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Maiden post

18 | It is Immaculate Conception day!

I was arranging my gears and preparing to take photos for the mass in memory of the death anniversary of my late mother. I was in one room when I saw this little figurine on our family altar. The morning sun seeping through the thin white curtain created a dramatic lighting to this half statue of the Virgin Mary. At once, the scene captivated and caused my creative juices to trickle once more after having been glued on my work desk for weeks, and with very little chance to do creative photography.

Thinking of my shot for black and white or high key, I took several shots to get the proper exposure until I finally got the most ideal one. I realized that a high key shot just did not work since I had a dark background. The faded colors of the figurine, particularly the pink rose, would not augur well for a colored photo, so the only option was pure black and white or a duo tone. Whichever, I wanted the light and shadows to be defined so I lifted the curtain and repositioned this figurine so that the sunlight would directly fall on the rose, and just enough to define the profile. Shooting this proved to be a little more difficult than expected. Having no tripod at hand, I needed to shoot fast, be able to capture the light and meter correctly. I took several shots and was lucky enough to have one without any camera shake.

With patience and a lot of clicks would definitely test one’s ability to capture this moment you know will not happen again (or at least not in the near future). Being open with possibilities on simple subjects like this proves something that there is beauty in everything around us—only only if we see them. The white wall that served as a background looked drab, but the lighting mattered most, which, in fact, is the real crux of photography.

There are very few times that I tried my hand on still photography, simply because it requires a lot of patience in physical arrangement and setting up the lighting. Mostly, I did Still Photography by capturing objects in their natural conditions rather than in a “set up.” Thus, whenever I do this, I remind myself, it is not just getting a shot of an inanimate object but also trying to find out its “psyche.” Since it is a religious image, it should be “heavenly” and the “blessing” that comes from the sunlight gives you this ability to transform a relatively “dull” and mundane object into a work of art.

Lastly, since this is my maiden post for this photo blog, which I have been conceptualizing and thinking of over the past two years, I find it fitting for the Our Lady to grace and bless this blog, as I impart my thoughts on photography, as well as share the stories behind my black and white photos.

Thank you for reading this, and hope you come back!


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MONO-LOGUES--Bereft of colors, black and white photos amaze me as a photography hobbyist. Concepts of highlight and shadow detail, image contrast, exposure latitude and tonal range are all best understood through the black-and-white images.

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