In a previous challenges we played with several elements of composition, like lead lines. Lead lines are dramatic elements that help to pull your gaze toward another element in your frame. We’ve also played with balance, which is evenly dispersing those elements. There was also pattern, which are recurring elements. All these things work together. Dramatic tension is where we play with these elements and start working on telling a story.
Lead lines are your friend
Yesterday our challenge centered around color in photography. Today we focus on black and white photography. The question I have for you; is black and white photography the opposite of color photography. I hope you will use the tools from earlier challenges. Let’s look at our examples gathered from the net.
Contrast, in photography, is about the striking opposition between two elements. In the case, color. Black and white is literally the go to example of opposites.
The importance of color cannot be overstated in modern photography. Color pulls at our emotions and draws from our memories. Today we are working with the use of color. What that means is entirely up to you. Here a few cool examples of the use of color.
I enjoy this photo and how it simples expresses color. The shallow depth of field draws our attention to the pencils.
There has always been a memorable scene in a film you love. Let’s try and recreate the magic. Paying homage, or replicating someone else's work, is a great form of practice. It’s even more fun to reinterpret a scene and make it your own. Don’t be afraid to get weird and be prepared to get creative.
You can do this scene from Terminator 2.
We’re 19 days in and we’ve covered a lot. Personally, I’m a big fan of “fun” challenges, ones that don’t really cover a topic but are more a form of expression. In-your-bag photos are great fun and I for one am excited for it. Whatever objects you take with you represent a small part of you. Take a photo of whatever is in your pockets, purse, or bag. Whatever you want to share, or don’t want to share is fun. Remember to have fun.
We’ve all seen them, now it’s your time to make them. Forced perspective is playing with object in the foreground and background of each other. By placing objects at different distanced from your camera you can play with how large they looks. Have fun make something look huge, or tiny.
Forced perspective is used all the time in less touristy way. It was used in the Lord of The Rings trilogy to make small characters seem short next to equal size actors. The trick here is eye lines. If you're using a model it may be a good idea to have them look where this oddly sized object is pretending to be.
Here's a cool video showing how they did it in the Lord of The Rings trilogy.
Shooting an object in motion really isn’t too difficult. Best practice is to move with it. Keeping with the spirit of the challenge let’s go over different types of moving shots.
A trucking shot is when the object and capture device are both in motion. Most often it’s when you’re “trucking” along side a moving object. Most likely moving at the same speed. Overall the benefit of this is you are more likely to getting better focus and a crisper subject.
A tracking shot is when you are following the movement of an object from a stationary position. Focus can be a bit harder to pull but can yield interesting results.
In camera movement is also a type of moving shot, but tend not to show up as much in photography. They are typically a video thing. An in camera move is accomplished by changing your focal length or zooming in/out for an object. I couldn't find a compelling example of a change in focal length.
Today we focus on eye contact. Looking at a lens, or “spiking” the lens, is a great way to capture someone's attention and help your photos stand out. Have some fun and really play around with the your scene and see what changes once eye contact is introduced. You don’t even have to use a person. Animals, statues, deities that appear in toast, are all great additions to any situation. Let’s dive into the different types of eye contact.
Direct eye contact is eye(s) looking directly into the lens. This directly references the person viewing the image. It’s almost as if they want something from you.
Indirect eye contact is looking somewhere else in the frame. Most of the time this creates a deep in thought feeling.
No eye contact at all. What if we have the setup for eye contact, some people -- some eyes, But, no one is looking directly at a subject. What does this create?
Just like balance and the rule of thirds, patterns are a property of photography. When looking at a photo the human brain’ attention is drawn towards patterns. There seems to be a natural pretense to look for patterns in things. For todays challenge we get to play with the idea of a patterns.
We can look at patterns as a series of repetitive elements.
A few days ago one of our challenges was texture. Textures, especially ones from nature, do have a pattern to them. What does this pattern tell us? What is the larger idea behind this pattern?
Don't be afraid to break the pattern.
What does it all mean? This world is a crazy confusing place so, why shouldn’t your pictures be just as weird. Abstract photography borrows heavily from abstract painting. Instead of presenting “Life as it is” we work on conveying ideas and emotions. Here are a few pointers and suggestions that’s I’ve found helpful.
Getting really close, almost microscopic, to an object is a great way to present something abstract. The trick is to try and avoid patterns or anything familiar. The human brain is pretty good at recognizing something it’s seen before.
Patterns are also great abstracts. However, patterns are concepts worth exploring on it’s own. In fact Patterns is our challenge for tomorrow.
Color is really useful for expression an emotion and fun to play with.