Friday, April 3, 2009

Feature Friday: Capturing Moods

I am by no means a photography expert. I like to think of myself as Photoshop expert, and had planned on doing a photoshop tutorial. BUT, my husband took my laptop (and my photoshop) with him on a two month internship. So I have no photoshop to work with right now.

So instead, I'm gonna paraphrase a section from one of my favorite books: The Joy of Digital Photography, by Jeff Wignall. It's not a super technical book, but it's FABULOUS for giving me ideas of new things to try.

So here's what I learned about capturing moods from him:

- Since people's facial expressions are the most obvious indicators of mood, the best way to emphasize mood is to zoom in and fill the frame with only the face.
- Focus on the eyes, as they are the window to the soul.
- Shallow depth of field (low f stop) will also help increase the sense of mood by drawing more attention to the expression.

- That being said, don't underestimate the importance of body language!

- Direct quote: "Lighting, in both color and quality, plays an important role in establishing mood. Bright, warm, early morning sun lends warmth and well-being while the cool tones of an overcast day instills melancholy."

-Use the setting to your advantage. Choose carefully how much of the setting you include in the frame. Another direct quote: "By including lots of space around your teenage daughter sitting alone on a rock jetty, you heighten her brooding. By moving in tightly on a granddaughter whispering a secret to her grandfather, but still showing the rocking chair they're nestled in, you use the chair to enhance the intimate and trusting mood of that moment. Would a chaise lounge or a bar stool evoke emotions as powerful as a rocking chair? Unlikely."

Well, I hope that gives you something to contemplate in your next shoot! And please feel free to CC any of my photos here.


Candace said...

Thanks for posting that! I really love the second picture. Great bokeh in the background!

Mindy said...

Great thoughts, Charlotte! And I love your pictures (as always)! I love the bokeh in the second one too. I'll have to look for that book... it sounds like a good one.

Erin Wageman said...

Thanks for the great ideas! I love the close up of the first shot, your kids are really cute!

Brittney said...

Great thoughts! I especially enjoyed the part about using environment to add to the theme of the picture.

Rachel H. said...

This was a great post! Thank you so much for doing this. You really did a super job!