Thursday, January 12, 2012

Day 12

Glass candy jar

Sweet tooth for texture!

I used my Nikon D3000 with 18-55mm lens, zoomed in to 55mm, with an attached 4x closeup lens. I used a 2.5 second shutter speed @ F16, ISO 200.

I like the clean light in this shot. I didn't have to make color corrections and I was happy with the auto white balance. Normally I do not manually select the white balance unless I go outside. The camera does a great job, normally, of choosing an appropriate setting. The only other time I touch the white balance is when I'm trying to achieve a different effect other than neutral.

Something that I found interesting in this photo was the fact that the glass itself is shown to have its own texture. You can see the ripples and bumps in the glass that probably would not have been as obvious if not for the one source lighting. It helped to create enough of a shadow to avoid washing out the details.

Glass is a very interesting subject. I love the way that light plays off the surface as well as inside a glass object. I look forward to photographing other glass items in the future. I actually have an idea for a shot next week that I would like to try. So, make sure to check back to see just what I have planned!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Day 11

Background of wall art

As good as gold.

This was taken with my Nikon D3000 with the lens zoomed in to 55mm. I used a 1.6 second shutter speed @ F5.6, ISO 125. This time I didn't use any closeup lenses due to the fact that the wall art is fairly large and I wanted to a wider angle than most of my other posts this week.

This is the painted surface of a piece of wall art, but I don't know what it is made out of. I could easily touch the piece and tell if it's metal or plaster, but I want to remain ignorant so that my idea of what the composition is supposed to feel like doesn't influence my feelings of the texture. From the photo, it looks like plaster with a gold flake adhered to the surface. In real life, from a distance, it looks almost like a smooth metal with gold metal paint and added texture.

Personally, I find it fun to speculate on how the texture came to be. I feel as though I have created a small mystery that could easily be solved with a single touch, but that would end it. It is much more intriguing to not know and wonder than to know and make it boring. It is these little mysteries that can bring us a small amount of enjoyment from ordinary things around us.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Day 10

Cement flower pot

Day 10, cemented in my mind.

This was shot with my Nikon D3000 with attached 10x closeup lens, kit lens zoomed in to 48mm, 1/1.6 @ F16. I had an incandescent light source that gave off a red hue, so I color corrected, in-camera. The technical aspect of the shot is nothing to write home about, so to speak, which is why I am just breezing through it.

The idea behind this shot was to show the stippling in the cement of this flower pot. However, because of the paint and lack of a dedicated macro lens, they didn't show up very well. Yet, I couldn't look away from this shot. What is seen in the photo is not exactly what is seen in real life.

In real life, the flower pot has browns and greys and other earthy tones yet looks almost lively. The photo tells a different story. The image gives an overwhelming sense of somberness. The photo is very serious. I immediately think of an ancient forest in a forgotten land where the sun never shines. There is an eeriness to the mood brought on by the deep shadows and muted highlights. The contours seem to almost mimick the roots from twisted and mangled trees.

This photo has shown me that even the most uninspired shot can sometimes make a strong impression. In real life, I see a flower pot, but in the image, a dark twisted root. This just reaffirms what I mentioned in my last post, context can change a photo.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Day 9


"Suede" by its texture...

This was shot using my Nikon D3000 with 18-55mm lens, zoomed to 55mm, and a 10x closeup lens. I used a 1/1.3 second shutter speed @ F18.

Although the focal length is extremely short, only a few milimeters, I was still please with the detail that I was able to pick up. I could have taken the 10x lens off in order to increase the depth of field but I feel like that would have taken away the photo's central focus point. In a texture-centered photo, I didn't feel having everything in focus made for a very pleasing photo. I felt as if my eye wandered too much, looking for a place to settle. Leaving the 10x lens on, effectively shortening the depth of field and leaving only the middle few milimeters in focus, made for a much more pleasing photo.

The thing I love about this photo is that its (overly)warm tones adds to the feeling of comfort that I get when I look at this texture. However, I already knew this was suede. Had I instead changed the photo caption to "Leather", would the viewer get a different idea of its feel? 

Context can mean a lot when it comes to photography. People like to say, "The camera never lies", but they don't always recognize that in witholding context the truth isn't always what it appears to be. A picture is worth a thousand words, but change the context, and suddenly, there a now a thousand new words.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Day 8

Synthetic Mesh

If the shoe fits...

The idea behind this shot was to show the beauty in manmade textures. The lighting was just as difficult in this shot as it was yesterday's. Again, I had to do some color correction as well as using the D-Lighting function in my Nikon. I was using the 18-55mm kit lens, zoomed in to 55mm, with a 10x closeup lens. This was taken with a 2.5 second shutter speed @ F14; ISO was set to 400.

Every Sunday I spend the entire day with my daughter Maddy, so it doesn't leave much time to get the shot of the day in. I was limited in my options for the shot as it was 11pm. This left me with only the things that I had lying around the house. I'm actually happy that this was the case because it gave me a chance to examine the most mundane items for hidden potential.

When I saw my running shoes, I knew instantly that there would be a shot somewhere in the mesh that should be interesting. When I got close up to the mesh I was intrigued by the mathematical precision in the woven fibers. It's amazing to me that we have created machines that can create such materials at the blinding speeds of modern manufacturing.

This is going to be a short post as it's getting late, but I will be putting more time and effort into my shots during the week.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Day 7

Wood Grain

The detail is in the texture

The purpose of this shot was to get close to the wood and display every little grain. Unfortunately I don't have a dedicated macro lens so this is the best I could do. I used my Nikon D3000 with the 18-55mm lens with an attached 10x closeup lens.

This was a difficult shot to make due to the lighting restraints. I was shooting under a ceiling light that was casting a yellow light. Another challenge was the need to use an aperture of F18 in order to get more of the shot in focus at such a close range. This effectively made lighting issues worse.

I used a 4 second shutter speed at F18, ISO 250. The lens was zoomed in at 36mm. I manually set the white balance to Incandescent but still had to do a little color correction, in camera, to correct the yellow lighting.

This is a snapshot into the theme of next week. Each day I will be taking photos of different textures that I find interesting. As I've stated in a previous post, I enjoy macro photography and capturing textures falls into that category. With the limited equipment, it is not going to be an easy task.

I love wood grain when examined closely. There is something beautiful in the natural direction and pattern in wood grain. This particular shot is of the back of my Dean acoustic guitar. It is a beautiful guitar and I have plans of other posts featuring this guitar. 

I'm excited to get this new week started after having finished this first week of posts. I don't plan to have a theme for every week as I would like to keep things organic and spontaneous. There are many different textures in our world and it is going to be very exciting delving into things that our eyes normally wash over.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Day 6

Not sure what happened to the quality...

"Expect light rain tonight."

The idea behind this shot was to create "light drawings" using a dark room, a flashlight, and a slow shutter speed. I believe the execution of the shot went perfectly. The lines were fairly crisp without illuminating the background too much. This was shot with my Nikon D3000 with a 15 second shutter speed @ F4.5, ISO 100.

I set up the basic concept with the help of my brother, Kyle, and we had several different ideas and numerous shots before we agreed upon this one in particular. The other shots had their merit but this one seemed to stand out the most. This one was Kyle's idea and we were able to get this photo in just two takes. We tried to perfect it but found this one to be the best of the bunch.

Photography doesn't always have to be a one man show. It is often very entertaining to include others in the creative process. My brother and I had a blast trying different poses with hilarious faces. We found it very difficult to keep a straight face through most of the shoot. I came away from this with more ideas for future shots as well as a better understanding of the influence of light in photography. Sometimes it is important to change things up in order to avoid creative stagnation.

This is day 6 and already I'm feeling like I've limited myself in my photos due to the fact that I'm finding it difficult to come up with new ideas. The world is filled with interesting things just begging to be photographed. I believe that if I just open my mind up to new possibilities, I will find that the concepts for new photos will be limitless.

Lastly, a special thanks to brother for his assistance and creativity during this shoot. I wouldn't have this shot with out you!