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February 20, 2009

Gotcha Magic in Black and White

The newest theme of my bestest, most favorite, photography blog (We Picture {this}) is "Black and White" this month. 

When I saw the theme, I had the highest hopes of shooting some fresh new photos and my thoughts went immediately to my friend Shana's photograph of her neice.  I'd been wanting to try to duplicate this amazing photo from the very first moment I saw it and now was my big chance!  
 Gwen sqinting 
Well, we set up the camera and got all ready for the big fancy photo shoot but the grass was wet and the lens was too short and the sun was in Gwen's eyes. The result was hardly what I hoped for but at least it really made us laugh!   Overall, not quite what I had in mind!  So we scrapped that idea and I spent the next hour or two thinking about the qualities of a good Black and White photograph.

Black and White photos have to tell an important story without the benefit of color.  The content has to stand alone and the other patterns and textures have to work in harmony with the main theme of the photo.  Otherwise, nothing stands out and the photo falls flat.  Then I realized exactly what I wanted to feature this month! 

Here are the Gotcha Day photos of Gwen and Maddy. 

Black and white gotcha day-000001   
(Click image for a larger view)

  • Camera: Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XT
  • Mode: Auto

I'm not going to go into much extra technical detail of the photographs (email me if you want it) because I don't really think it's important since I shot (as usual) in "auto" mode. 

The first photo is Daddy and Gwen.  It was taken just two or three hours after "Gotcha" when we were back at the hotel and Gwenny was finally awake from her nap.  She was inconsolable when we first met her and the Orphanage Director assured us (via a translator) that she was a very happy little girl.  We smiled and nodded politely but weren't sure we really believed it because Gwen cried miserably for the first two hours in our arms before falling into a coma-like sleep on the bus back to the hotel.  But when she woke up in our hotel room, she had the most beautiful smile and this little darling has been smiling like this for the last 3.5 years!

The second photo is Madeline's Gotcha photo.  They carried her into the room and put her in Daddy's arms and this photo captured that exact moment!    She didn't cry but we can look back at this photo and see that she was completely overwhelmed!  Maddy is NOT comfortable in new situations but she's always dignified and she did her best to live up to this on Gotcha Day.  Such a little trooper, my little MaddyMoonCake!  

Has anyone noticed that Daddy is wearing the same shirt for both Gotcha Days?  We didn't plan it this way but it worked out this way.   Just a fluke.  But it makes these two photos work nicely together, huh! 

I just love these photos!  To me, they're every bit as significant as Delivery Room photos but without the horror of looking at my IV bloated face and stretch marks.    Two very amazing days that look as rich and colorful in black and white as they did in full living color on the day we lived them! 



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