WEEK 19: B&W – Water

This week’s challenge is about creating compelling black and white images of water. So often we rely on color to make our water images pop, so this week we’re removing color to focus on the other aspects of water that add interest to our photos: motion, texture, reflection, etc.

Black Spout Waterfall, Pitlochry by Tim Haynes

Black Spout Waterfall, Pitlochry by Tim Haynes

Long exposures of running water can add a sense of motion to our images. Yes, majestic waterfalls make for beautiful images, but small streams are often easier to find and beautiful in their own way. You might need to search a little harder for a good composition, but the concept is the same. Use a tripod and experiment with different shutter speeds to figure out how blurred you want the water to be.

Mill Creek by Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero

Mill Creek by Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero

Alternatively, you can zoom in on just the water to capture wonderful textures and lines in a long exposure. Again, different shutter speeds will produce different looks so I encourage you to experiment.

River Run by Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero

River Run by Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero

Freezing the motion of water creates yet a different texture: crisp and sparkly. The shutter speed needed to freeze motion differs depending on the focal length of your lens. A good place to start is 1/[focal length] and decrease the shutter speed from there until you capture crisp water drops.

Pacific Ocean Crashing Waves - Big Sur Coast by Clint Losee

Pacific Ocean Crashing Waves – Big Sur Coast by Clint Losee

Of course, water drops aren’t always in motion. When they are stationary like dew drops, they can look like little jewels in your photos. Have fun adding a bit of sparkle to your photos.

HMM: Noir oyster shell and pearls (played by a hosta and some dew) by Heather

HMM: Noir oyster shell and pearls (played by a hosta and some dew) by Heather

Let’s not forget about using reflections as a compositional element. The reflections may be nearly perfect if the water is completely still, but small ripples can create interesting distortions.

To Fetch a Pail of Water by Noe Todorovich

To Fetch a Pail of Water by Noe Todorovich

Sometimes the ripples themselves are the subject. Intersecting ripples can create complex and intricate patterns.

Intersecting Ripples by Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero

Intersecting Ripples by Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero

This week’s challenge:

  • Take a photo with water as the main subject.
  • Your final image should be a B&W grayscale image, but you can come to that image any way that you would like from capturing B&W in camera to converting in post-processing.
  • Don’t forget about proper exposure and contrast which are especially important in a B&W image.

The friendly community guidelines are pretty simple:

  • Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to our active community on our Facebook GroupFlickr Groupor 500PX group (or all three). Tag the photo:  #10thanniversaryphotochallenge #2018photochallenge #photochallenge #tempusaura
  • 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.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2018 Trevor Carpenter Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

 

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About thedigitaljeanie

I’m a self-taught photographer and way back when I used to love taking photos, but I allowed a business that I started in 2004 to take over my life and my photographic repertoire was reduced to quick product shots and how-to tutorials. When I joined the PhotoChallenge in December 2015, I was looking to rekindle my creativity and bring some joy back into my photography. I jumped in with both feet and have not looked back. I believe that photography can change the way we see and interact with the world around us. Some people may think that I hide behind the camera, but I feel that I experience the world in a much more intimate way when I am creating a composition in my viewfinder. In those moments distractions disappear, my mind focuses and I am fully present. It is just me and my camera capturing a moment in time that might otherwise go unnoticed. My background is as varied as the photos that I take. I’ve trained and worked as a software engineer, a massage therapist, an English teacher in Vietnam, a photo restoration artist (which is how I learned Photoshop) and for the past twelve years I have run a small software business with my husband where I have been published in numerous books and magazines, appeared on PBS television, created designs for fabric, quilts and machine embroidery and won awards for some of my quilts. It should come as no surprise that I am intensely curious about life and love to learn new things. I am blessed to live in the beautiful state of Colorado, USA in the Rocky Mountain foothills outside of Fort Collins with my husband and cat. You can find me online at: Photos: flickr.com/photos/the-digital-jeanie/ Day job: KaleidoscopeCollections.com Facebook: facebook.com/jeaniesa

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