Category Archives: Photography

Photographic prints in color, black and white and sepia

Black and White Photography – Mood and Depth

I have shared on a number of my posts, my love of black and white photography. I have always been drawn to it for a variety of reasons, two of which I wanted to talk about today; mood and depth.

Eliminating color from a picture can create an entirely new more interesting image. Key word there is “can”. It doesn’t compliment or help create a visual story on every image, but on certain images it tells a better story to the viewer than leaving it color. Two of the elements that are impacted by using monochrome coloring are mood and depth.

Eliminating the visual busyness of color helps create a mood to a capture. Yes, it is typically more of a somber mood, but this can add flavor to the overall look the photographer is going for.

Black and white can also enhance contrast between visual elements highlighting depth to a particular capture.

I have attached three black and white photographs from my gallery that highlight both of these elements.

In this example, the subject matter presented in black and white helps create a somber rather subdued tone to this capture. The photograph was taken an a cold, cloudy winter day. The barren tree branches reinforce this element of season, but also due to the stark contrast from the background help build depth to the visual experience. It recreates what I felt on the day I took the shot…it was a rather gloomy day and I loved the element of this carriage house being tucked back from the main property.

In this capture the light centered on the walkway creates a brighter and more upbeat mood. That aspect is reinforced as there isn’t any competition with color which allows the shaft of light to take center stage. The element of depth is supported in a more subtle way with this shot. Your eye is pulled to the center of the frame due to the shaft of light, but then meanders around the curve of the walkway back into the picture realizing there is more going on further into the picture under those hanging tree branches. The various shapes and contrasting darkness over lighter backgrounds create this depth.

The black and white aspect to this last capture creates a very neutral mood in that this could have been taken on a bright sunny day or a cloudy day. The biggest impact for this is depth. The dark tree branches frame an ocean coastline and reinforce the point of view as being high above the pounding surf. The foreground of craggy tree branches as the darkest element create the starting point to depth. Your eye is then pulled into the frame across the surf to the bluff across the way…distance and depth.  Thoughts?

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Sharlot Hall Museum – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I did a weekend getaway to one of our favorite Arizona towns, Prescott. We like Prescott as a getaway due to the fact that it is over 5000 feet in elevation and the temperature is a welcome break from the heat of Phoenix. One of the things my wife had researched and wanted to checkout was the Sharlot Hall Museum. On the grounds of the museum were the original structures of the first Governors Mansion for what had just become the realigned territory of Arizona. The other structures on the property also included original log buildings from the mid 1800’s, Victorian homes from a later error and a core museum structure with exhibits. In this blog I wanted to share a few of the shots I took of the log buildings (I keep wanting to say log cabins as most were of that size, but they were referred to as log buildings…whatever…).

The grounds were beautiful and you could wander around at your leisure. Most of the buildings had a docent to answer any questions and all of the different structures were furnished with original period pieces (another blog coming for some of those items).

We finished the tour at the Territorial Rose Garden next to the Governors Mansion. The roses were in full bloom and were beautiful (another blog with some of those shots).


This first shot is the original Governors Mansion built for the newly appointed capital of the realigned Arizona Territory by President Lincoln. I love the architectural details (no big surprise for those of you that follow my work).

Governors Mansion Arizona

Governors Mansion Arizona


 

The second capture is The Ranch House, which was built for the museum in the 1930’s to represent typical ranch houses from the 1800’s.

The Ranch House

The Ranch House


The third photograph is of Fort Misery (note the side of The Ranch House in the background). Fort Misery is the oldest log building associated with the territory of Arizona. Originally built in 1863-1864 along the banks of Granite Creek (two blocks south of the museum). It was disassembled and reassembled on the museum grounds in 1934. A trader from Santa Fe built it as a home and store.

Fort Misery

Fort Misery


The fourth and last shot is the Territorial Rose Garden on the side of the Governor’s Mansion. The territorial rose garden was created and planted in 1948. It was moved to its current location on the north side of the Governors Mansion in 1974. The move was so that the rose garden would be visible from the street aligning the museum grounds.

Territorial Rose Garden

Territorial Rose Garden

Thoughts?


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Forest Sunlight on Moss Covered Boulders – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

The attached photographs are from a hiking trail near North Bend, Washington. The trail is called Lil Si and is just 4.1 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 1300 ft. It’s a beautiful trail through some very dense forest vegetation. When I came across these moss-covered boulders with the sunlight coming through the canopy, the term “photo shoot” sang out to me.


The first shot is the trail itself. Notice the sun shining on the boulder at the top portion of the frame….this was the first indication of what I was about to see up ahead.


For this next shot, I zoomed in on the moss-covered rock from the first picture.


The rest of the moss-covered rock captures were all taken within feet of each other. It was truly a stunning scene.

Thoughts?


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The Saguaro Against The Sky – Featured Art Print

The Saguaro Against The Sky is a color photograph wall art print of a red rock outcropping and a Saguaro Cactus. The setting is Tortilla Flats located east of Phoenix, Arizona in the Superstition Mountains.

The usage of color photography as a wall art print lends itself to many different types of interior design, from contemporary to traditional. I think what dictates the look is the subject matter of the photograph and the manner in which it is framed and matted.


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Grand Canyon Storms – Featured Art Print

Grand Canyon Storms is a color photograph wall art print of the Grand Canyon.

The setting is the South Rim of the Grand Canyon during summer monsoon season. The storms build quickly and create a dramatic visual effect across the wide expanse of the Grand Canyon.

The usage of color photography as a wall art print lends itself to many different types of interior design, from contemporary to traditional. I think what dictates the look is the subject matter of the photograph and the manner in which it is framed and matted.


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Scorpion Gulch – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

I posted excerpts from a photo shoot that I did with my daughter a couple of weeks ago (Heritage Square: Phoenix, Arizona). As a continuation of that day this photo shoot was another stop we made. Scorpion Gulch is in South Mountain Park at the base of the mountain. The minute we came across this, we knew we had to stop. Scorpion Gulch was a store built in 1936 by William Lunsford. He also built his residence right next door. The property is located on Central Ave and is the main road to go into South Mountain Park on your way up to the summit. The buildings were first listed on the historic preservation register in 1990. For more information, click the Scorpion Gulch link to Wikipedia.


The first shot is the store itself. Located to the right of this structure is the remnant of the residence, which is the focus of this photo shoot.

Scorpion Gulch Store built in 1936 at the base of South Mountain Park in Phoenix, Arizona. The owner also built his residence which is located to the right of the store. The property was listed in the Historical Preservation Registery in 1990.

Scorpion Gulch 1


The second picture is the front of the residence. Notice the castle-like turret on the left. I love the stonework and the attention he gave to detail.

Scorpion Gulch 2

Scorpion Gulch 2


The next capture gives you an idea of the condition of the walls and obviously there isn’t a roof any more.

Scorpion Gulch 3

Scorpion Gulch 3


The building stretches back and around giving you unique angles and views. The wall on the right (which is really not in the shot) is the back of the fireplace on the next shot.

Scorpion Gulch 4

Scorpion Gulch 4


I fell in love with this fireplace; can you believe the size of it and the detail of the rock? As an enclosed room, I am sure it was stunning.

Scorpion Gulch 5

Scorpion Gulch 5


This and the rest of the shots are taken from the same spot, just rotating to my right. I am back at the front of the property with the store on my immediate left and the front of the house on my immediate right. The house stretches back on the right and then juts out in front of us creating a large “L”. I would assume this was a type of courtyard in its day. If you look back through the window and doorway combo on the middle right, you can see the fireplace from the prior shot.

Scorpion Gulch 6

Scorpion Gulch 6


This picture gives you a better perspective of just how far back the house goes. On the extreme right of the frame is the base to the castle turret we saw in the capture of the front of the house.

Scorpion Gulch 7

Scorpion Gulch 7


This last one looks back towards the front of the house with a very large and old Saguaro Cactus framing the shot.

Scorpion Gulch 8

Scorpion Gulch 8

Thoughts?


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South Fork Snoqualmie River Hiking – Excerpts from a Photo Shoot

As mentioned a few posts ago, my wife and I headed up to Seattle to visit our youngest daughter and her fiancé. I had talked about the real purpose of the trip, which was to pick out a wedding dress with all of the “yes to the dress” hoopla that entails for the ladies. During their big outing, I thought it would be a great opportunity for the guys to go hiking, which I love to do…especially in in the Pacific Northwest. Over the course of the next few posts, I want to share what I think are some of my best shots from a couple of different hikes.

Before I get into the hiking photos, I do need to share one of the true highlights of that trip. After the ladies had done a day of wedding dress shopping, my daughter had narrowed it down to one particular dress. She didn’t want to give her final “yes” until she had shown it to her dad. So, the day before we came back to Phoenix, her and my wife took me to the bridal shop and had me sit down while she tried it on. When she came out in her dress, tears pooled up in my eyes. In front of me stood our youngest daughter representing our last wedding from our three girls. Needless to say, I was blown away. The dress was made for her (as were the others for her respective sisters). Stunning doesn’t even begin to describe it…..it was one of those life moments that will stick with me forever.  I am a very blessed man.

Thanks for letting me share that, now some hiking shots. These three shots come from a hike near North Bend, Washington, in the Cascade Mountain Range. The hike itself was along the South Fork Snoqualmie River (say that one real fast). All three photos are taken from the same spot, just changing composition and zoom slightly. I would like your feedback on which of the three you like the best and why.

South Fork Snoqualmie River 1

South Fork Snoqualmie River 1

South Fork Snoqualmie River 2

South Fork Snoqualmie River 2

South Fork Snoqualmie River 3

South Fork Snoqualmie River 3

Thoughts?


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