Pops of Color -- A new blog circle

One of my favorite things is following a good Blog Circle to see what different photographers do with the same theme or idea. I'm so pleased to finally be joining one!  It's called Life From This Lens, and April's theme is "Pop of Color" so you will see bold and vibrant color highlighted in the following images. I hope you will follow to the next person in our circle, Jessica, to see some more interpretations of this fun theme. I so wish I had made more time for this, but May is here, so on to the next theme, self portrait -- always a challenge, but fun to attempt anyway ;-)     Enjoy these pop of color images, and especially the work of the other artists in our blog circle.Often when I am shooting I am drawn first to the subject -- whatever it is that first grabs my attention. But the scene itself -- with it's lines, patterns, shapes, movement, and colors -- also has a strong influence on the success of the image. Color is one of the elements that works to my advantage but can also work to my disadvantage -- when several colors are clashing for example, or when the color is somehow working to distract the viewer from the meaning or feeling of the image. But when color is really working in a frame, it can become the focus of the narrative, the element that your eyes are most drawn to. In the following frames, I found that color played a significant role (evident, too, in the decision to keep the image color instead of converting to black and white).color-32color-2color-1color-3A "Pop of color," then, is just a color element in the frame that is either emphasized by the lack of color in the rest of the frame or that is just so bright and powerful it stands out or really calls attention to itself. In the following images, you can't keep your eyes from going to the pop of color -- it dominates the frame and captures your attention first. When that happens, you can say that the pop either carries or takes on a significant role in the meaning or story the image tells.color44color-25color-23 color-22Sometimes the "pop" of color is not so much a bright and colorful small element in the frame but instead the vibrancy and potency of the color element set against darkness, or simply a lack of color in the rest of the frame.color-12The blue is popping in this next frame, enhanced by the yellow of his shirt. Notice that they are basically the only two real colors in the image, the rest of the frame is essentially neutrals. color-100And in the following image as well, the neutrals are causing the purple jacket to pop in a relatively dark image taken at dusk. color-9In this image the dark wheel mimics the other circles, and while there are other colors -- the balloon, the circle of yellow lights on the ceiling -- the pop of color in the color wheel commands the frame.color-60Or, the "pop" can be the whole frame, delineated by a darker element. color43If the "pop" of color is not extreme, sometimes the other elements in the frame -- line, movement, shape -- can be used to emphasize, or point to the color to enhance it's influence on the viewer, as in this shot at the water's edge -- the zig-zag design in the sand, the light, the footprints and the bright white surf all work to enhance the color element in the frame.color-10One last example -- here, the pink jacket commands the frame, but because of the movement -- her running and the boy clearly talking into the phone -- the "pop" of color helps create the tension (in the second image, in contrast, the pink is too much -- the viewer's eye goes directly to it, but without meaning.)color-53color-54 Next up, Jessica!  Check it out!     

Markstrum family in Santa Barbara

How lucky to be able to spend the morning in Santa Barbara celebrating the most precious little girl! First in their home, then down to the beach, we captured all the love these three share -- the lovely little family I felt so happy to get to know better since Mama just happens to be the woman who taught my kids music when they were little.

A dad and his boys

I had the pleasure of creating portraits of this family last Christmas and now that older brother came to town, we got together again to document their time together. Conejo Creek Park North in Thousand Oaks is such a lovely place to shoot too -- my first time; I just loved all the options and the beautiful greenery. These guys were great sports, clowning around together. And Dad was truly pleased to have some great images of his three boys altogether. Here are a few favorites from our session. (click on any image to cycle through them full size)

Grandma and her girls

I had the pleasure of shooting this lovely extended family a few weeks ago up in beautiful Ojai at Libby Park. Grandma and her five beautiful granddaughters -- what could be better? We had a gorgeous day and a lot of fun exploring and playing on the larger-than-life play structure at Libby. What impressed me the most is the love and playfulness between these 5 girls -- clearly, cousin time is special in this family and I loved capturing that for them