Portraying Mood in Your Images; Master Photographer Robert Farber Shows You How Page 2

Another was taken in New York City in 1988, where Farber notes that he was inspired by people at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. This image, taken with ISO 400 black-and-white film, features a man walking up stairs. "To me, he looked like a figure from the 1940s, one who had returned from war," he says.

The Cyclone, Coney Island, New York, 1981.

In 1981, Farber explored what was left of Coney Island in New York, "when its famous Cyclone hurtled into sight with these screaming riders."

A sepia-toned image that spells out "old California" was taken by Farber in 1995, when he owned a house in Santa Barbara, "and often tried to capture the many moods of the locality." He photographed this misty scene on ISO 1000 slide film, and used both sepia and diffusion filters.

Evoking Emotion Visually
An art student in college who had aspirations to be a painter, Farber is very successful in eliciting emotion that's usually inspired by fine art. He says that he learned photography at a time when effects were done through the camera's lens--not post-production in Photoshop.

Misty view of Santa Barbara, California, 1995.

If you want to learn more discipline, he suggests, try to create images through the camera lens, rather than afterward in the computer. "I use Photoshop only to adjust saturation or the color balance," says Farber. "To optimize, rather than to manipulate."

He uses a Canon EOS-1n when shooting film, and says that film is conducive to producing mood in his images. And, although he's been shooting digitally lately with a Canon EOS-1Ds, Farber observes, "Digital doesn't have the personality of film." Nonetheless, he's been using filters and inspiring mood and emotion with his digital photos.

One example is a vertical scene taken in the Texas plains, which includes a lot of sky. He used both diffusion and warming filters on a 28--135mm zoom lens on his 1Ds.

A rural scene in Texas, 2003.

One image that looks like a distant memory depicts a New England farm, which makes a strong statement about rural America. "The feeling I get from this white clapboard farm, with a typical American Chevy pickup truck peeking out, says it all for me," he comments. It was photographed with black-and-white ISO 400 film.

No matter what the subject, Robert Farber is very successful in presenting his imagery in a very artistic manner. He's a master at evoking moods visually.

White clapboard farm, New England, 1984.

Visit Robert Farber's Website at www.farber.com, and his interactive Internet workshop at www.photoworkshop.com.