Black and White Photography - A Mini-Project

Mood, Inspiration, DEDPXL and True Detective

5 minute read

Being the photography lover that I am, I can't resist trying out an assignment or responding to a prompt when something inspires me.  One of the blogs that I love to read is DEDPXL, run by awesome photographer and educator, Zack Arias.  This month's assignment was Moody B&W.

I love this sort of photography.  Dark, moody, dramatic, emotional, black and white, I really enjoyed trying things out this month.

Firstly, on the way back from a trip to the park, my then 5 year-old daughter, Jorja, was devastated that I wouldn't let her bring home a pile of sticks to leave by the front door.  On arriving home, she took herself off to sob and wallow.  I gave her some time and then approached with my camera, hoping to capture an image of her sadness.  It's natural to just want to photograph the happy moments of our children's lives, but we all know that there's plenty of heartbreak along the way and that's all part of growing up.  

Later on, I wanted to try out an idea at bathtime, with Jorja lying in the bath half submerged in the water.  I thought it would make an interesting moody image.  She really enjoyed doing these as she got to just relax in the water.

I took a walk around Knypersley Reservoir on a cold, foggy Sunday morning.  I didn't head out with the intention of specifically making photographs for this theme, but it was so foggy and atmospheric that it was ideal.  I had my son, Dexter, with me and unfortunately he suddenly decided after about 20 minutes that he was really cold (he probably was!), so I was totally rushed and had to capture what I could while keeping us moving.  C'est la vie.

Then I was editing these photos and thinking about the title sequence for True Detective, which I absolutely love, along with the program.  This is a fairly regular occurrence in my head, over a hundred of those youtube views may well be mine.  Inspired by those images, I thought I'd try out some composites.  Bare branched winter trees seemed the perfect fit.

Finally, I wanted to try a self-portrait idea.  There's an area up at Park Hall Country Park where trees are being felled and cut and the tree roots are torn up creating this cool mini-landscape.  I wanted to represent being stuck in grief or depression, in the darkness of the earth, trying to climb out of it.  So off I went, with the kids in tow, set up my camera, took off my coat and shoes to many of their questions 'Mummy, why have you taken your shoes off?' and feeling more than a little weird, tried to capture what I'd envisaged.