Thursday, May 4, 2017

PhotoChallenge 2017 Week 15: Low Key

Last year I discovered the online PhotoChallenge.org weekly photography challenges and it encouraged me to try a bunch of new techniques and subjects for my budding photography skills.  I've continued this into 2017, and this year promises to be a good one!  I have fallen behind in posting, but have done a few of the older challenges so here's some catch-up!  The idea is to actively take pictures each week but I may also post some older photos that fit the bill on some of these blog posts.

PhotoChallenge 2017 Week 15: Low Key

This week's challenge I actually posted on time, but am only getting around to doing my short blog post now.  Low key photography usually uses a black or very dark background and most of the tones are in the shadows.  This effect is easy to pull off with post production, but this week's challenge specifically required getting this effect in camera.  

I took this following picture of the outside of the Smithsonian Castle in Washington D.C.  This arch was in the shadowed side, away from the sun, but I really wanted to get a shot of the details.  I did take a few more shots with a lighter exposure, but they lacked the impact and shadows of this one.  I did nearly no manipulation to the shot in Lightroom other than basic boosts that most RAW shots require.  





Here's a bonus older picture from when I first got my DSLR camera in 2014.  I took this wild flower shot in a shady forested area.  The flower was in a ray of light so the dark background really seemed darker.  I'll admit this shot was a bit of luck, but since then I've learned how to do this on purpose!



Wednesday, May 3, 2017

PhotoChallenge 2017 Week 17: Storytelling--Emotion

Last year I discovered the online PhotoChallenge.org weekly photography challenges and it encouraged me to try a bunch of new techniques and subjects for my budding photography skills.  I've continued this into 2017, and this year promises to be a good one!  I have fallen behind in posting, but have done a few of the older challenges so here's some catch-up!  The idea is to actively take pictures each week but I may also post some older photos that fit the bill on some of these blog posts.

PhotoChallenge 2017 Week 17: Storytelling--Emotion

This one I actually posted on time!  The idea is to tell a story with a picture--harnessing some human emotion to get more impact from the shot.  Some pictures are just "pretty" while others may not be beautiful but can still have emotional impact.  

For my shot I used a WW1 memorial that I came across in my home town of Waconia, Minnesota on a walk with my wife.  The memorial is small and frankly the soldier has seen better days, but I wanted to make this work for photo.  I tried several angles and nothing was looking good.  Finally, I joined my wife in the shade of a drooping evergreen tree and realized I could get a picture through the dangling boughs.  Once I got this back into Lightroom I turned it black and white and then added some split toning to add a bit of tint back in.  Almost a low key shot, this one is dark, but the light is mostly on the age-scarred face of the soldier.