Thursday, August 6, 2009

homework assignment - shooting in b + w mode

mommy's heels

First, a big thank you to readers Sara and Becca for convincing me to give Flickr another chance. Based on their advice/suggestions, I decided to search out different groups that I found interesting, and that would compel me to experiment with different techniques. I was not disappointed (although beware - while there are many friendly folks on flickr there always seems to be a Negative Nellie lurking in the groups, waiting to pounce on a photo or two...)

One group I found was the Nikon Digital Learning Center group - since I shoot with a D200 I figured it can't hurt to be a part of a group intimately familiar with my camera. The group moderators post several assignments a month - one in particular was intriguing to me: shooting in black and white mode to improve your composition.

The "teacher" - Richard E. Aaron, an accomplished music photographer, suggests that by shooting in black and white (rather than converting to b + w later) the photographer can focus on the content of the photo - the lines, shades and composition. That way, color won't distract you from carefully crafting an image that really tells a story.

So this week, instead of a lesson per se, I have a little homework assignment/challenge for you readers. Assuming you can (and most of you with DSLRs can), change your shooting mode to black and white, and really concentrate on the composition of your photos. Click here for a review of the rule of thirds, perhaps the most basic composition rule out there. Click here to review additional composition rules - and for you naughty readers, click here for how to break said rules.

I adore black and white images - oftentimes I can "feel" more from the image than the same image in color. I hope you capture some good shots!