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As we enter the days of mid-winter and it seems the world has lost a lot of color; what a great time to take on black and white photography!    Ian Nichols, our jr. leader, suggested the topic.  Thank you Ian!

Keith did an assignment on Black and White photography January 28 – 24, 2010.  Please hit this link and read his suggestions and see examples he posted.

With digital camera, you really don’t shoot in ‘black and white’ as we did in the days of film.  You can set your camera settings to black and white and the camera will do the processing for you or you can shoot in color and process the picture to black and white in a photo program such as Photoshop.  Most basic photo programs that come with cameras offer the option to change a picture to black and white.

One key in black and white photography is how the light moves from dark to light in the scene.  So, really look around for scenes that have good shapes and textures and distinct light in the scene that makes good distinction between dark and light. 

Again, please read Keith’s post and look at examples in the gallery under weekly assignments from that week in 2010:

Please post your pictures by Monday, February 22.

Any questions?  Please post them by replying to this post.

Have fun!

Weekly Photography Assignments / December 2015 Assignment - "Lights"
« Last post by RebeccaSnell on December 03, 2015, 05:30:31 AM »
We are revisiting an assignment done the week of 15-21 December 2008 photographing "Lights".   Be sure and also read through the results and feedback from that assignment in 2008 to get ideas and pick up on techniques that were used or should have been used.   Here's the link to that results page or you can go under the weekly assignments in the forum and go to page 21 and it's a forum post about 1/2 way down that page.

You can also visit that gallery album under the 2008 weekly assignments in the gallery and see what other shots were submitted.

Also, reply to this post with questions as you are trying this assignment and we can all learn as we go.

Here's the assignment as it was written in 2008:

Rebecca provided the inspiration for this week's assignment.  She loves Christmas, and could probably walk around the city for hours admiring the Christmas lights.  I thought the bright and colorful lights of Christmas would be a wonderful opportunity to practice techniques for photographing lights.  You will probably need to use a tripod or some sort of camera support, or bump up your ISO in order to get a fast enough shutter speed to prevent motion blur.  (Bumping up your ISO too much will result in digital noise in the image, so using a camera support and lower ISO will result in better quality images.) 

You will probably also have to adjust your exposure so that you don't blow out (over expose) the bright lights.  If your scene contains substantial areas of dark, it will fool your meter into "over exposing" the image, and you will need to use negative exposure compensation (or manual exposure).  It may be hard to see the small areas of over-exposure on your histogram, so try using the blinking highlights function on your camera's image display to determine (and compensate) if you are blowing out the highlights.

Remember to frame your image so the lights are arranged in a pleasing composition, and eliminate as much dark "dead space" from the image as possible.

The topic for December is "Lights."    Please upload your image to the "Lights" album in the "Weekly Assignments" category of the gallery no later than midnight, Mountain Time (GMT - 07:00) on Monday, 4 January 2015. 
Cameras, Lenses and Shooting Gear / Camera Recommendations- Christmas 2015
« Last post by keithsnell on November 24, 2015, 07:28:46 AM »
Several people have asked me for camera recommendations.  With many of the camera companies (and retailers) still carrying stock of previous generations cameras that they want to clear out of inventory, this Christmas season will be great time to buy a camera.  There are a tremendous number of good deals out there, but here are a few of my personal favorites:

1.  Overall favorite (considering the price):  Nikon D3200 and two lens kit for $396.95.  This is a tremendous buy.  Although the D3200 doesn't have the wonderful viewfinder or advanced autofocus system of the D7xx series, it is still a great little camera.  The 24 MP sensor is essentially the same as the sensor in the well regarded D7100, and the D3XX series cameras are the smallest and lightest of Nikon's DSLR lineup.  Paired with the 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses, this kit provides tremendous capability for that price.  This is a camera system that will serve a young student well for many, many years.   Nikon D3200 at Adorama Camera

2.  Another amazing deal:  Refurbished D3200 with 18-55mm lens for $279.95!  This is a very capable DSLR for what you would normally pay for a low to mid-range point and shoot!  Don't be afraid to buy refurbished.  These are typically store returns of display items that didn't sell, or customer returns during a 14-day return period.  They are typically low shutter count and "good as new," and include a 90-day warranty so you can return them without hassle if there is something wrong with the camera.  Again at Adorama Camera:

3.  Amazing deal for the budget conscious:  Nikon 1 S2 with 11-27.5mm lens for $149.  This is an amazing price for a camera capable of this type of image quality.  If you are not familiar with Nikon's "1" series of cameras, they use a "1" sensor, which is significantly larger than the sensor in most "point and shoot" or compact cameras.  This enables the "1" series cameras to produce much better quality images in challenging light.  Although the user interface on this model of the Nikon "1" is a little too "dumbed down" for my liking, I can still recommend the camera based on this amazing price.  Nikon 1 S2 at Groupon

4.  Almost all the camera you will ever need:  Refurbished Nikon D7100 for $489.00.  For just a little more than the overall favorite listed at #1, you can step up to Nikon's D7xx series camera.  With a much better viewfinder, much better autofocus, and "enthusiast" level user interface, this is a much better camera than the D3200, and one that you (or the person you are giving this too) would be happy with for a long, long time. Refurbished D7100 at Adorama Camera
People / Re: a few portraits
« Last post by marilyn on August 05, 2012, 03:45:34 PM »
These are beautiful images, Luc!  Thanks so much for sharing this part of the world through your eyes!  I just added a new gallery with photos from our road trip up to Seattle and down the coast with 3 days in northern CA in Trinidad (you could go on hikes and see redwoods and beaches on the same hike), then back home through Nevada, stopping off in Tonapah at the refurbished Mizpah hotel and revisiting the cemetery in Goldfield where Clay had been involved in shooting a film called The Ghosts of Goldfield.  All in all, an amazing trip in terms of variety of scenery (shot WAY too many photos!!) and we loved the cool days and nights away from Vegas!  Hope to see photos of others.  I miss all of my friends in the Spirit of Photography community!
People / Re: a few portraits
« Last post by keithsnell on July 06, 2012, 05:50:30 AM »
Thank you for sharing these Luc.  Your image of the juice merchant is exceptional, and the composition for your image of the priest is outstanding.

I think it is important for us to be able to see other cultures through friendly eyes (instead of the critical eyes of the news media) so thank you very much for sharing these.
People / a few portraits
« Last post by Luc Bigler on July 06, 2012, 02:56:12 AM »
I am starting to look at the photos I took during our last long trip through Asia, Australia and NewZealand and decided to post a few faces on the site. Most of them were taken around a wedding we were invited to in Delhi last November. I was fascinated by the beauty of the turbans of the sikhs and the skills needed to fold the 4 - 5 meters of cloth into such a refined head cover. I sometimes regret that we Europeans/ Westeners have to a large degree lost the sense of dressing nicely for a special occasion. We attended 3 important functions during the 3 days of wedding celebration and we were supposed to wear different (nice) clothes for each one of them.   
Questions, Suggestions and Recommendations / Re: finally back
« Last post by keithsnell on July 03, 2012, 07:00:33 AM »
Hi Michele,

I'd love to hear about some of your projects.  Is your trip to Canada for a photography assignment?  It sounds exciting.

I'm just finishing up the processing for a wedding we photographed.  Not too exciting, but we did get some nice images and I'm sure the couple will be happy.

Have a great trip,

Questions, Suggestions and Recommendations / Re: finally back
« Last post by Michele on July 03, 2012, 04:50:32 AM »
I have finished the last project I had only to have another fall on my lap.  I will be in Canada from Jul. 9 - Aug. 2.  I hope to have a break during that time but who knows?  I will be checking out the site from there as well but only though the iPad.  I will not have a computer on hand.

I have edited soooooo many photos in the last month.  I can't wait to get back to taking some photos for me again.

Questions, Suggestions and Recommendations / Re: finally back
« Last post by keithsnell on June 24, 2012, 05:13:17 PM »
Welcome back Luc.  I'm glad your eyes are doing better.  I've reached the point where I'm going to have to get bifocals in order to see the camera LCD, and so I understand how it can be frustrating when you can't see well enough to evaluate focus.

I appreciate those that have stepped in to keep the site going.  I'm still trying to figure out how I can best balance my priorities.  I know it is going to be a very busy summer for us, but perhaps I will find more time in the Autumn to contribute more to the site.

Questions, Suggestions and Recommendations / finally back
« Last post by Luc Bigler on June 23, 2012, 03:47:09 AM »
Dear friends
I feel bad about my very long absence and silence on the site. It was partially due to my long absence from home and then due to problems with my eyes. I now see well again and can take up photography without strain.
I just want to say that I do appreciate the sharing of pictures and the dialogue, even if at the reduced level that we have just now. I feel I have learned a lot since I joined Spirit of photogrraphy and you all have motivated me to venture into subjects and fields I would never have without this community.I would very much regret if it would not continue and I want to thank those who have pulled it for the last months.
Hope to see many more photos from you all soon and to hear from you
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