Children’s Barn Dance

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Way back in September, I attended a children’s barn dance and was reminded that I am just a big kid when it comes to these kinds of events. I adore seeing the delight, confusion, and all-round joy that the kids are having.

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With guidance from the grown ups, the children were put through their paces. The parents were not allowed on the danced floor, but cheered on from the sidelines.

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When the dancing was finished, the band kept playing for me. It was one of these fantastic moments, when you realize what good friends you have.

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As the winter approaches (and my winter blues begin to kick in, dragging my spirits down), I can look at these images. The children and the great big smiles help me to remember the warm sunny day and the sounds of the blue grass music. The kind acts, and the laughter become vivid in my imagination. And for just a few minutes, the blues are held at bay.


Contrast is one of my favorite elements of photographic composition. Even a beginning photographer can create wonderful images with good light and contrast. I was recently asked to comment on the contrast that I use in my images. Specifically, How do I use contrast with the intent of creating a viewer experience.

Here are some examples that might be helpful. However, these examples are limited to my work. You may make use of contrast in other ways that allow you to tell your own visual stories.

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I use contrast to draw the viewers eye. When I want them to focus on one portion of the image, contrast can do the trick. The contrast can be between light and dark, colors, patterns and many other differing parts of the photo.

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Sometimes, I use contrast to eliminate the distractions of the background.

Coke Bottle Blues

I use contrasting colors to emphasize a pattern or to break it up.

Lanier Sunrise

I often use more subtle contrast too add atmosphere to a scene.

Night House

I use contrast to add drama to the image or suggest a story to the viewer.

Belle's Locks

Contrast can bring out textures and patterns.

Wild Phlox

Sometimes contrast can simplify a scene and allow the user to see the beauty of simple forms.

I hope these examples help to explain how I regularly use contrast. How do you use contrast in your work?