind the black and white factor.  If you take a picture of, say, a predominantly green landscape and turn it black and white, guess how it's gonna look? Flat grey.  Bleh.  So, not only do you have to figure out the monochrome/one color factor, you also have to figure out what's going to make the shot interesting when the color's gone.  I decided to use white on white for all of my shots.  When you get shadows on white, they can be (not always, but sometimes) very dramatic greys.  Blues, pinks, and greens always look flat in my black and white shots, so I avoided them altogether.

This is just a white chotchke vase thingy that holds pens on Ron's side of the bed.  I think it used to hold Q-tips in my childhood bathroom.  I placed it on the white shelf under my bedroom window in the morning when the light there is brightest.  Pretty crazy how much blue and green is visible, right?

Here it is without color.  Personally, I think I like the color image better.  The most interesting comment this received was, "It's really feminine--there's nothing masculine about that frilly edge."  Huh. Pretty telling if you know me well.

I stuck with white on white for my second image:

There was a lot of conflicting opinion on this: "Crop in more--focus on part of the collar"; "No, don't crop in or you lose the context"; "Did you have to use a plastic hanger?"; "Who cares? I'm not looking at the hanger."

I agree with the hanger comment. The teacher said a more prominent wooden hanger would be more interesting.  Why didn't I think of that? I have a bunch of those.

(At least it's not a wire hanger.)

The hanger bothers me more here.  The class split about 50/50 over whether they preferred color or black and white.  I think I like the black and white better.

I had this as back up in case I chose not to use one of the previous images:

I should probably crop in more and get rid of the purple flowers, but I liked them so I kept them.

You don't realize how green these leaves are until the color disappears.  The red spines are pretty shocking too once you go back to the color.

One guy had this awesome landscape at sunset--really gorgeous.  I would totally buy it if I saw it on a card or a small print somewhere.

We don't have class tomorrow, but our assignment for next week is "A Day in a Life."  You have to put together five shots that describe your day.  I'm interpreting this assignment as "A Day in Your Fantasy Life" because, frankly, that would definitely be more interesting. Sadly.  The teacher gave me a great idea last week: "Why not do a five shot series that stars the blouse in your monochrome assignment?"  Such a cool idea. Of course, someone else will need to wear the blouse if I'm to photograph it living a day in a life.  Leslie?

1 comment:

Linda C said...

Interesting photo class but don't get any ideas of Leslie helping you - she is too busy working, taking classes, assignments, and required pro bono work. Then again, you never know with Leslie!