Saturday Evening Post #51 : Of Shape and Form

Form and Shape are among the basic elements of art.

Often to find form I find its necessary to look beyond the the subject and the structural elements of the composition.
And being able to reduce the elements to simple black and white often makes the form more visible.

Currently on the tv is an ad for TAB Corp. (Yep, I don’t bet, don’t encourage it, and generally rail against it).
However this one, I hope you get a chance to see it, is about the work of all those behind the scenes in the industry.  Those that get up very very early, the food staff, the trainers, the jockeys, the handlers, saddlers, blacksmiths, transport, and the like.

What makes it a very exiting visual is that is is all shot, or at least reduced to black and white. The lighting, contrast, the edgyness really has a great feel to it all.

I can’t seem to find a link to it else I’d share it.

Which leads me to Little Ravens hard at work on a nest.
Don’t you hate a poorly developed segue 🙂

This is one of a pair that were gathering nesting materials.  If you look closely you’ll see some binding twine that the bird had collected. Taken it to the nest, discovered it didn’t fit, and has landed on the post and pushed it into the crack on the fence post. Perhaps it would be needed later.

Then it looked at me.  And I could feel it was taking in every little detail. Even knew the serial number on the lens. 🙂
And the thing that got me working on the moment was the light seperating out the shape from the background and the draping moulding light playing over the form of the feathers.
“If I use this,” I thought, “I’ll make it monochrome.”

What is so great about monochrome is that enables the viewer to savor those shapes, forms and textures, that transcends the ordinary to an ethereal world.


11 thoughts on “Saturday Evening Post #51 : Of Shape and Form

    1. HI Eleanor, I think its a WordPress thing. I’ve had no end of trouble the past few days getting comments posted, and there is no way to edit them.
      Glad you enjoyed the image, I had lots of fun working out the best presentation.


  1. It was immediately evident when I saw the first image of the Raven that the black and white form is an excellent way to highlight the often masked detail of the bird, and its character. The darkness and the shine of its feathers often obstruct the detail, but you have shared a way to overcome this . Black and pure white subjects always pose a challenge in bright sunlight, Your photos speak for themselves of how the monochrome can enhance the ‘form and shape ‘ to express the full elements of the art form.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. An excellent example of form and shape and how to bring those aspects to the fore in an image! Mono is an effective way of doing this that focuses the attention to these two aspects which are more pronounced and without distraction!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. G’day David, It was a great pleasure (again!) to read your post and to find out that your observations (also on the Little Raven) are very similar to mine. I must admit I’ve neglected the monochrome processing of my digital photos thinking I’ll never achieve the Ilford film quality but looking at your images of the Little Raven I am very tempted to revisit some of my old raven pictures. Thanks for sharing and the inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good Call Adam, I did indeed choose an Ilford Film look from within SivleEFX Pro.
    Most of my very early photography was done with a film called HP3. It was a ‘ISO 400’ but really only about 200 on a good day 🙂
    My mentor at the time used to overexpose it a bit and then underdevelop it in a home made brew, mostly metol, or phenidone and buffered with borax. It created the most luscious soft negatives, that he would always print on a harder grade paper. Used to make the best skin tone portraits.
    Ahh, can smell the acetic acid from here. !


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