Weekly theme 4th February 2019 - Conveying a sense of mood

(Helen Hooker) #1

Hello everyone. Welcome to a new week!

It’s been a few weeks since we had a more conceptual theme to shoot for. This one should get your creative juices going as there are many ways you could interpret it. Let’s take a look….

This week’s theme is ‘Conveying a sense of mood’

Sometimes we take photos which are simply descriptive - records of an object or scene. What we’re aiming for with this week’s theme though is something that tells more of a story. We have many tools we can use to create a sense of mood in our images. Here are some ideas that came to my mind, although no doubt you’ll have plenty of ideas of your own.

One way I often create mood in my pictures is through the use of light. Modern cameras are built to expose images to a medium grey tone. While this is fine much of the time, it can result in bland results if you don’t take control.

One of the tools I use a lot is exposure compensation. This allows me to control the way my camera exposes a picture - either darker or lighter than the standard meter reading. In this image, taken at Dover Castle, I could see the potential for a spot of drama, with the bright light from the windows and the deep shadows inside. I knew my camera would try to even out the tones, resulting in a much lighter picture than this. Instead, I took control and dialed in some negative exposure compensation. This made some of the shadow areas really dark, but I don’t mind that and it brings much more mood and drama to the final image.

Another useful tool in our photographic armoury is colour temperature. When we look at a scene, we learn a lot from the colour of the light, be it warm golden sunshine, or the unearthly greenish glow of fluorescent lights. Many people have their cameras set to auto white balance. While this seems a sensible choice, it means you are leaving a lot of decision making up to your camera, especially if you’re shooting in something other than daylight. A camera set to auto white balance will do its best to make the light look average, even if the light is anything but!

A better solution is to set your white balance manually, so you capture the look you want. For instance, in this picture Andrea Boldizsar has used manual white balance to create a sense of cold in the misty conditions. Left to its own devices in this situation a camera would try to neutralise this coldness, taking much of that mood away.

Of course, you may wish to show a human sense of mood. This can be done easily with a portrait, but sometimes you don’t even need to see someone’s face to understand their mood. This picture by Pixel2013 easily conveys a sense of warmth and relaxation, even though we can’t see the couple’s expressions. There’s a freedom and informality to their body language which, when coupled with the golden light, gives a wonderful sense of warmth.

I hope these have given you some inspiration to tackle this theme. I realise these conceptual themes aren’t as easy to shoot for as straightforward subjetcs, but this could be a good one to stretch your creative abilities. I can’t wait to see what we come up with!

How to participate:

  • Please submit your photo by midnight GMT on Sunday 10th February
  • To submit a photo, hit the Reply button below and upload your image(s). Please limit each post to one image.
  • Please try to also share your picture on your page over the main Photoblog platform and encourage others to visit the theme thread to participate and vote.
  • To vote, click the :heart: heart icon.
  • If you post your picture early in the week don’t forget to pop back to see what others have shared and to cast your votes!

Winner of the last theme

We had another bumper crop of entries this week, showing lots of different ways to interpret the concept of still life. Our winner this week was @russsmith with this beautifully composed image. Well done Russell!

(Kenny H) #2

(Jeco Cossord) #3

(Camellia) #4

(Berckmans Peter) #5

(L A Magee) #6

(Heidi Egerman) #7


(Sigrid Strohschneider-Laue) #8

Four Horses of the Apocalypse

(Lakshmi Bhat) #9

Early morning mist and quiet and peace all around. It was like living in a different world.

(Russell Smith) #10

Thank you everyone for the votes :slight_smile:

(Bethany Plonski) #11

(Lisa Britton) #12

(Jon Fitton) #13

Anyone feeling like Spring is in the air?

(D Vgz) #14

I was initially going for a picture of the greyish weather, but didn’t really liked the results. I shot some pictures of this beauty, and her expressions says it all… Taking the theme very literally this week :slight_smile:

(Helen Hooker) #15

As usual I’ve missed my own deadline. One of these days I’ll get better organised! Anyway, here’s a shot I took in a local church last week. I little negative exposure compensation allowed me to capture a sense of mood.