Photo Friday: Black & White

I needed to shoot an author photo for an upcoming magazine appearance, and while I had the camera in hand I shot a few extra pics. I decided to throw three photos at you this week to make up for slacking last week.

First, as I walked out of my office, I spotted the Wife in the bedroom resting her eyes. I was only teasing her with the camera, but I decided I liked this shot and I kept it.


She's smiling because she's picturing where she's going to stick the camera

I had my 50mm prime lens for this one, and I was backed against the wall, so I expected to be too close. Instead, it’s just about right for a tight portrait. She was also in darkness; my external SpeedLite lit the scene nicely.

Then I got to business shooting the author photo. I didn’t like the way the 50mm was working out, mostly because I was too close and I still haven’t picked up a remote. I put the 18-55mm kit lens on and fired away, and decided on this one after some cropping.

Bio Photo

Damn, this means I have to write a bio, too

It’s for a noir magazine, so I didn’t see much point in smiling. I thought about darkening it a little, but they print in black & white and I didn’t want it to reproduce too dark on the page.

Finally, our cat Ghost was stalking my feet, so I dropped the camera down to his level and snapped this off:

Ghost Ambushed


I think the camera decided to focus on his right side rather than his face, so I did some fiddling with the clarity slider in Lightroom. I still used the SpeedLite flash for this, but I used a direct flash; in the other two photos I bounced the flash off the ceiling.

I set out to do black & white for the author photo, but ultimately decided to go black & white for all of them. The colors in our house aren’t bad in daylight, but flash plays funny games with them, so the cat pic went B&W to cover most of that up. The Wife’s pic had a pleasant feel in color, but I also liked the softness of the B&W and decided that was the theme for the week. Maybe I’ll post the color, too, for comparison. If she doesn’t kill me first, that is.

I hope B&W isn’t becoming a crutch for me, but for a lot of the interior shots I’ve been doing it just works. I’m going to need to spend some time the rest of this year getting outside and shooting to get some color into the collection.

Update: Okay, I posted the color version of the Wife’s photo. It’s unedited except for a small blemish correction.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

One comment

  1. I don’t think B&W becomes a crutch. It’s a different game. I’ve been playing with B&W since disappearing to Maine, and I’ll continue playing with B&W after returning to Florida. I’m finding there’s a lot to explore there, and sometimes a single setting in processing can make a huge difference with the end result.