Since I received an email from B&H Photo Video in New York - my place for purchasing cameras, computers, photo and digital paper and inks, and scanners - I have been pouring over photographs that would be suitable entrants for the "B&H Depth of Field Challenge" categories. I needed to make sure that I had permission of the subjects before I submitted entries. Trying to decide to submit color or black and white had to be considered as well, since many of the sponsors lean heavily toward color images.
Although my tendency is to try to second guess what judges may like, in a couple of categories I threw caution to the wind, as it were, because second guessing is nearly impossible.
The categories are: Portrait, Wedding Day, Commercial/Editorial, Shot on Film, Group Portrait, Aerial Wedding, Creative Lighting, and Album Cover. I entered the first five categories. Only one photograph per category was allowed.
Since nearly every photograph I make - from people to animals to plants to landscapes - are portraits, I could have gone in any direction. But I chose people. Trying to offer a combination of spontaneous, classic portraiture and the choice of black and white or color made it challenging. I like the two images of Travis below.
The image of "Zorba" at the door of his restaurant on Crete is a study in spontaneity.
But this photo of Jessica is evocative on several levels, so I chose it for the "Portrait" category.
One of the group photos from Kara and Eero's wedding combined both formality and fun, so it seemed like a good entry for the "Wedding Day" category.
I was choosing between Ashley and Buf for the "Commercial/Editorial" category.
Buf is very photogenic and a terrific black and white subject, but he was making something rather than advertising something, so I went with Ashley, modeling work at Taos Fiber Arts.
The next category "Shot on Film" took me back to a photograph I made with a Mamiya 1 3/4 x 2 1/4 format camera. It was my first foray into any format camera larger than 35 mm, and it was before I began using Ilford HP 400 film, which I used for all my later portraits prior to digital photography. This image was shot using Kodak Plus X Pan. It was developed using the Sprint Developer offered at the Santa Fe Community College dark room. Being a filmmaker himself, Walter Chappell was a compelling subject.
There were many possible entrants for the "Group Portrait" category. The suggestion for the category was "we want to see those pre-COVID (or masked and vaxxed) group portraits featuring two or more subjects". I have always been fond of this photograph of Paloma and Fred dancing at a Taos restaurant.
But the word "subject" in the challenge instructions was the key. It didn't say people. I would love to see the reaction to my "Group Portrait" entry - good, bad, or dumfounded. At least it might make someone smile.
Thanks to Victoria, Ann M., Barbara F. R., Paule, Jean & Sam, Steve, Catherine and Ingrid for commenting this week. To hear from so many who were born before or during World War II, or had family members deeply involved was enlightening. In the same vein, many stories are already emerging from Ukraine and Russia, as well as numerous bordering countries. Nice to see Arnold Schwarzenegger's Twitter post, primarily addressed to the Russian and Ukrainian people in such a beautiful and respectful way this week.
until next Monday,
a passion for the image©