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Daily Shoot #588: Monochrome

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“Make a monochrome photograph today. Keep in mind that monochrome doesn’t have to mean black and white.”

ds588monochromePretend you see her ghost, I asked.

I did keep in mind that today’s photo did not have to be black and white, and in the morning I toyed around with the various lens effect options my camera has, but nothing struck my fancy.  All the colors seemed too gauche.

I didn’t really find a subject until the end of my day, when I made it to my parent’s home and was sitting out in the gazebo with them.  The way my mother looked as she sat in her chair, a pleasant smile on her face, a lush backdrop made up of the plants she tended.

Ironically, you don’t see any of that here.  I “underpainted” out the background, messed around gently with the direction of the light source, and then added a kind of glowing effect.

Every person I’ve worked with has asked me the same questions: “What am I supposed to be doing? How should I look?” And I’ve found that saying, “Look surprised!” doesn’t generally provoke an authentic look of surprise.  However, asking them to think about something does the trick.  In this instance I did, in fact, ask my mother to look for a ghost, one that she and I both know and love and miss (my beloved, late dog).  There’s a bittersweet set to her eyes and smile that is both sad and beautiful.  I think the wrinkles around her eyes only emphasize my mother’s beauty, speaking of wisdom earned through the trials of many years.

I feel like every photographer has a pic that looks something like this, with a messy background and a hard light on their subject’s face.  I’m not some kind of exception, so here is mine.

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