2018 photography review, may

May is the month of my youngest sister’s birthday. Within memory, it is also the month of promised freedom…freedom from winter’s bone-chilling cold and freedom to escape the confines of home and school as jump ropes, marbles, chalk, and baseballs emerged from dark musty closets. Its promise was the promise of summer which held the yearning for freedom from school; and thus, the freedom to swim in the Yampa River, to ride the train to Steamboat Springs, to lose myself in a stack of library books, and to explore a backyard that had no fence barriers.

The photo study project during last May was inspired by my initial reading of Bruce Percy’s ebook, “The Art of Tonal Adjustment.” and Ted Forbes’ educational video in which he reviewed low angle photography.

What childhood memories does May awaken for you? Over the past year have you been inspired by a blogger, a photographer, a writer?

I am grateful for all of those who, in a role of teacher–intentional and unintentional, were an inspiration and within the listening and processing of their worldview a new window to my world opened. One window was opened this morning with this very interesting educational video about frames of reference which I will need to replay a number of times in order ease my mental fog.

2018 photography review, march

March is that time of year when the promise of spring begins to be seen in the subtle transitions of yellowish-brown to green, tree buds, bicyclist, and clothing. With the sounds of rivulets created by melted ice and snow, my soul also begins to thaw.

The photo study project for this month included:

rhythm & tone

rule of space

abstract photography

While I understand that tone and rhythm are found with repeating patterns, I still struggle with the transition of these elements from music to photography. Oh well….maybe one day there will a moment of enlightenment in the early morning hours or during a morning shower.

When you look back to March, did you find a theme or a project that guided your photography?

a photo study: tone

toneweb
Nikon D750   f/4.5   1/320s   85mm   100 ISO

This week’s photo study is inspired by my initial reading of Bruce Percy’s ebook, “The Art of Tonal Adjustment.”  Thus far into this photo study project, the majority of discussions about composition generally concentrate on the basics of photography; such as, the rule-of-thirds, rule of odds, leading lines, the color red, and so on.  Tone, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to be a popular subject and one that has a variance of definitions. For example:

Hue is the color. Saturation is the purity/intensity of the color. Tone is the degree of lightness and darkness.

blossom32web
Nikon D750     f/4.5    1/160   85mm   100 ISO

Tone is probably the most intangible element of composition. Tone may consist of shadings from white-to-gray-to-black, or it may consist of darks against lights with little or no grays. The use of dark areas against light areas is a common method of adding the feeling of a third dimension to a two-dimensional black-and-white picture. The interaction of light against dark shades in varying degrees helps to set the mood of a composition. 

blossom3desatweb
Nikon D750     f/4.5    1/160   85mm   100 ISO

A picture consisting of dark or somber shades conveys mystery, intrigue, or sadness. When the tones are mostly light and airy, the picture portrays lightness, joy, or airiness.

“Tonal range” is another way of saying what the difference is between the darkest and the lightest parts of a picture.

waterabstract-15webbnw
Nikon D750    f/4.5   1/4,000    85mm   800 ISO

“Tonal contrast” is created when light tones and dark tones lie alongside each other. In any photograph it is natural for the eye to go straight to the highlights and then move about the image, taking in the details. 

tone-1web
Nikon D750   f/4.5   1/320s   85mm   100 ISO

Tonal contrast is the basis of many successful black and white images. If you need help to see the tones in your color photos an easy way to do so is to reduce the color saturation to zero. It is easier to see tonal contrast in black and white images because there is no color to distract your eye from the brightness values within the photo. It is important to note that reducing the color saturation to zero is usually not the best way to convert a color image to monochrome.

tone-2web
Nikon D750   f/4.5   1/320s   85mm   100 ISO

Throughout my inital research, I found Bruce Percey’s articles about tone to be an invaluable read.  Hope you enjoy.  

https://www.brucepercy.co.uk/blog/?category=Tonal+Relationships

How do you understand and demonstrate tone within your photographs?