I’ve mentioned it before . . . Leanne Cole does a weekly Monochrome Madness post, and every four weeks she has a themed post. This week it was ‘fences.’
Before I go on, for them who are interested in varied and interesting approaches to B&W photography, her weekly series is well worth checking out. Lots of talented photographers contribute their B&W work.
In addition to checking out the series, I suggest contributing. No better way to improve at something than doing it.
Right! . . . Fences. First, a word of advice; make sure you include the “n”.
This next photo is probably my favorite photo of a fence.
That was taken in 2009 on the Road to Hanna, in Maui.
So, I have the necessary subject . . . I just need to remove the color. The problem is, there are a lot of ways one can transform the above into a monochrome (gray) photo.
One can go for moody:
You half-expect the Bogart voice-over . . .
“Of all the meadows in all the islands in all the world, why did this fence have to sprout into mine?”
Too dark . . . perhaps a bit lighter and some glow . . .
Hmm . . . too much glow. In fact, glow should not be there at all unless the fence is radioactive or somehow associated with Middle Earth.
Now it looks too plain! . . . and still too dark.
Now, the background bleeds into the foreground. It removes the fence from being the center of attention. I could differentiate the fence by darkening the sky and water:
A bit better, but the sky is still too light . . . let me try this:
That’s great! The sky looks exactly as I want it . . . except we are back at overall too much dark. Plus, the fence is supposed to be the subject.
OK, I know what to do; light the sucker up!
I almost went with this version. Except, the fence now demands too much attention.
There was only one answer!
The balance I was looking for! The showcasing of the fence as part of the overall scene, gradually commanding the viewer’s attention even as the background of the sky, clouds, and sea complement the detail by forming an unobtrusive setting and leading one to the star of the photo: The Fence.
That’s the version I submitted.
Note: the above is a mini-lesson on the composition of subject and setting. It also unlocks the mystery that is the creation of art, and it illuminates the path and process leading one to create art . . . as opposed to slapping something together.
Note 2: don’t be taken in by all the artsy talk. Take a photo, play with it, and eventually you’ll either hit on something you like or you’ll get tired and say “Screw it! I’m going with this one.” If, however, you are the artsy type, I meant every word of the previous note. Honest.
Note 3: I’ve been looking for a place to use this next photo. Personally, I thought it came out nice, but it has nothing to do with Monochrome Madness.
That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.
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. . . my FP ward . . . chieken shit.