Category Archives: Background

High Contrast

Had the chance to go to Manna. An event in which a couple of local bands are invited to share the story behind their music and perform some songs. An informal setting to enjoy good music…In this case, great music! And as always, since the peeps helping organize it are friends, they allow me to crash their party by me bringing my camera and acting like paparazzi! So grateful for the invite, was definitely a time of refreshing.

Each time I go into this place for pictures, I’m not going to lie…I’m not a fan. Why am I not a fan? Because it’s tough, and of course I never like a challenge. I’d like everything to be easy. I never get the pictures I want! It’s a tough situation. Maybe it’s because the use of different types of lighting, maybe because the walls are plain white, maybe because there’s a projector screen in the background, or maybe because there are vents on the sides so there’s always something in the background that I can’t blur out.

What’s the right thing to do here? Put the camera away and just enjoy the music. Hahahaha! Not so fast. Since I’ve been to this location before, I went in with a game plan this time. And what was that game plan? Make sure to zoom in. Try not getting any of the background. Fill the frame with the subject. Try to get the subject when they were doing different ‘poses’. When I say poses, I mean when the singer is screaming out the chorus, or singing softly for the verse, or strumming away on a solo. Make sure to get the artist doing different actions so that if you post more than one picture, they don’t look similar even if you took it from the same angle.

Now at post processing, I also went in with a game plan. Since I know I wouldn’t like the color or the lighting, I decided that I wanted high contrast pictures. So, I was liberal in changing a bunch of the pictures to black and white. I turned up the contrast on all the pictures, and I put vignetting on many of the pictures. What does this do to the picture? I’m trying to use human nature to trick you into loving my pictures hahahaha…So, I’m essentially making parts of the picture brighter and drawing your eyes off the edge of the picture(because it’s darker now with vignetting) and into the middle or where the subject is. At the same time I added a bunch of the sharpening effect from lightroom. Your eyes are always looking for the in focus part of the picture. So, if I can make the subject the sharpest and the brightest, though the background is not attractive, you’re not looking at it hopefully!


It’s exactly what I do in my life. If I want to hide the ‘ugliness’ of who I am, I make sure to put my brightest and sharpest side forward. I try to make you focus on parts of me that are without blemishes. And what do we, what do I do? When I approach someone else, I’m impressed by what they are showing me because they are showing me the best part of them…but not at Manna. One of the artists just laid it all out there. Stating the struggles that he went through, the pain that had filled his life. How he put on a mask to others in order for them to see the good in him. Through these situations, there birthed many of the songs he wrote. I didn’t feel better because I found out that my life wasn’t as hard as his. But what made me feel amazing was that I was reminded of a hope that is out there that we can hold on to in those darkest times. So, when we are faced with issues, there’s help available. No matter how much we pretty up our lives, what is inside starts seeping out. No matter how much we fool others, there’s ourselves that we have to live with.

Lamentations 3:21-22
21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope . 22 It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed , because his compassions fail not.