Archive | March, 2010

i heart faces | dramatic black & white: the others

30 Mar

I mentioned that I had two other photos in the running for the dramatic black and white photo challenge. I figured I’d show them here and talk a little bit about why I considered them, and why I wound up choosing the one I did.

First, a quick look at the requirements for this week:

We are looking for B&W photos that are dramatic, sensational and/or moody in the way they are presented. Please don’t just enter a typical portrait photo that has been converted to B&W  (portraits are allowed, but they need to come across as extremely dramatic.) Something about your entry must catch our eye as being dramatic or moody for it to be passed along to the Guest Photographer Judge as a top entry for them to choose from.

While that seems quite specific, I had an impossibly hard time translating those requirements to any photograph I have taken. The first one I played around with is this one, which had the high contrast of light and shadow.

There’s nothing particularly dramatic happening, but the way the sun is hitting Lyra’s eyes was one of my favorite things about the color version. The photo has such little color I think it works great in black and white, but something made me feel like it wasn’t a great choice for the challenge. I just wasn’t sure if the dramatic play of light and dark was the kind of drama they were looking for in the challenge. Plus, there is a lot of competition between the curls in her hair and the bark in the background. And wasn’t sure if maybe too much of the photo was in shadow to really communicate.

I was this close to using this photo. I took this of Lyra when she was just seven months old. This is a few days before she started crawling and it’s one of the few images from her infancy that captures how intense she was (and still is). She came out of the womb with so much wisdom and has always had this penetrating stare, like she could see to the core of you. It sounds completely ridiculous to type that out, to verbalize it in any way. But I have lived with her long enough to know that people are drawn to her and attracted in an unordinary way. And in this photo, with the sharp winter light pouring in from our patio, her intensity really comes through.

In the end, however, I didn’t pick this one because I had doubts that the intensity I feel when I look at it, actually comes through. I was also feeling inadequate in my technique, and while the string shadows on her face don’t bother me, I thought it might read as unskilled to the eyes of a more experienced photographer. I’m having regrets about not going with this one now, but…oh well.

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fun: i heart faces | dramatic black and white

30 Mar


I really struggled with coming up with an entry that I thought met this week’s theme. There are some alternate images I tried to choose between (more on this later), but in the end I settled on this images taken during Lyra’s first Christmas. The giant bulb in the upper left corner is an ornament that I’m dangling in front of her while I snapped the photo.

Please visit i heart faces to view the rest of the participant’s photos for this week:

Photo Challenge: i heart faces | bundled up

16 Mar

The theme for this week’s i heart faces photo challenge is Bundled Up. And though I live in Southern Californis, we do have plenty of days with gusty winds and highs in the fifties.  Okay, I know that sounds like a nice spring day to many of you, but suffice it to say that it isn’t 72-degrees and sunny here all the time.

As I write this it is in the upper 70’s, sunny, and dry. But exactly a week ago, the chilly air and wind had us all bundled up and wiping our noses at a day time parkdate. While there are definitely a few shots I could have used from that outing, I decided to use something older.

It’s a different interpretation of bundled up than all of those fun hats, gloves, and snowsuits. But an image that is very near and dear to my heart. The original was taken in March 2008, long before I owned an SLR or attempted to use Photoshop for photo-editing. It was, however, taken in very low light without flash. I held a tap light down low and out of frame and snapped my point-and-shoot with my other hand.

Please visit i heart faces to view the rest of the participant’s photos for this week: