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5 Day Black & White Challenge

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The other day someone finally nominated me to do the black and white challenge. It was bound to  happen I suppose, but now I’ve actually got to figure out what photos to use! Maybe I’ll even shoot some new ones, just for this. I dunno, we’ll see. Anyway, without further ado…

Day 1

I figured I should lead off with something strong, so I decided to go with this portrait of my friend Jules. This was taken during our large format film photography class earlier this year and I still can’t get over how well it turned out. The delicious shallow depth of field and those crisp details on some of the hood fur are enough to make me like the image. But her little smirk just makes it golden…or, well, silver in this case.

Day 2

For day 2 I thought I’d pull a complete 180 and share a product shot. Not only that but my portrait from day one was done using old technology, a 4×5 film camera, whereas this photo is of new technology, my 3D printer (taken with a digital camera).

Now, if you’ve never seen a 3D printer in action let me tell you, it’s absolutely mesmerizing. I’ve watched dozens and dozens of print jobs and I still just sit and watch it work sometimes. So I knew I wanted to make an image to showcase that dynamic. The trickiest part was figuring out the timing; when to release the shutter so the flash would pop and the resulting motion lag would look best…all while the shuttle was being printed. Basically trial and error with only 20 minutes and counting.

Day 3

Back to portraits for today, and another film one at that! So say hello to my friend Josie. We’re actually just in my kitchen/dining area for this photo, with some grey fabric from JoAnn’s for a backdrop and a little bit of soft window light.

Up until now I never really could decide how I felt about the wrinkles and distressed kind of look on the background. I had the mind to smooth it out in post but it wasn’t quite behaving and, obviously, I never cleaned it all up. Today I decided I like it that way though, because the mess going on back there provides a good contrast to the clean details of Josie’s face. I think it causes her to appear more striking because your eye is drawn towards the clarity and lack of chaos around her face.

Day 4

Double feature! Sharing two photos cause I like both so much. Besides, it’s my blog, I do what I like! 😛

First up is an image of Leah, my girlfriend, that I refer to as the “catching stars” shot. Pretty obvious why, no? For the stars all I did was stand, facing the camera, behind her hands and click a penlight on and off. Since I had my aperture closed down a ways (f/8 or f/11 maybe) whenever I would point the light right at the lens it would give me those really cool bursts you see. Took several tries to line up and get a good arrangement of stars, working from memory for positioning in the total darkness, but we got it in the end. Pretty sure I’ve even still got a few stars she caught in a jar here somewhere….

Next up is Emily, another photography classmate and friend. Or in this case, a dark-haired version of Marilyn Monroe. I did this for a Hollywood-style lighting assignment for my studio portraits class awhile ago. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of the lighting style in general. Just something about it is a little wonky to me and usually I like to work with strobes instead of hot lights. The assignment was extra credit anyway (I think…) so I wasn’t expecting to get much out of it.

Needless to say, I was pretty excited when it turned out so well. The attire Emily picked out to wear was time period perfect and it was only later that I discovered she also did her hair and makeup specifically for the shoot…despite me looking right at it the whole time. Yes, I’m oblivious sometimes. Me being the noob then, I didn’t really specify all that stuff ahead of time like I should have. So thank you Emily for picking up the slack!

Day 5

Well, I actually made it all the way through this thing with only one day that ended up being “late”, so to celebrate it’s another double feature today! I won a free pair of Sunski sunglasses earlier this year so for today’s images I picked out my two favorite black and white ones from a photoshoot I did with them. Gotta share something summery to counteract the winter mehs!

The first image here is of my friend Ryan who came by for a visit this summer. Despite only being able to visit once or twice a year, and only for half the day this trip, he was still willing to spend some of that time being drug around for photos. I’m grateful he did though, cause he fit the part well and the images came out great!

The second image is a simple close up product shot of the sunglasses. I did this right in front of my house, on a part of the landscaping wood border thing. Ok, so I don’t know what it’s called, but it worked great! Even without those wonderfully warm golden tones, I love the soft, glowing summer vibe I get from looking at this photo.

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  • Lorie

    Matt you do beautiful work, and I am not saying that because of who the subject is.

    • http://intergalacticphotographic.com/ Matt Kaiser

      Thank you so much!