NO. 6 – WORK WITH SIMPLE AND BOLD FRAMING
Take a minimalist approach and create images that really catch the eye
“When you convert colour images to black and white, do it with conviction,” says Lee Frost. “The clue is in the name. Don’t be scared of pure whites and true blacks. Boost contrast, add impact and drama, otherwise you’ll end up with grey, dull and boring images, and there are enough of those in existence already.”
When it comes to high-quality black and white photography, it pays to focus on the details, remove distractions and go for something that is almost abstract through the precision of composition and framing. This can be done in a number of ways. First of all, try isolating an area of a scene that is particularly interesting visually and base your composition solely around that. If you can make it so specific that doing so almost results in an abstracted result, so much the better. Pay attention to the colour palette and get to know how individual hues convert to black and white, as some work together in a much more interesting way than others once transformed to monochrome.
Another alternative option is to use a square crop. “Sometimes the simplest things can make a difference, and one of those is cropping your images to a square,” explains Lee Frost. “The square format is balanced and calm, so it immediately changes the dynamic of the shot. Square photographs also seem more artistic; no idea why – they just do! Try it if you’re not convinced.” Of course, this is partly an editing consideration – more on this in the next tip.
BE GRAPHIC Striking, semi-abstract images are particularly effective when they are converted to black and white.
COMBINE LENSBABY FRAMES
“i combined two photos taken with Lensbaby composer, both with pinhole optic. i took the the background with a panning technique at 1/15 second, f2.8 and iSO 400, [dragging] the camera downwards when pressing the shutter, so it created a curly texture for tree leaves. the little girl image i took in a beach. i cropped the image, copied and pasted it to the garden image, then i chose the Multiply option in the layer blending section. i adjusted the size of the little girl then placed it at the empty space between two trees”
“the first image is a kid playing on a trampoline, the second one is a texture capture of a cement floor. i managed a blurry focus in the first image using a tele lens, and for the second one i took it with a sharp focus, so together it would make a good contrast. i cropped the floor photo into a square format then i copied and pasted the blurry kid to the cement floor photo with Multiply [blend mode]. i also adjusted the opacity level to merge them well so it looks like a single image. i adjusted the size of the blurry kid and placed it at the right corner until the composition looked well balanced”
Above right EXPERIMENT
“this image is comprised of two blended together, taken about ten minutes apart. the shadows were changing so quickly. Originally, i was going to do a diptych, with the images side by side, but when i experimented layering them, i preferred the result. A little boost in contrast and some burning to make the blend more seamless, and this is the result”
BETINA LA PLANTE