Last week we did a fairly simple transfer from color to B&W and I think the results were pretty interesting! This week the challenge was a two-parter.
1) Take a picture that was "ruined" by something intruding in the shot, and cropping that out of the frame. A very common and simple technique, but a powerful one in the day of digital editing.
|Before: A cute snapshot of my wife at the Keukenhof in the Netherlands.|
|New and improved!|
Taking the picture with all the random distractions of passers-by, signs, and trees, I was able to easily crop all of them out. Now I am left with a more portrait-like picture of my beautiful wife, rather than a casual snap-shot. Keep in mind that this was actually the first day I used my new camera...and that it kept raining off an on every 30 minutes or so while we were there!
2) Take a decent picture and improve it by selective cropping.
This was a row of town-homes we wandered by in Pittsburgh on our search for the Church Brew Works. I was drawn to the vibrant red against the white and raw wood, as well as the repeating pattern. The picture is OK on its own, but lacked impact. I was able to crop out most of the foliage and power lines in the background, as well as straightening the picture a bit. I was also able to focus the eye a bit more on the central white window by doing this, using the Rule of 3's.
I think this was a quick and easy challenge to show that sometimes simple edits can significantly change the impact of a shot.
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Challenge #3: Still Life! This one is a photo taking challenge, but one that can be done indoors. The idea: take common objects from your home and do a classic still life portrait. Looking at old paintings of fruit and flowers, this has been an age-old technique for practicing your lighting techniques in controlled circumstances. I plan on doing at least two pictures for this (more if I get fancy!) I've got some ideas for subjects…but we'll see what really works. I also need some actual light instead of these gray days we have been having. Or I need to figure out my flash!