Flash of Red February 2018 Begins in 4 Days!

posted January 28th, 2018
Flash of Red Is About to Begin!

February is a great month to dive into black and white photography. With only 28 days to fill, it’s easy to break down the weeks into manageable themes. For the past few years we’ve incorporated a book study into our black and white challenge. I felt the need to change things up a bit this year- us creative types need variety to keep our art fresh! So rather than approaching the month from a technical viewpoint this year, we’ll be looking at the art of monochrome from an artistic perspective. I’ll post some links to on-line articles which discuss the elements of composition and design to give you some pointers on bettering your photos overall and each week’s “assignments” will direct to putting them into practice in your black and white shots. You’ll probably notice that some of the articles overlap and vary on some of the details- but that is the nature of trying to make something objective out of a subjective medium.

With all of that in mind, I decided to take a leap of faith in myself this year and I’m pleased to announce I put together a book which is now available as a Kindle download if you’re interested. It looks at black and white photography through the elements of composition and design with my own photos as an illustration as to what they look like in black and white. I have also included some of my thoughts on when black and white is better than color and what to look for when shooting in black and white. If it wasn’t for the 365 community and your enthusiastic support of me and this “annual” challenge (6 years now!), The Art of Seeing in Black and White by Ann H. LeFevre (!) never would have happened. If you are so inclined here is the link:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0798X7Y98

What’s in store for the month ahead?
Feb 1-4 Using High Key or Low Key Lighting in Black and White
Feb 5-11 Using Compositional Elements in Black and White (your choice of emphasis)
Feb 12-18 Studying and Emphasizing the Rule of Thirds or Golden Triangle in your photo to Tell a Story
Feb 14 Adding Selective Color in for fun (always optional)
Feb 19-25 Using Compositional Elements in Black and White (your choice of emphasis)
Feb 26-28 Using Muted Light (non-extreme with emphasis on mid-tones) in Black and White
Feb 28 Have some fun by taking your favorites shots from the month and put them into a photo orb at funny.pho.to/globe/ (this is optional too)

I’ve structured the month so that at end when you view your calendar you should see some interesting patterns. We’ll see…!

So for beginners you might want to read these articles:

Low Light Photography Tips
https://photographylife.com/low-light-digital-photography-tips

Lighting Conditions
http://www.dptips-central.com/lighting-conditions.html

If you’re reading my book, the Introduction, Seeing in Black and White in a World of Color, and For the Love of Light will go along nicely with the above articles.

During our first four days we’ll be concentrating on extreme lighting- that is when the light source is either high key or low key. When there is a lot of light or light sources in the picture we call it high key. When there is not a lot of light or almost no sources of light we call it low key. Black and white photography responds to these types of lighting in very creative ways. Over the next few days, choose one or the other of these lighting extremes and experiment with them artistically. Some examples are: sunlight streaming through a window, midday, a room with a small, single light, or outdoors an hour or more after sundown. Pay close attention to what these types of lighting conditions do to your subject. (Low lighting will require a steady hand- you may want to use your tripod if you have one.)

So, off we go! Enjoy your Black and White journey all!
Ann LeFevre @Olivetreeann

If you do want a more technical and thorough approach to Black and White photography, I highly recommend The Complete Guide to Black and White Photography by Michael Freeman (c. 2010 Lark Books, Ashville, N. C., 28801, ISBN #13:978-1-60059-523-3). It covers every technical aspect of black and white from f/stops to processing.
posted January 28th, 2018
@tanithrose oops typo above- will be corrected by next week!
posted January 28th, 2018
Thanks so much Ann
posted January 28th, 2018
Thanks Ann for guiding us on this b&w journey! :)
posted January 28th, 2018
Thanks Ann, really looking forward to doing Flash of Red again. You really outdo yourself getting it all set up. I shall definitely have a look at your book.
posted January 28th, 2018
Woohooo! Thank you so much Ann :D
posted January 28th, 2018
I’m in, but not in you tagged list. I look forward to this each year.
posted January 28th, 2018
Thank you Ann, I'm looking forward to it!
posted January 28th, 2018
Wow congrats on your 1st book Ann, and thanks for putting so much work into this month's challenge, I really enjoy it every year!
posted January 28th, 2018
Congratulations on your first book. You are great!
posted January 28th, 2018
@grammyn @novab @m2016 @inthecloud5 @radiogirl @daisymiller @salza @fbailey

Thank you all for your well-wishes. For those of you who were not tagged before, just putting all the tags in here so that you know you're now on "the list".
posted January 29th, 2018
Joined in last year; very challenging but learned so much. Please include me in this years list. You have done an amazing job organizing this.
posted January 29th, 2018
Thank you, Ann, for organizing this again. I joined it the past two years and it’s one of my favorite challenges. PleSe include me in this year’s list. Thanks!
posted January 29th, 2018
@amyk @cristinaledesma33
So glad you're joining in! And thanks so much for your kind words.
posted January 29th, 2018
you forgot me. :-) not that i need to be tagged.
posted January 29th, 2018
@summerfield Not forgotten- I just started the list from the previous post using whoever left a comment. You're on there now!
posted January 29th, 2018
@olivetreeann
Wow, Ann I am so impressed that you put together a book. Well done. I shall go and check it out.
I am looking forward to the different approach this year, you are right, we do need to change things up sometimes!
posted January 29th, 2018
Could you please tag me so I get the reminders please. Thank you for doing this
posted January 30th, 2018
@dibzgreasley Thanks Debs! Thanks for the feedback and the support!
@adi314 Will do Adi! Thanks for joining in.
posted January 30th, 2018
Thank you Ann. I just grabbed a Kindle copy of your book. I love black and white photos so I'm joining in so that I have to grab the camera daily and get back to working on my learning curve!
posted January 30th, 2018
Could you please add me? Thanks!
posted January 30th, 2018
.... and me please?
posted January 31st, 2018
@ncnewfiegirl Thank you so much Josie!! You made my day!

@transatlantic99 @suesmith

Thank you all- I've added you on- one more day and we start!
posted January 31st, 2018
Count me in and tag me too please, I enjoyed last year's FoR.
posted January 31st, 2018
@golftragic Will do Marnie!
posted January 31st, 2018
Ok. Count me in. I'll see what I can do.
posted February 1st, 2018
Can you add me pse?
posted February 1st, 2018
@henrir Will do Henri!
@fbailey I already have you listed. (o:
posted February 1st, 2018
@olivetreeann Thanks Ann. Have downloaded your Kindle book and will read with interest. Is there a tag for this challenge/theme?
posted February 1st, 2018
@golftragic Oh my- did I forget to add that?! Ha! I did! I will post it officially in a bit-

flashofred2018
posted February 1st, 2018
@golftragic And thank you so much for buying the book!! You have made my day!
posted February 1st, 2018
congrats on your book - i will definitely check it out :)

i will, of course, be playing along for the month... but i might not stick with the themes and i expect there will be quite a few fillers... things are going to be hectic at work over the next month and i'm not sure how much time / energy i'll have for camera-ing on a daily basis...
posted February 1st, 2018
In at the 11th hour - lets see what I can do. Please add me to the list - thanks.
posted February 1st, 2018
And me please. Thank you :)
posted February 1st, 2018
Gave this a go last year and bailed out very early in; didn’t really understand it. I do now, so will be giving it another go this year if that's okay?
posted February 1st, 2018
I'm in :)
posted February 2nd, 2018
@northy No problem Northy- your project, your rules, right? Thanks so much for looking at the book. I have learned a lot about black and white from you!

@helenhall @motherjane @deborah63
Thanks for joining in Helen, Jane, and Debbie!

@phil_sandford Absolutely Phil!
posted February 2nd, 2018
What is meant by "compositional elements?" Thanks!
posted February 2nd, 2018
Thanks Ann. Plan to get your new book. Congratulations.
posted February 2nd, 2018
@tracys Compositional elements- aka the elements of composition: line, shape, texture, light, space, and color. I explain them in my book and give examples of what they can look like in black and white (with the exception of color of course!).

@randystreat Thanks Kathy!! I really appreciate that!
posted February 2nd, 2018
I’ll give it a go. 😊.
posted February 2nd, 2018
@rosiekerr Thanks Rosie! Glad you're joining us!
posted February 2nd, 2018
congrats Ann...you go! I will do my best to finish the month! :-)
posted February 2nd, 2018
congrats on the book Ann...thanks for getting us the information for Flash of Red February!
posted February 2nd, 2018
Please count me in. Love to give it a try.
posted February 2nd, 2018
Congrats on the book...well done you!
Says not available for purchase when I followed link...maybe because I am in Oz...
You'll be surprised to know I am behind hahaha....but will definitely catch up the b&w
posted February 2nd, 2018
@annied You should be able to go directly to Amazon, type in Seeing in Black and White, then my name Ann H LeFevre and it should take you to the page where you can purchase the book. Let me know if you're still having problems with it and I can try sending you the link via email. (Olivetreeann@mail.com)

@nanderson Thanks Nancy!
@jackies365 Thanks Jackie!
@wenadee Thanks Wendy! Glad you're joining us!
posted February 2nd, 2018
Congratulations on your book Ann! Now that I've found this page I know what's going on - sorry for the previous question! I'm going to have a go - sounds good - will no doubt get to try lots of new things! Thanks for organizing it! Cheers Rob
posted February 3rd, 2018
@robz No problem- glad you're joining in!
posted February 3rd, 2018
I have to say this challenge is really making me think, that’s a good thing, smile. Congratulations on publishing your book. I don’t have a Kindle, I better get one!
posted February 4th, 2018
@olivetreeann Hi Ann, is it to late to join the challange?
posted February 4th, 2018
Me, too please. Is it possible to be added to the list ? Or can I post here ? Being new, I'm not quite sure how this works !
posted February 5th, 2018
@louannwarren Thank you Lou Ann- you might be able to download it to your computer. If not, we can figure out a way to pay through PayPal and I can send you a PDF file. That is if you want to buy the book- no sales pressure here!



@jacqbb Glad to have you join in! It's never too late.

@portela yes! You can join in anytime, post anywhere and welcome aboard!

I will add you both to my list of tags.
posted February 5th, 2018
If not too late, I’d love to join in.
posted February 13th, 2018
@olivetreeann Hi Ann - could you please expand/explain this week’s challene of ‘rule of thirds to Tell the Story’

What do you mean ‘tell the story?’

posted February 13th, 2018
I've been doing the challenge too but not on the list - could you add my name please Ann. When do we put our pics on the specific page, or do we just tag them all?
posted February 13th, 2018
@lyndamcg Lynda, tag them with flashofred2018
posted February 13th, 2018
@phil_sandford Thanks Phil
posted February 13th, 2018
@phil_sandford Good question Phil. Every picture tells a "story". It's not necessarily the "Once upon a time" type of story, but it's the part of the picture that conveys something about the subject. I hadn't really considered that all pictures do this. This aspect of photography is more obvious in pictures where some interaction is taking place such as a street candid or two animals rubbing noses. But last year when I was hanging a shot I'd taken in the cranberry bog of a leaf with a pine needle resting in it I commented to the curator how much I loved the green of the leaf. But she responded, "That little pine needle is the story." It really made me rethink the picture! But ever since then I've come to realize that every picture, even abstracts, tell us something of a story. The story can be the subject, the ambiance, and sometimes even the photographer or more. The idea behind the "tell the story" of your shot this week is to make you think about your picture, why you're taking it and what you think it is telling your viewer. How will black and white help you to tell the story? Will it bring out the mood, record an important detail, or something else? You don't really have to think about this too deeply because no matter what, your picture will tell a story, but it's a great way to be a little more creative in your approach to the shot. Using a compositional element such as the Rule of Thirds helps to make your story even stronger. If you were choosing a particular subject, let's say a rose, and you wanted to tell the story of how the rose looks beautiful even as its "life" is beginning to fade but stuck it squarely in the center of your picture and shot it straight on, the viewer might not see the beautiful curl of the petals on the back or sides. But if you placed it more intentionally in one of the upper corners and shot from a slightly lower point of view, the curling petals become more visible and now the viewer gets "the story". So that's where I'm going with this week's "assignment" and of course, it's completely optional as to whether or not you actually do it. I hope that helps!

posted February 13th, 2018
@lyndamcg I will add you to the list of participants Lynda and yes, as Phil said, tag your photos flashofred2018.
posted February 13th, 2018
@olivetreeann Thanks Ann
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