Tuesday, March 10, 2009

EMPS: Black and White Magic

It's time again for the Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot, specifically EMPS #28: BLACK & WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY. Carly mentions in the entry that a black and white photo can be mysterious, which got me thinking about trying to convey the concept of magic. But first....


This is technically not a black and white photo, but it might as well be, because no color is in evidence as the backlit jet crosses an overcast sky. This past weekend was the annual air show at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base near our house. I'm pretty sure there was an air show the first week we came to town, back in March 1986, and now here it is again. Every year I try to photograph some of the planes that scream overhead, but except for my 2007 shots, where I both worked hard at it and got lucky a few times, I've had little success.

This year I didn't even see the Blue Angels, just the smaller stuff, going by very fast, very high up, and rather distant. At one point the sky cleared up enough to get this shot of cirrus clouds, which become really interesting when converted to black and white. There was supped to be a jet in this photo, but I may have edited it out with the lens flares.

Let's move on to the real black and white shots, which I was able to photograph under more controlled conditions. These were set up for black and white in camera. I collected things that could serve as props in a fantasy novel - an earthenware mug, a teapot, a small bottle that could hold potion, something like an amulet, a quartz crystal ball, three interesting-looking books, and George Junior, one of my gargoyles.

Cropped to feature the ball.

"Old photo" FX applied.

That's it from me for tonight - but as usual, I encourage you to check with Carly's blog Ellipsis to see other entries.

Update: Oops! Carly asked a question, and I missed it!

This Week's Question: If you could photograph any celebrity, who would it be?

I have photographed Scott Bakula, various Doctor Who people and a few other actors. At this point, the celebrity I'd love to be photographing is David Tennant, who plays the Tenth Doctor on Doctor Who. He is currently filming the last few tv specials that wrap up his tenure on the show, and lucky and dedicated fans are out there late at night whenever the filming takes place outside, taking rather amazing photos given that they stay back to avoid interfering with the cast and crew. I wish I could be out there with them, digital SLR and zoom lens in hand, capturing the end of an era. But I'm not likely to get to Wales before Tennant is done with the role. And that's where the show is shot!



Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Cool shots. The bottom ones, that you set up to take in black and white, really convey a great picture -- it'd be a great writing prompt!

MyMaracas said...

Magic! What a great idea for black and white! Wish I'd thought of it.

I love the tablescapes, especially the cropped shot. Cool gargoyle you have there, too.

Carly said...

Hi Karen

Nice subject matter. Interesting. I really like the angle on the second photo. Gargoyles are aways photogenic.


Becky said...

Does it count if I am behind on my reading and I go back to your post done on the 10th to wish you a Happy Birthday? It's sorta like time travel! ;) Anyway, it's MY birthday today and I wanted to be sure I said hi to my March birthday buddy. Jeeze are we old. Now I should go friend you on Facebook so you can invite to join these games I have no time to play but will be happy to increase your, uh, street cred? what ever you are playing for. LOL

Mike said...

The cirrus clouds look sinister in black and white! As does the gargoyle , of course. :)

Liz said...

The cropped photo conveys mystery and magic to me.

Wammy said...

Very interesting shots in black and white. I like the way you thought about what should be in the shots. Nice job!