The world was black and white before colour photographs. . .

Back to Basics, Blog, Photography

… or so some may have thought at one time.  So how does someone who has grown up in technicolor and who stops in their tracks for bright bold color . . .

a splash of color on a rainy day

a splash of color on a rainy day

learn to see in Black & White?

I love B&W photography and there are photographers whose B&W images will stop me just as hard,  both from the past when that was the only option to the present and B&W photography like that by Cole Thompson.  A powerful or even serene black and white image does not need color to draw you in or set the mood.  This is all accomplished using shapes & elements, contrast, composition and, of course, light.   But even though I know of these key points, seeing them, for me, in B&W can be a challenge.

So I’ve recently gone back to the proverbial drawing board… again.  Rewind about five years ago, I took a B&W film photography course (wow, that was five years ago already!) and even then, according to my post at that time, I struggled a bit.  So, I guess it’s not surprising that I quickly gravitate back to all things color.   However, like Jenny here,

one of my first film subjects

one of my first film subjects

who has hung in there, now at 14, so have I…  and every now and then I give it another go… exploring my world in B&W.  white-rose-b&wLearning is in doing…

Til next time,
Maria

 

On being out there

Photography

A short editorial (kind of short) and follow-up to my last post.

There’s been many, many, many discussions among photographers about protecting their photos from being copied or worse yet sold without permission.  And It is getting harder and harder to protect them. Case in point and to test, I downloaded an image from I Photo Central, remember this an international source for photo collecting/selling photos with pretty substantial price tags.  Sorry, I’m not posting the image  because it was only done as a test.  The image measured 622×800 pixels (8×11 inches), at 72 dpi.  Not bad as a small image and when resized to 300 dpi, it still looked pretty good, although it was an old photo to begin with and already had that antique-like quality.  The point is if I can do it (remember I’m no techy) anyone can . . . and do.

watermarkI love having venues to share my photography (and my thoughts).  I think the very basic nature of photography is for images to be seen and shared.   Would I be upset if someone used one of my images without giving me credit . . . you bet I would!   Do I perseverate over whether someone would use my image(s) without permission/credit . . . no, not to any great degree.  Lets be real,  forgery, copy cats and just plain stealing have been around long before the digital age. . . long before the photograph.  But there are some basic precautions one can take, such as posting low resolution, smaller size images, using a watermark, know how to set permissions, and just use commonsense on where you post.  There are resources out there on how to do all of these.  For example, I Googled “How to create a watermark in Photoshop CS5” and got 325,000 results in 0.42 seconds!  This should give you at least little peace of mind.  But if you’re still worried, Cole Thompson shared a cool tip on his blog on how to check Google and see if a photo is somewhere other than where you put it.  Thank you for sharing Cole.  Whew, I am just where I am supposed to be 🙂

And now for just an itsy-bitsy rant:  I mentioned in the Case of the Peony Buds, how I came across a website that looked like it “collected” photos.   The sharing of photos serves many purposes: it can be inspirational, educational, and as simple as adding a little extra enjoyment to that coffee break.  For example, I’m not sure I would have ever learned of Tom Baril or seen his beautiful floral images.  However, I am not a fan of personal websites dedicated to the “collecting” others’ photos (and I am discovering that there are a lot of these…even on flickr).  Yes, I see it is a way of sharing, but bottom line, it is very deceiving.  If you are going to have a photo website it should be to showcase your photos.  There are plenty of places within social media if you want to note a favorite photographer or send a little inspiration someone’s way or how about just sharing your thoughts and a link. . .    Anyway, I certainly understand that on occasion bloggers, myself included, like to reference a certain photographer or photo to make a point, share a tip, or just give back to the photo community, just remember to be courteous, check if it is okay, and most of all give the photographer the credit and accolades they deserve.

Okay that’s it for my editorials for a while, back next time with some long overdue photos.  I’ve been learning some new techniques and can’t wait to share . . .

Til next time,
Maria