one day at a time

day 18: making the best of it

making the best of it

making the best of it © Verena Fischer 2011

I was in a fairly monochrome mood yesterday when my camera drove me out of my warm and comfortable flat. It was a rainy day, even a bit stormy in the morning and I went out when the light was already fading. Monochrome days, i.e. days that are all grey in grey, are the best for black and white photography. Already before going out I changed the colour settings of my camera to monochrome and I was not intending to change it back. Obviously, when you’re shooting in RAW it doesn’t make a difference for the final file whether you’re shooting monochrome or in colour mode. However, at least you can see the pictures in black and white on the internal screen which can give you an idea whether your picture will look good in black and white or not, and keep you in the monochrome mood.

Keeping the mood is in my opinion one of the most important things, since it is what guides your eye. If you’re in a bad mood you’re not very likely to take pictures of smiling people. Similarly if you see colours everywhere then you’re definitely not in the monochrome mood that it needs to take great black and white pictures.

Yesterday I found it a bit difficult to stay in this mood, since I brought myself into a situation that could only make me laugh out loud. Following my new practice of seeing my camera as the best excuse to be in places where I’m not supposed to be I walked straight into an open building and took a couple of pictures. Then I realised that there was a fairly interesting patio. So, I went through the next door to go outside into this patio to take pictures there. What I didn’t realise was that the door had locked itself automatically when it shut behind me and a key was needed to get back into the house. However, I needed to go through the house to get back out onto the street. I checked the doors to the side and back buildings, but they were also locked. In the end I actually had to climb over a fence to get outside, how ridiculous! At least I didn’t shut myself into a patio that was all surrounded by buildings or my little mistake could have turned into a major wait.

In my monochrome mood from before this incident I had planned to take pictures of empty spaces that are normally crowded. I did that too, but I guess my little fence climbing adventure fits way better to the happy childhood moment I witnessed by chance. These kids were also making the best of the rainy weather.

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14 responses

  1. Good action shot – thanks

    August 30, 2011 at 3:18 pm

  2. Looks like a lot of fun, doesn’t it?! A wonderful capture!
    (Hahaha… glad to hear you made it back out again… sounded a bit tense for a moment or two!) :)

    August 30, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    • Hehe, yeah, I found it funny though, not particularly tense, just a bit ironic. Just the rain was missing for it to be really a moment where life makes fun of you.

      August 31, 2011 at 12:05 pm

  3. “Seeing my camera as the best excuse to be in places where I’m not supposed to be”

    This is an pretty inspiring idea. After being a bit more independent and traveling this summer, I’m on the brink of being able to do just that. That being said this is quite the inspiring photo when paired with your idea. Blogs like these make me feel like I’m learning something on WordPress. Thanks :)

    August 30, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    • I’m always happy when I can inspire someone! If you have the opportunity to go around with your camera while you travel, that’s just a fantastic opportunity to try it out. Let me know how it goes!

      August 31, 2011 at 12:03 pm

  4. An interesting story with a good photo. I like the “shower” from the tent.
    rob

    August 30, 2011 at 5:23 pm

  5. Love this story and what a great shot! Thanks again for the inspiration to adventure out into the world!

    August 30, 2011 at 11:04 pm

  6. It’s a lovely moment. Caught exactly at the decisive moment – to use the Cartier-Bresson’s expression. The way the boy to the right holds his hands really makes the picture for my – of course in addition to the shower. However I believe the expression could have been even stronger with a little bit of additional post-production (I mention this since we talked about it in my blog). I would particularly work to enhance local contrast a couple of places. But that is only my opinion…

    August 31, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    • This photo was one of the few action shots that worked for me. Normally I just happen to be far from the ideal camera settings when something like this happens to jump in front of my camera. This time it worked well although it was already getting dark that night. I agree with you on the post-production. It was a quick and sloppy job since I’m very busy these days. However, I happened to have a few moments and worked on the local contrast and the brightness a bit here and there. I think now it’s much more powerful. Thanks for the nice and helpful comment!

      September 2, 2011 at 3:06 pm

  7. Well done. I love B&W photography, and did quite a bit back in the days of film and dark rooms. Haven’t had so much luck though, with digital.

    September 15, 2011 at 2:16 am

    • Thanks! I really like B&W, but since I shoot RAW I always get the colour images and often when I see the colours I want to keep them.

      September 15, 2011 at 8:28 am

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