Black & White Photography for a Non-Profit

 In Blog

It’s always fun and gratifying to see your work in print – we print so rarely these days. These are images from several photos shoots I did for Fidelity House Human Services used in their Holiday card and their annual report.

This type of photography is probably the kind I enjoy the most – candids. I’ve always had a knack for using a longer lens and spotting great moments to photograph people when they weren’t aware of the camera. I think it’s the best way to get natural expressions.

The Nikon D850 Saves the Day

At the last indoor shoot I did for Fidelity House, my Speedlight was acting flaky. I found out later that one of the connections to the batteries was corroded so the flash had less voltage to work with. However, at the photo shoot, the event was starting and I had to take pictures, so I boosted the ISO and went to work.

This was my first job with the Nikon D850 – I had just received the new flagship camera from Nikon the week before. I knew it had an outstanding sensor and high-ISO capability, so I had high confidence, but I hadn’t tested it yet, so, there was some risk. After seeing the outstanding results, I’m glad I was “forced” to use the camera this way. I was very happy with the results.

The Nikon D850 produces remarkable, low-noise images even at the ridiculous ISO of 25,600. The noise is completely acceptable – specially when you consider you may not get the shot at all.

I now know that I shouldn’t be shy about pushing the ISO – something your brain has been trained to stay away from all of my life. This is specially true since most images are viewed on line or on a mobile device and don’t need the extra resolution.

A Black and White Approach

Fidelity House only uses black and white photography. It’s part of their branding and esthetic. I find it quite fun because it’s interesting to view photographs from this perspective – they take on a different quality and form unique impressions.

When I received the Fidelity House Holiday card in the mail, I found myself doing a double, then triple take looking at the photo. They tinted the pumpkins slightly orange – a nice touch – but I found the image popped off the card.

I was left with the thought that I should look at more of my photos in black and white to see what would happen.

So, at a recent Ian Hunter concert, some of the red lights made Ian look wonky, so I shifted the image to black and white, and, voila, a much better shot!

Ian Hunter at Tupelo Music Hall, November 25, 2017
Ian Hunter at Tupelo Music Hall, November 25, 2017

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