Friday, June 21, 2013

Third Something or Other

Linking with Brenda for June's Third Thursday.  Thank you to the hostess-mostest.

Garden Cherubs BW
Garden Cherubs BW

This month I've been thinking about contrast.  Not contrast as in opposite words, but contrast as in light and dark regions of my images.  While this is something to think about when shooting, I think for me even more so in the processing process-how to intensify the contrast of an image that lends itself to sharp differences.

Sitar BW 279/365
Sitar BW 279/365

No surprise processing in black white is an obvious way to bring out these characteristics.  I found myself doing more BW than usual this month.  I still don't "see BW" when I'm out shooting, but I am identifying more easily images that will work well when processed that way.  I love this image of my friend Randy.  I've shared some shots of him before...amazing musician.  He plays instruments from all over the world-he owns something like 250 different instruments.  Sitar-he even has more than one of these.  Everyone needs 3 or 4 sitars, right? : )

Wild Daisies
Wild Daisies

I've also focused on more contrast in my color images.  For a long time I've been reluctant to up contrast.  I had thought my computer screen showed images lighter than they appeared on other's screens and was afraid to push, especially the darks, too far.  Maybe that is the case.  Let me know if my "stuff" looks too extreme.  Perhaps I can make an adjustment of my view that will  result in better exposure on other computers too.


I'm glad I've been working on this.  I'm pretty burnt out on taking photos.  Bored really.  I feel as though I've taken shots of everything within a 10 mile radius of home.  I am returning to places I've been-many on numerous occasions and working to find new ways to think about them.  Sometimes I take the same-well similar-shot again and try to make it better.

Up or Down BW
Up or Down BW

This one is definitely Brenda inspired.  Thank you Brenda.

I am about 2 1/2 months away from completing my 2nd 365.  Even though it's been tough going-often, I think it's paying off, and I plan to decide whether or not to do a 3rd, just continue when this one finished.  After playing with contrast and upping the BW processing, I'm wondering if a 365 of BW images would be a way to up the ante....or make me entirely crazy and unbearable.  We'll see.

Thank you for checking in on my 3rd Thursday.  I like seeing what the other participants have been up to, too. 


bgottsab said...

Susan - it is always such a treat to have you participate in the Third Thursday Challenge. I enjoy following your personal explorations and the work you do to expand your creative and technical skills. This month is no exception.

Exploring contrast is an excellent subject - one that I think is somewhat subjective. Personally,I like a lot of contrast - and from my view of your images, you haven't gone too far by any means. Keep pushing!

I go through the same difficulties with shooting in the same area, over and over, trying to find new ways to see them or to make older shots better. I still get my best images from re-visiting familiar places.

I love your BW work - lovely, lovely textures. And so glad to have provided shadow inspiration -love the zig-zagging lines, working their way up the steps in "up or Down". And the textures and lovely golden light of "Circle". Beautiful combination of manmade and natural textures in "Wild Daisies".

Whenever I think of a sitar, I can't help but think of the "lonely sitar player" of the movie "Moulin Rouge". Great image, capturing his concentration in the moment of music-making,

Thanks for joining in with this month's Third Thursday Challenge!

Laloofah said...

Maybe I make a crappy judge, because I think all these images are lovely and wouldn't change a single one. :-)

I absolutely adore the cherubs photo! And the sheer breadth of Randy's musical talent is amazing! Speaking of the sitar, here's a Playing for Change video featuring (at the 2-minute mark) my favorite sitar player, Rajesh Vaidhya. He's renowned for playing non-traditional music on it and I love to watch him put his whole body into it! If you're not familiar with Playing for Change, I highly recommend you check it out, since I think you'd love it! (A fellow UNH grad founded it!) :-)

Anyway, while I love the other photos, "Circle" is my other favorite. I think it would still be beautiful if you lightened it, but I love the mood and richness of it just as it is!

Happy Solstice and have a great weekend, Sue!

seabluelens said...

The first and last images are my favorites, different as they are. I love the textures of the cherubs and the abstractness of the stair shadows. A black and white 365 challenge sounds...very challenging!

I've never noticed that you pushed your contrast too far. I have the same concerns about what I see on my computer compared to what others see, but in my case it's color I worry about. I tweak it til it looks "right" to me, but I suppose there's no way to be sure it looks good on everyone's screen.

Kay L. Davies said...

Oh, absolutely everyone needs 3 or 4 sitars!
Your black and white work is great, Susan.
I remember when all photos were B&W, so a 365 would be wonderful from my point of view. Takes me back to days in the print shop darkroom when I tried to work despite my claustrophobia.
The blue doors are wonderful, but there's something about the combination of color and texture in the "Circle" photo that really appeals to me.

gina said...

Well done, Susan! Since I love spirals, your circle image really appeals to me. I love your b&ws -- the cherubs are adorable. And your "up and down" is really looks like a classic Brenda -- what a nice tribute to her. Like you, I am feeling uninspired, and don't really know what to put up for the 3rd Thursday challenge.....hope to come up with something during the weekend.

Carol Blackburn said...

Super shots Susan, love the B&W too.

Leanne Barnett said...

Great shots. I think thAt your contrasts here are perfect not too much at all. I love the shot of your sitar playing friend - great focus. My other favourite is circles.

Cathy H. said...

There's something so breathtaking about B&W images. These are both wonderful. My favorite though is wild daisies. It appeals to my nostalgic soul. I struggle with any processing that I do on my images. I only have a laptop and you know how that is...move the screen and it's different. The contrast in your images has always looked fine to me, definitely not extreme.

Sarah Huizenga said...

I love the contrast in the wild daisies/blue doors shot, it doesn't look like too much to me. Good for you trying some new stuff. I know what you mean about getting bored with what you are shooting, especially when you do a lot of it.

Wayne (Woody), whatever said...

high contrast is essential for a good mono so it's good for you to be looking for it. Nothing here is too contrasty for my eye, they all look great :-)

Up or down has awesome lines and the cherubs has great textures, which is another benefit of added contrast. If you're using LR, try playing with 'clarity'.

The light in circle is really nice too.

Computer screens are very inconsistent. I often will view a photo on different monitors to see how it looks. My primary editing monitor is probably too bright, so if it looks good there, it will appear dark on other screens.

I'm right there with ya, I feel like I've photographed everything local. I like to try a different lens or different perspective when visiting again.

I think if you photographed Randy while sitting on the floor, it would be amazing (I'm not sure if that would be practical in this environment).

TheChieftess said...

Great shots...all of them!!! And no...they're not extreme in their contrast. I use Lightroom and love the controls for black, white, highlights, and shadows...I up the black and shadows regularly!!! And yes, I've wondered if my pics look extreme on other computers too!!!

Deborah Tisch said...

I always learn something from your explorations and from your images. The one of the stairs with the amazing shadows inspires me look for contrasts.

As for my own 365, I fell off the wagon and can't seem to get back on, but I also took an amazing online class, not in photog, but amazing and time consuming. Okay, that's my excuse. I feel better now that I have 'confessed'. :-)