Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Learning New Tricks

by Dotti

You learn something every day if you pay attention.
                                                           ~ Ray LeBlond

Don’t you just love learning new things?

I do and I must tell you that I have thoroughly enjoyed this month’s Dark and Moody theme – which came as something of a surprise to me. You see, even as I’ve oohed and aahed over dark and moody photos created by other photographers, I have to confess that I didn’t have much success trying it on my own photos. To be really honest, I love sharp, colorful photos with a lot of light and backlighting. But after reading Linda’s post a couple of weeks ago, I decided to take a different approach to dark and moody.

In the past, I tried to create this feel through post processing. Given the aforementioned passion for color, it didn’t work very well. But when Linda shared her techniques, I decided to challenge myself to try again. You know – if at first …

My approach is a little different than Linda’s but neither is right nor wrong, we’re just different. For one thing, I don’t underexpose as much as she does. One full stop is about as far as I’ll go and even then, it’s more likely to be a third or two-thirds of a stop. However, here’s what I found worked for me: morning and evening light. {Surprise!} Instead of utilizing backlighting techniques, I would shoot in the same direction that the light was coming from, being careful to keep my shadow out of the frame.

Much to my surprise, the whole thing began to grow on me. I like having a pop of light in my photos with the deep shadows behind and I was surprised how pretty the color orange was when given a dark and moody makeover.

Sometimes I would use presets but just as often, I would do nothing more than auto tone and lens correction along with some shadow darkening in Lightroom. Almost all my editing is done in Lightroom. And usually it doesn’t involve a lot of steps. While I used to spend a lot of time adding textures and other creative touches, I’ve moved to a simplified form of editing. This leaves more time for actually taking pictures and other fun things.

It’s not likely that dark and moody is going to become my calling card but I do like challenging myself to learn something new. As photographers, I think it’s important to do this. This keeps us fresh, it keeps us motivated and it creates wide diversity within our portfolios.

Soooo – how about you? Have you tried dark and moody lately? How did you like the results? I hope you’ve had as much fun with it as I have. It’s always fun to learn something new.

I am still learning.
                                                            ~ Michelangelo


terriporter said...

As you know, you and I have discussed the "dark and moody" subject before. Like you, I've always been a fan of bright and light but seeing the dark and moody images this month, both here on the blog and in our Flickr gallery, I am inspired to give this look a try. You're right, trying something new is always a good thing and helps us grow in our craft as well as being just plain fun! Your photos are beautiful! Those orange coneflowers make my heart sing!

kelly said...

oh these are so beautiful dotti! i love that you have enjoyed playing with this month's theme and i love how everyone has interpreted it a little differently, each according to her own sensibility. it's just awesome.

kybarb said...

Absolutely gorgeous dark and moody photos Dotti! I really need to try it!

Sarah Huizenga said...

I enjoy dark and moody when it helps tell a story, and I do enjoy the look, but I am like you I love color and light, or white and light.

AFishGirl said...

these are stunning, Dotti, stunning!

Post a Comment

Thank you for sharing part of your day with us. If for any reason you are unable to leave a comment here on this post, please leave your comment on our Facebook page or in our Flickr discussion group. We love hearing from you!

© Focusing On Life