Posts Tagged ‘color


our perceptions of people in pictures

Today I’m posting three more images from my recent fashion shoot with Nicole. If you missed the post from June 15th, you can see it at Beauty Lighting.  If you go back and forth between the beauty shots and these images, the look is very different – not just because Nicky’s hair is pulled back in the beauty images. The lighting makes a huge difference in how we perceive a portrait image, as do many other aspects of the picture. I believe there’s lots of subconscious stuff going on as we view photographs.  The colors, the pose and expression, the closeness to the subject and our own experiences and memory of people we’ve seen in real life, movies, etc. all impact how we respond to an image.

Here’s an experiment. Choose one of the images in this post. Spend some time looking at it. Try to imagine what the subject – Nicole – is like. What is her personality? How does her voice sound?  How old is she? What are her interests? What are her dreams? I’m guessing you can conjure up a pretty full and detailed description of Nicole in your imagination. Now look at one of the images from the June 15th post. Does your perception of Nicole from the beauty image differ from how you imagine her after looking at the first photograph? How does it differ?

Let me know how this experiment turns out for you!


ballet dancer

Recently, I had the pleasure of photographing a lovely ballet dancer and soon-to-be college freshman.  She had tons of wonderful clothes that she brought along, but we were only able to shoot a small number of outfits. We plan another shoot and will do some ballet poses then. As always your comments or questions are welcome!




It’s been a horrible winter in New England.  Everyone (especially me) is getting cranky. I needed to have some fun.  In a photography magazine, I’d seen some neat images of slinkies, so off to the toy store I went.

In this shoot, I really was just having fun.  The colors and shapes took over. Childhood memories came back. The colorful new plastic slinkies may be even better than the old metal ones I grew up with – who knows? 

There’s more snow, sleet, ran and cold today and tomorrow. But these images brought me a bit of joy and the faith that Spring will eventually come. And I hope they’ll bring you the same joy and faith as well!


my youngest collector

At my photography exhibit in the Fall, my images of marbles were among the most popular photographs.  One of my friends brought his 7-year-old daughter to see the show and she fell in love with this image.  So Daddy bought the framed print for her as a surprise Christmas gift.  I decided to give her the actual marble that is featured in the center of the image, a beautifully made piece by a talented glass artist.

Here’s a note received today from Dad:

I hope you had a great Christmas.  Ours was lots of fun, and your photo was a huge hit.  She was so intrigued by its shape before she opened it, having forgotten all about it.  Then she was overjoyed by it. Your very thoughtful inclusion of the actual marble made it extra special.  When I was turning off her lights Christmas night to put her to bed, her final comment on the big day was “ Daddy, thank you for the picture from Blake – I love it!”  Thanks, Blake, for brightening our Christmas with your great art.

Wow, this feels great on many levels.  It’s a real rush – and very humbling – for me to have people buy my work and to imagine them looking at the images hanging on their walls. This adorable and precious little girl is my youngest collector.


the headshot – color, black and white and posterized

Last week, I had the privilege of shooting again with our friend, Ainsley.  Those of you who saw my photography exhibit in the Fall will recognize her – she actually appeared in 4 images in the exhibit.  This time, we shot a wide variety of pictures, but I wanted to focus on just three – or more accurately three versions of one image.  The first one, above, is a photograph that appealed to me for several reasons – the subtle colors, the “Mona Lisa” smile and the flattering lighting, mostly coming from above and centered.  See the catchlights in the eyes – you can always tell a lot about the lighting setup from the catchlights. We were trying for a simple, classic look in this shot.

But – what else could we do with this image? Well, immediately I thought of black and white.

Usually, my black and white images will be a bit darker and have more contrast. For this headshot, I kept the tones fairly bright, with the idea that Ainsley would be luminous and her skin would be smooth and pale.  There are, of course lots of choices one faces when editing an image in Photoshop – some are a matter of taste. It’s always a good idea to ask: what are we trying to accomplish with this picture – and how do we get there?

The last version is a posterized version. Think: Peter Max.  These images are definitely not to everyone’s taste. I’m drawn to this style because the image is reduced to its core components and has a graphical quality that can be quite striking.  This posterized effect in available in Photoshop as an “artistic” filter called cutout. 

Have a close look at all three versions.  Try to respond to each one individually.  Does it hold your attention?  Then think about which one of the three is your favorite.  I’d love to hear from you, either with a comment on the blog or an email.  As always, thanks for reading my blog!