This is my final installment for our sixth photographic assignment: six Black and White images.
The image below documents a moment just prior to the start of a recent Shotokan Karate clinic. I stood on a balcony and looked down to watch and photograph my sons. I selected this particular image to illustrate how a monochrome treatment enhanced a detail that helped to emphasize my subject.
Roughly in the center of the image is a student, my son, working through his kata; a precise and specific series of memorized moves.
A fluorescent ceiling light fixture cast a backlight on my central subject. For a moment it seemed as if a spotlight were shining on him. An aura, a wishbone-shaped shadow, extends out from his feet on the floor and is encircled by a white highlight. Had we been looking at the image in color format, the floor shadow wouldn’t have been as pronounced. My son would have been more “lost” in the busy activity of the other students on the floor.
I refrained from using a flash for this indoor image because I didn’t wish to distract the athletes. To help capture the action, I pushed-up the camera ISO to 1600. It produced a somewhat grainy result. With Black and White, especially if you are used to looking at film images, that’s OK.
From this assignment, my takeaway is that shooting in Black and White can be like photographic basic training. I took more care to find lighting effects and lighting extremes. I searched for lighting contrasts where highlights and shadows were more pronounced from middle tones. It was a satisfying accomplishment to finish this mission.
Now we all can look forward to Leslie’s upcoming Black and Whites. Click! Click!