Feb 6, 2011

High Contrast

Contrast means comparing to emphasize a difference. We can show this in pictures, and examples are all over the place if you look. Hard and soft. Big and small. Light and dark. Young and old. Black and white pictures percolate things down to contrasts, removing the distractions, the mid tones, the colors. This little gal's turquoise shirt is super cute, and melds nicely with Dad's undershirt of the same color. However, in this image the colors were too complicated and distracting. I shot this in black white to show only the relationship between father and daughter--she just climbed up on the sill with dad's help, she's glad to be sitting by her pops, and his steady hand gives support, while his other hand is ready to catch her if she falls. Experienced and inexperienced, strong and vulnerable, knowing and innocent. What contrasts do you see around you? What do you see in relationships? Often with people, it's the differences that make the strongest bonds.

Nikon D700, 70-200mm f/2.8 VR lens @ 70mm, f/2.8, 1/320s, ISO 800.
Making this sort of picture takes some thought. See, your camera sees two thirds of the frame as a bright white blob, and it thinks, "Gotta darken this waaaaaay down." But, if that happens you end up with black silhouettes in front of a dead lawn, and a field, and the back of the sandwich shop.... while the silhouettes might be interesting, the rest of the backdrop isn't so hot. I prefer the detail of the faces on the high key window. To get this you have to tell your camera to over expose compared to what the light meter is telling you. Crank it up, blow out the world outside, and enjoy the relationship of the subjects. Oh, and do it fast because these moments are fleeting.

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