“The eye is always caught by light, but shadows have more to say.”
“This darkness, the shadows, this is what is beautiful to me. For me if feels like it strips the image of all outside distractions and leaves the most important things emphasized.”
And it’s through this language that Sharon emphasizes soul and deep beauty of the everyday. Through her images we are able to feel the quiet in childhood, the importance of the moment. We feel like an observer, yet the emotions are touching.
This month we invite you to dive in and submerge yourselves in the artistry of Sharon Covert Photography
1. Childhood and lifestyle images are often full of color and joy. How do you feel about breaking the perceived rules of photography by portraying such images in a different way?
This way of shooting just feels natural to me. It’s my norm. I can’t imagine it any other way now. When I first started shooting 7 years ago I believed my images had to be bright and colorful. I wanted to follow all of the rules as best as I could at the time to fit in and be like everyone else, but I always felt led to black and white. Little did I realize then that my black and whites would have such a strong voice now. I feel I am better able to express myself, the moment and mood by the shadows in my images.
2. For us as a group, the use of deep strong shadows is what sets the mood in our lifestyle images. How do you define “mood” in your own lifestyle photographs?
I definitely agree with the use of deep strong shadows to set the mood. They add feeling and emotions. With black and white imagery and deep shadows the viewer is left with an image that can be felt deep within their bones.
3. Why do you like portraying your lifestyle images in this way? What draws you to this style of photography?
This darkness, the shadows, this is what is beautiful to me. For me if feels like it strips the image of all outside distractions and leaves the most important things emphasized.
4. When shooting in beautiful light, what attracts you more- the light, or the shadows that go with it?
This is a tough question to answer, but I find myself drawn to the places where the light meets the shadows and graces them with its presence. I love the way the light falls off and the shadows take over.
5. What do you find inspiring in childhood that drives your need to capture it?
Everything is just so beautiful and ever changing. It should all be documented. Children live in a magical place that we as adults tend to leave behind. We should all revisit really.
6. Can you give one tip on how to shoot in “moody” light or low light?
Embrace the grain, blur and flaws. Don’t be afraid to bump your ISO up high and have some grain. Don’t allow some motion blur from a slow shutter speed stop you. Life isn’t flawless. That’s what makes it so beautiful.
7. What keeps you going when you feel uninspired?
Learning new things and taking on new projects. The winter months here in New Jersey tend to be cold, and grey. It always brings me down and depletes me of my creativity and inspiration. Last winter I found it helpful to take some online classes and try new things. Sometimes something you would think is unrelated to photography such as journaling or painting can spark new ideas. Be creative! Be open to new ideas.
8. What is your favorite time of day to photograph? And why?
The early morning and late afternoon light and shadows have my heart. With them comes a sense of peace. It ’s the two times of day where the word is moving slightly slower it seems. People are just beginning their day or winding down from it.
9. What’s in your camera bag?
I’ve been known to carry around 3 bags with me at times. I like to have my 5D Mark II and Mark III with me, but I also have begun shooting medium format film on my Mamiya 645E and C330. My three favorite lenses at the moment are my 35L , 70-200L and Lensbaby.
10. JPEG or RAW? Photoshop or Lightroom?
RAW and Lightroom. RAW gives me control over my images and with Lightroom I can quickly edit my images and not get caught up in the editing game.
“I thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be shadow.”
― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
“The brightest flame casts the darkest shadow.”
― George R.R. Martin
So many things to look forward to in 2015, as we reflect back on 2014 and what it meant to each of us, individually and as a group. We have grown so much from all the beautiful art you’ve elected to share with us, and us as a group have grown in an amazing friendship. Reflecting on our year, on what our art has meant to us, and how what that piece reflects about our life, about us, takes time and goes beyond a blog post. There’s meaning behind these photographs that transcend. As there is in yours as well. We thank you for taking this journey with us, invite you to continue to share along, but most importantly, to reflect on what it all means for you.
Some of our favorite photographs in the shadows of 2014
“You can only come to the morning through the shadows.”
– J.R.R. Tolkien