Black and White Photography
By Ellen Britt
Black and White Floral Photo Art
I am super excited to start my exploration into black and white floral art. I was inspired by so many wonderful photographers but as always, my favorite is my dad who has done some beautiful black and white florals both using our dark room as well as digitally. However, these floral shots were photographed by me against a hand painted background created by my mom to give some texture to the background if wanted. However, for most of the photos taken I darkened the background by increasing the contrast digitally using Photoshop. It was simply my preference to have a highly contrasting photo with the white against the black. For some of the hydrangeas toned with a sepia brown I chose to show a hint of the texture in the background to give a bit of an old-fashioned feel.
Also, for this series I wanted to keep the image as sharp as possible from the foreground to the background of the flower. To make this happen I set the camera to F16 and moved the flower away from the background. The advantage of distancing the flower from the background is that it not only softened the background, but it also made sure that shadows were not taking away from the portrait of the flower. Perhaps in the future it would be fun to incorporate the shadow – after all it’s all about experimenting.
As I am still learning I won’t get all technical but I will say the flowers were shot using studio lighting and not natural light. The lights used were White Lightening 1600 with a total of three lights being used. Extra attention was given to the “hair light” to add a bit of brightness to the edge or top of the flower. It’s all about that dramatic look.
By Ellen Britt at ellenbrittcreates.com
Experiments With Color Photography
It’s All About the Retro Look !!
Totally trying out something a bit different while using some of the same flowers from my black and white series posted above. For these photos however I used a whiteish background and changed the setting on the camera. I used an ISO of 100 at F11. Again, these were photographed using a Nikon DX3 and all images were shot in RAW format. After photographing the images, they were brought into Photoshop, and I used vintage camera filters and film frames from Analog Efex Pro 4. The idea was to create an old-fashioned effect similar to the first color photos. Did you know that the first color photograph was taken by James Clerk Maxwell in 1861? His photo was of a tartan ribbon using red, blue and yellow filters. (by Ellen Britt at ellenbrittcreates.com)
Impressions of the Past – A Photo Series
Its All About the Past
This series is called Impressions of the Past and is a black and white digital project drawing on the feel of traditional wet plate photography. The photos were taken during a walk along a dyke in rural Vancouver. The wet plate was first developed in 1851 where a glass plate was coated with with a special chemical that while still wet was exposed in the camera. After the photo was taken it was then developed and the plate became a negative where prints could be created. The final effect is blurred, often scratched and includes light leaks. All these imperfections are part of the charm. But because we live in a modern age I used the Apple 12 Pro Max iPhone and Photoshop. Gotta love technology ! (by Ellen Britt at ellenbrittcreates.com)
Experiments in the Photo Dark Room
For my second series titled Shadows, I am working on photograms using our darkroom. All these are done using traditional photographic techniques without the help of digital software. For the works below I exposed leaves and flowers from our garden using light sensitive paper and our enlarger. My dad supervised the preparation of the developer, stop bath and fix. He also helped with making a test print to be sure everything worked. Once ready the flowers and leaves were placed on the paper, exposed and I then I manually put the paper through the various baths. The timing had to be perfect. After the prints were done they went through a final water bath for at least an hour. It was fun but a bit messy!! A lab coat is a must for sure!
By Ellen Britt at ellenbrittcreates.com
Summer Walk at the Bird Sanctuary
These photos are taken at George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary. The scenery is spectacular and you can even feed the birds. It has to be one of the most beautiful places in the world and was a perfect day for a walk and photos! These photos were taken using the Apple 12 Pro Max using the wide angle and panorama settings.
Photo On Display
Just for fun I did a digital mock up of what one of my panoramas would look like if printed. This Panorama was titled Where the Water Meets The Land and was taken at the George Reifel Bird Sanctuary about 1 hour from my home. The method used to take the photo was an iPhone Pro Max back triple camera 5.1 mm f/1.6. Totally in love with the dramatic look of panoramas!!
by Ellen Britt at ellenbrittcreates.com
Conceptual Art by Ellen Britt
This is my first venture into conceptual art. Conceptual art first started in 1960 and slowly built-up momentum. When doing a concept art piece, the idea is the most important part of the artwork. This means it is the idea more than the finished piece that is important. Conceptual art can be of almost anything and the materials used are those at hand. In my case it was a ball and the sky with the concept being that of happiness when on vacation whether it is in your own backyard or somewhere exotic far from home. No matter where you are the sky is shared by all and the simple act of enjoying a game of ball is something that can bridge social and economic backgrounds. If you look closely, you will notice that the ball is slightly deflated giving it a look of well-loved play. I sometimes think I can see the hint of a well-placed dimple in that classic smile. I am sure we can all relate to the beach ball slowly losing its air, but not losing its fun!
I plan to experiment further with conceptual art as it is a fun departure from visual art which has been my direction so far. For me the world is starting to open revealing all the many exciting learning and experimenting adventures.
By Ellen Britt