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.