Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Challenge Accepted

by Kelly

“It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart and head.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

When a friend, a fellow photographer and kindred spirit whose art you both respect and admire, encourages you to try something new with your own photography...you take heed.
"Now I want to see you do a series in B&W that is wide angle, includes people, and is underexposed. I want to see the Kelly shot of that."
To my friend Pam, challenge accepted.

In her original comment, Pam referenced Henri Cartier-Bresson, so before I started on this journey, I did a little research to find out more about his life and art.  I learned that Henri was French photographer who famous for his candid, street-style photography.  He shot almost exclusively in black & white and preferred to shoot events inconspicuously.  He also preferred to focus on small details believing that "the smallest thing can be a great subject."

For Henri, the technical aspects of photography were always secondary to "seeing"...they existed only to help him express what he saw with his mind's eye.  And it was with this intention that I spent the better half of the month of June, looking for opportunities to capture the moments that touched my heart. Such as my parents dancing to Unchained Melody on my back porch.

Or an afternoon on the lake with my girl.

Even ordinary, everyday moments seem to stand out in black and white.

If you have following this blog for very long at all, you probably are aware that I rarely shoot in black and white.  But after seeing these photos, it reminds me that there is something about this format that feel timeless and special to me.  I love that.

But mostly what I love is continuing to grow as a photographer.  Finding new ways to capture the moments that touch my heart.

Thank you, Pam, for your encouragement and your friendship and for helping me to grow in my art.

All my love, 



Carol said...

These are wonderful -and so different from your usual style ( which is also wonderful!) This post is a perfect antidote to Leighs question last week about how to keep the spirit and fun in oir longtime hobby. We should challenge ourselves or each other to series different than what we are used to......I feel a follow up post coming on!!!!!

Focusing on Life said...

You certainly aced this challenge! These are wonderful! In summertime when color is everywhere, seeing it in black & white is such a change and a great change! These photos just seem to slow the fast pace of summer down and like you said, focus on the moments that touched your heart.

Susan Licht said...

I think you've more than met the challenge here, Kelly. While I love color photography, sometimes I think its distracting. These images in black and white really bring us to the "heart" of the matter. Beautifully done!

Beverly said...

Oh gosh these are just beautiful!! You certainly did aced the challenge from Pam! The softness I recognize in your color images is still here in the black and whites and is so beautiful! Thanks for accepting the challenge and sharing it here. I love monotones especially for people and street photography. Very heart-warming!!

Rhadonda Sedgwick said...

I think color, B/W, people, no people you are a genius!! Such awesome photos. Love the capture of life!

terriporter said...

When I read Pam's challenge to you, I wondered if you would run with it and I'm so glad you did! Black and white is something I don't do often. I just love color so much. But as Susan said above, black and white seems to let us focus on the feeling of the image, which is wonderful! You have more than met Pam's challenge and now I think we are ALL challenged to do the same!

heyjudephotography said...

Kelly, when I saw Pam's "challenge" to you in a previous post I just knew you would run with it, and go above and beyond! I am a color lover - most of my photos are saturated with color, but I do so love black and white photography and you've captured the feeling in these photos....oh the photo of your parents dancing brings tears to my eyes.. I think we all need challenges like this, to learn and grow. Thank you for sharing Kelly.

Wendy McDonagh-Valentine said...

I honestly think you could take a photo of almost anything in black and white and it will look good. These photos are wonderful. I took a trip to Ireland years ago and shot a few rolls in black and white (pre-digital!!). I was so happy with how they came out and that was with only a disposable camera. : )

~ Wendy

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