The first thing to understand about this challenge is that it is NOT a black and white assignment. Your subject should be white and your background should be white.
This challenge is about texture, shadow, light and composition. About seeing form and shape, and about understanding that there are many, many shades of white.
Some subjects to consider:
Household items made beautiful with simple still life.
Items from nature will become more polished and perfect when placed on white.
Please don’t feel like you are breaking the rules if you allow a little color. This is why you do not want to shoot in black and white, because the color that you allow to sneak in will create emphasis.
You may be lucky enough to have architecture or landscape to fit this assignment.
Or the perfect pet.
I hope you enjoy this exercise in simplicity.
Things to try:
Control and manipulate your light source to create interesting shadows and to add dimension and depth. These photos can look very flat if you don’t put some thought into your lighting.
Consider texture. In your background or main subject, variety of texture will ensure that your subject separates from your background. Texture will also ad warmth for those who may find this exercise to be a little cold.
A white background can be made from a sheet of poster board or paper, as well as any white fabric. Wrinkles are OK!
If a little color sneaks in it is OK, although it might make or break the photo. Do not convert final image to black and white.
White balance your camera be be sure your whites look white. Here is what DPS has to say about white balance.
Watch your exposure. These photos will be, and should be, bright. But not so bright that you’re blowing out or losing information in your highlights.
My name is Amy Pflasterer and I teach high school photography and yearbook near St Louis, Missouri. Photography has been a part of my life for a very, very long time. My first real photography job was for the college yearbook where I learned to shoot sports and environmental portraits. I have since worked as a wedding and portrait photographer, and for the last 14 years as a photography teacher. I teach 3 levels of digital photography and keep a small darkroom available for my advanced students.
With 2 young children at home, I am no longer pursuing wedding or portrait work but you can see photos I share with my students on Facebook at fb.me/pflastererphoto and Instagram @stlgir1
The rules are pretty simple:
- Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+, Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org or #photochallenge2016.
- The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
- The posted image should be a photograph, not a video.
- Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2016 PhotoChallenge is fun and easy.