One of my favorite photos that I’ve taken for this photo challenge is my B&W square format photo from 2017 WEEK 48. I had never considered taking photos of holiday lights in B&W, but that challenge made me see things differently. Not only does B&W give a feeling of timelessness to the image, but it is also unexpected since most holiday images are shot in color. (In fact my search for example photos this week showed me just how rare it is!)
Your goal this week is to take a B&W photo with holiday lights as a component of your composition. There are lots of possibilities for creative images with holiday lights which is why I have once again chosen them for a challenge theme. One obvious choice would be traditional light displays. Remember to pay particular attention to good composition since you won’t have color to dazzle the viewer: things like leading lines, symmetry, rule of thirds, etc.
Street photography is another option. In this style of image, the lights add a festive element to the image, but aren’t the main subject. You can decide whether you want to stop the motion of people (as in the photo below) or take a long exposure to eliminate them completely (which is what I chose for my Old Town photo).
Portraits are another possibility this week. These are typically shot with a shallow depth of field to throw the lights out of focus in the background. The resulting bokeh can be quite beautiful.
Alternatively, if you use a small aperture so that both the lights and your subject are in focus, you can create starbursts due to the refraction of light through the aperture. Note that you might need to increase your ISO if you have a moving subject, since you won’t want a long shutter speed. Another option would be the use of a star filter on your lens, which I believe is what was used for the image below.
Still lifes are another option this week. Again, you get to decide if you want bokeh or starbursts for the lights. Feel free to create your own composition from holiday decorations if you aren’t able to find an existing one that you like.
The use of bokeh shapes can be used in any of the above options or used solely to create an abstract image as in the example below. It’s clearly a tree, but the bokeh shapes take it out of the realm of the ordinary.
This week’s challenge:
- Create a B&W image with holiday lights as part of the composition.
- I encourage you to be creative with your technique to create more than just a shapshot.
- Your final image should be a B&W grayscale image. 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 ignore proper exposure, contrast and composition 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 Group, Flickr Group or 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.