Last November, I was bursting with excitement and joy. I learned how to use our dSLR, knelt in the snow until my fingers froze taking pictures of frost covered twigs and spiky plants, and had plenty of failed photos. Through it all, I learned and improved and didn’t want to stop the fun.
What was I up to six months back? Photo 101 by WordPress, of course! And it’s back. And I’ve joined up again.
A favorite feature of the course was the supportive, friendly community that kept growing over that month. Some of my favorite bloggers today came from that course. One is Lovely Lucile. (Be sure to check out her blog – both her photos and writing are outstanding. This post will also be going into Lucile’s Clinic.)
In a comment I left after another of her incredible black and white photos, I said that I would focus on black and white (b&w) if I signed up for photo101 again. I am not skilled in the b&w realm and thought it would be fun and challenging to focus on it for every single photo in the course. Here you go, Lucile and wish me luck!
Photo-A-Day Theme 1: Home and the first dilemma
The first photo we’ve been asked to take is one that describes “home”. Last time, I focused on a street scene in Japan since I feel that my other home is there. This time, we are living in a temporary home that is not ours so that doesn’t work.
What does fit is food. Wherever we go, wherever we are, I can always find or make food that reminds me of either my Canadian roots or my heart in Japan.
But I have a dilemma. I’m supposed to focus on b&w this month and does food really look that appetizing in the non-colors of black and white and the interim hues of gray?
Dilemma #2 – the surprising missing option
The other dilemma was a b&w setting on my camera. I figured that our Nikon would have a button or setting or some way to force b&w photos so that I could see them in the display. Surprisingly, it doesn’t. The only options are the Selective Color Effect or converting a color photo afterward. In the former option, I can see b&w in the display but lose the freedom of manual.
One of my challenges is figuring out how to make a good looking b&w photo. I want to be able to see the contrast in the display while I’m training my eye to look for it. Converting photos after means I can’t get that feedback.
Aren’t we spoiled with digital cameras?! While my mug doesn’t show it, I did grow up with film cameras so I will pretend that it is 1997 and take photos with crossed fingers and held breath, convert them in my own “lab” and learn from my mistakes.
On to the photos!
One of my favorite candies from Japan, desperately lacking color. Unfortunately, I ate them all and have to wait until our next visit from/to Japan for more practice.
The setting for these was that Selective Color Effect, without selecting a color. The focus is okay, but again, I can’t control it like I can with manual.
This is the same setting as the first one. It gives a kind of manual effect with an open aperture but still, there is less control over where the focus is.
I like how this one turned out though and didn’t make any changes after. I’ve learned from this photo that having strong, dark colors in the image on a light background will likely help with b&w photography.
This was our dinner tonight with some of my favorite Canadian roots ingredients: tomatoes, onions and ground turkey.
I tried but this picture converted to b&W was awful! I’m going to keep trying b&w with food though. This is only the beginning!
One thing I would change is going to a closed aperture to get more of the lower left in focus. I think this is one time when having the whole meal in focus would be better.
Do you have black and white photography tips for me? I’m all eyes!