Tag Archives: background

The Digital Negative

51-yYFGhLeL._SX439_BO1,204,203,200_

The Digital Negative by Jeff Schewe, published by Peachpit Press, ISBN: 13 978-0-321-83957-2.

I have just read this book to try to get a better understanding of digital photography.  Schewe is a photographer who has also been working with the boffins at Adobe since the early 1990’s to help develop RAW, Photoshop and more recently Lightroom for photographers from a photographer’s point-of-view.  His books are therefore as close as you can get to finding a first class knowledgable author.  He has published two books ‘The Digital Negative’ and “The Digital Print’ the later I have just began to read.

The Digital Print briefly covers the basic background of how the digital image is made in the camera but drills in to the featured and functions in both RAW and Lightroom that you will use to process your RAW file in to a presentable photo.  This includes a recommended and sensible workflow, background information from the Adobe engineers explaining why certain features work the way they do.  Chapters 4 and 5 a dedicated to Photoshop for advanced editing beyond the capabilities of RAW and Lightroom for those images worth the extra effort.  Chapter 6 covers the recommended workflow from importing pictures from the camera, storing, backing-up, making copies, cataloguing on to developing.  This book does not however cover printing as this is a topic for his second publication.

This is a good book to read, I learned a few new features in Lightroom that I was unaware of and also instructed me in the use of RAW that I am unfamiliar with as I have only used Lightroom so far.  Lightroom was was developed with a lot of the features from RAW and both will talk to one another but changes made in one will alter the other’s parameters and this is a useful thing to be aware of if you use both RAW and Lightroom.  If you want a better understanding of Lightroom, RAW and Photoshop this ids the book to read.  This is not however a detailed book for Photoshop it covers the topics that most photographers need but doesn’t look at all the magic tricks possible in Photoshop.  This is a book intended to help the modern photographer become confident and proficient developing digital photographs to a point that they can print or advance to higher levels of editing using Photoshop and plug-ins.  Not too technically challenging and easy to read and fairly easy to understand without an engineering degree.

A very good book that I would recommend.

Assignment V workbook.

DSC_6607-Text-Leaving_the_ruined_Templars_church_showed_him_a_prospect_of_company_on_his_walk-resized

For this assignment, I have decided to use an Edwardian ghost story by M.R. James as the narrative for my assignment.

The story is essentially about a college professor who is taking a short holiday on the coast and has been asked by a colleague to visit a ruined Templar’s church that is located close to where he is staying.  During the professors promised visit to the ruin he has a little dig around and finds a strange object that he later discovers is a whistle with a Latin inscription that roughly translates: “Who is this that comes?”.  He playfully blows the whistle to find out and discovers to his cost the meaning of the inscription.

For this project I enlisted the assistance of a friend who is an experienced actor and I then read through the story about five times to be thoroughly familiar with the narrative in order to be able to properly plan my images.

I then chose what I believe to be the key passages out of the text for my narrative in order to visually tell the story, I then created a word document  Story Board as copied and pasted below in order to begin visualizing the required images and sketching out the ideas.

Story Board – Oh, whistle and I’ll come to you my lad

    1. If you are going to Burnstow I wish you would look at the site of the Templars….   Prof. Parkins (Graham) sitting at table with friends, map, train time-table. Graham centre, profiles of friends flanking left and right in foreground.
    2. Location – He must, he quite rightly concluded, be on the site of the Preceptory he had promised to look at. Waverley Abbey. View of Graham seen from the ruins or Graham foreground and ruins in background. IDEA – Use a window in ruins to frame Graham. Step ladder may be needed.
    3.  It might, he thought, be as well to probe the soil here for evidences of masonry… And now following another discovery: A portion of soil fell inward as he scrapped and disclosed a small cavity…. A hole and a pen-knife.
    4.  Of course it was empty. No! As he withdrew his knife he heard a metallic clink and when he introduced his hand it met with a cylindrical object…. Close up of hand bringing whistle from hole.
    5. Location – Bleak and solemn was the view on which he took a last look before starting homeward. Waverley Abbey. Long distance landscape shot of the ruins. IDEA – Use a graduation filter for the sky.
    6. Location – One last look behind to measure the distance he had made since leaving the ruined Templars church showed him a prospect of company on his walk, in the shape of a rather indistinct personage…. Little Hampton. Graham walking towards camera glancing over his shoulder, occupying large area right of centre in background top left is smallish white (out of focus) running figure. IDEA Graham lit by large softbox using CLS for fast shutter speed to darken background, second softbox to illuminate white figure.
    7. It was with some considerable curiosity that he turned it over by the light of his candles. It was bronze, he now saw, and was shaped very much after the manner of the modern dog-whistle…. Close up of hand and whistle lit with an amber cast candle in background.
    8. He blew tentatively…. Portrait of Graham, amber cast.
    9. Whether it was the wind or the excitement of golf, or the researches in the Perceptory that kept Parkins awake…. / Parkins shut his eyes and determined to give sleep a chance…. Graham on pillow. Low key image, edged lighting.
    10. Location – Over-excitement asserted itself in another form – that of making pictures…. Parkins experience on this occasion was a very distressing one…. What he saw was this: A long stretch of shore – shingle edged by sand and intersected at intervals with black groynes running down to the water…. A man running, jumping, clambering over the groynes and every few seconds looking eagerly back… Far up the shore a little flicker of something light coloured moving to and fro with great swiftness and irregularity…. Declares itself as a figure in pale fluttering Draperies, ill-defined…. Little Hampton IDEA – Graham hiding with a Groyne against his back arms out face turned to one side for a profile. The white figure waving its arms top left again in the background out of focus
    11. He must have slept soundly for an hour or more, when a sudden clutter shook him up in a most un-welcome manner. Graham with a startled stare, out of focus white sheeted figure in background.
    12. It is a horrible, an intensely horrible face of crumples linen…. He could not keep back a cry of disgust…. And the linen face was thrust close to his own. Face to face. Sheeted face top left, Graham’s bottom left. IDEA – Scream mask from novelty shop with a sheet then overlaid with separate image of crumpled white linen in Photoshop for texture affect.

I then sketched out the ideas for each shot, one or two of the images only needed one sketch; but others took up to three or four drawings to find the idea that I settled with.

Having selected the scenes from the story and created some visual ideas I was then able to decide what shots required locations and what did not and from that what type of locations needed.  Then it was a simple matter of finding the locations to suit.  I had discovered Waverley Abbey near Frimley, Surrey, quite recently and my friend Graham has a holiday flat in Little Hampton with perfect beech locations; so I had my locations.

I did not decide which image would be my front cover image until I had already made two-thirds of the images.  I felt that image number six was best suited for my front cover, I think that it compliments the title very well.  My reasons is that the silhouette of a figure in the distance and just the feet of someone in mid stride in the foreground suggest that either may respond to a call from the other and the title helps to link the two subjects together.  The beech had a fairly steep slope to the sea as you can see from the image however, the tide was just on the turn and the sand was too soft and wet to be able to photo any closer to the surf; so obtaining reflections and a better view of the beech proved impractical.  I was pleased however to catch a good colour in the sky just as the sun began to set, the weather was very much like the day we visited Waverley Abbey; so I was happy that the sky for this image and image V are both correct for the time line in the story.

Story boarding with sketches and final image, starting with my cover shot, image VI.

Image VI.  DSC_6607-Edit-Leaving_the_ruined_Templars_church_showed_him_a_prospect_of_company_on_his_walk-resized  LocationOne last look behind to measure the distance he had made since leaving the ruined Templars church showed him a prospect of company on his walk, in the shape of a rather indistinct personage…. Little Hampton. Graham walking towards camera glancing over his shoulder, occupying large area right of centre in background top left is smallish white (out of focus) running figure. IDEA Graham lit by large soft-box using CLS for fast shutter speed to darken background, second soft-box to illuminate white figure.

Sketches for image VI for ideas and it was the final sketch that led me to my resulting picture.  The resulting image was photographed on the beech at Little Hampton, late afternoon just as the sun began to set.  The figure was my wife standing to attention and my friend posed to suggest he is in mid-stride but was in fact motionless. 24-120mm f/4 @34mm 1/125, f/5.6, ISO-100, matrix metering, WB-Auto.

ImageVIa ImageVIb

Image I.  If you are going to Burnstow I wish you would look at the site of the Templars….   Prof. Parkins (Graham) sitting at table with friends, map, train time-table. Graham centre, profiles of friends flanking left and right in foreground.  I kept this image simple and I decided just to have my friend posed studying a map with someone’s hand (mine) pointing out a place on interest on the map.  Camera was set on a tripod with timer set to trip after 15 seconds to take x 3 pictures 3 seconds apart, 85mm f/1.4, 1/125, f/1.8, ISO-125, matrix metering, WB-Auto, remote speedlight in a soft-box and reflector.

ImageI  DSC_6849-Edit_If_you_are_going_to_Burnstow-resized

Image II.  Location – He must, he quite rightly concluded, be on the site of the Preceptory he had promised to look at. Waverley Abbey. View of Graham seen from the ruins or Graham foreground and ruins in background. IDEA – Use a window in ruins to frame Graham. Step ladder may be needed.  On location at Waverley Abbey, standing on a small portable step ladder, I used the stone window opening to frame my friend Graham posing as the professor as he stops to survey the ruin for the first time.  Thus creating the moment when he recognises that he has found the Preceptory including a suggestion of the ruined church in the same image without un-necessary detail.  24/120mm f4, @48mm, 1/40, f/9, ISO-400, matrix metering, WB-manual.

ImageII   DSC_6385-Edit-on_the_site_of_the_Preceptory-1-resized

Image III.  It might, he thought, be as well to probe the soil here for evidences of masonry… And now following another discovery: A portion of soil fell inward as he scrapped and disclosed a small cavity…. A hole and a pen-knife.

ImageIII  DSC_6394-Edit-It_might_he_thought_be_as_well_to_probe_here-resized  Initially the idea was to simply create a still-life; but my friend Graham brought a pen knife with him on location which he happily posed to suggest digging amongst the ruins which I feel works well.  I had originally thought to use my garden or some waste land for the shots of finding the whistle as I didn’t want to be seen digging around a historic site.  But the site had lots of broken walls with small openings in them that could be employed for the shots and simple posing the hand and penknife against the stones and by craves in a broken wall suited my requirements perfectly.  24/120mm f/4 @35mm, 1/2500, f/4, ISO-400, matrix metering, WB-manual.

Image IV.  Of course it was empty. No! As he withdrew his knife he heard a metallic clink and when he introduced his hand it met with a cylindrical object…. Close up of hand bringing whistle from hole.  I was unable to find a suitable whistle for my prop; so we decided to simply use a wooden peg which we made dirty to try and disguise the material that it’s made from and suggest that it has been buried in the hole that the hand appears to be removing it from.  24-120mm f/4 @35mm, 1/80, f/4, ISO-6400, matrix metering, WB-manual.

ImageIV  DSC_6406-Edit-He_introduced_his hand_it_met_with_a_cylindrical_object-resized

Image V.  Location – Bleak and solemn was the view on which he took a last look before starting homeward. Waverley Abbey. Long distance landscape shot of the ruins. IDEA – Use a graduation filter for the sky.

ImageV  DSC_6430-Last_look-1-resized I chose to photograph this image from a very low level deliberately angled to create a sense of disturbing tension.  When my friend Graham saw this image he didn’t like it and suggested that I alter it to be less angled. I have respected his opinion and reviewed the image to consider his comment; but I feel that the angle creates a sense of discomfort which was what I am looking for from this image.  This is after all a ghost story and I want to create images that help make the reader feel a little uneasy.  24/120mm f/4, @24mm, 1.5000, f/4, ISO-160, matrix metering, WB-manual.

Image VII.  It was with some considerable curiosity that he turned it over by the light of his candles. It was bronze, he now saw, and was shaped very much after the manner of the modern dog-whistle…. Close up of hand and whistle lit with an amber cast candle in background.

ImageVII  DSC_7135-Edit-It_was_with_some_considerable_curiosity_that _he_turned_it_over_by_the_light_of_his_candles-resized

I used a remote speedlight with a yellow gel set in a soft-box to create a soft candle light type of lighting to complement the text.  We used the same wooden peg that we used at Waverley Abbey and therfore I composed the picture so that the whistle is implied but not clearly seen.  85mm f1.4, 1/125, f5.6, ISO-125, matrix metering, WB-manual.

Image VIII.  He blew tentatively…. Portrait of Graham, amber cast.

ImageVIII  DSC_7007-Edit-He_blew_tentively-resized

I decided that a simple image of the Professor appearing to blow on a whistle was not interesting enough; so I thought that I must have an image that implies both action and effect.  Therefor I had the idea that my friend should pose to appear to be blowing on a whistle and to create a shadow behind him to suggest that something has come to him in response.  I found this to be very tricky to light and photograph for reasonable exposure, I was also limited to time that my friend could commit.  However, I was happy with this final result.  I used a speed light with a home made silver foiled vanity dish with a honey-combed grill to help produce a beam of light to create a stretched shadow on a Chinese ornament for the sinister shadow.  I used another Chinese ornament that I put on display in the bottom left corner of this image to suggest that the shadow may be coming from it, may be not.  I used Photoshop to crop, spot heal a picture hook from the wall and adjust levels for both the shadow and the Professor separately using layers.  24-120mm f/4, @62mm, 1/125, f/4, ISO-125,  matrix metering, WB-Auto.

Image IX.  Whether it was the wind or the excitement of golf, or the researches in the Perceptory that kept Parkins awake…. / Parkins shut his eyes and determined to give sleep a chance…. Graham on pillow. Low key image, edged lighting.  To be used with image X.

ImageIXa  ImageIXb  DSC_7045-Edit-Parkins_shut_his_eyes_determined_to_give_sleep_chance-resized

This image juxtaposes with image X in order to suggest to the viewer both the reality of the Professors eyes shut as he tries to sleep and a scary moment in the vision that he sees every time he closes his eyes.  As this was part of a more dramatic image, kept it simple using a fast shutter speed a flash behind Graham’s head to create the edge lighting and I had to use a side table light to produce enough light on his face as I only had one flash with me.  Adjustments in Lightroom for temperature, levels and cropping.  24-120mm f/4 @55mm, 1/320, f/4, ISO-125, matrix metering, WB-Auto.

Image X.  Location Over-excitement asserted itself in another form – that of making pictures…. Parkins experience on this occasion was a very distressing one…. What he saw was this: A long stretch of shore – shingle edged by sand and intersected at intervals with black groynes running down to the water…. A man running, jumping, clambering over the groynes and every few seconds looking eagerly back… Far up the shore a little flicker of something light coloured moving to and fro with great swiftness and irregularity…. Declares itself as a figure in pale fluttering Draperies, ill-defined…. Little Hampton IDEA – Graham hiding with a Groyne against his back arms out face turned to one side for a profile. The white figure waving its arms top left again in the background out of focus.

ImageXa  ImagaXb

DSC_6520-Edit-Over-ecitement_asserted_itself_in_another_form_that_of_making_pictures-resized  In this image I wanted to convey the feeling and impression of the professor’s nightmarish vision that he keeps seeing when he closes his eyes to sleep.  From the idea of a simple image of the Professor hiding behind a groyne from a white figure, moved on to consider a shadow or reflection of the nightmarish figure to a more simple idea of using the zoom to create a form of motion blur to imply seeing through the eyes of the nightmarish figure as it finds the hiding professor in his dream.  24-120mm f/4, 1/13, f/8, ISO-50, matrix metering, WB-Auto.

Image XI.  He must have slept soundly for an hour or more, when a sudden clutter shook him up in a most un-welcome manner.  IDEA – Graham with a startled stare, out of focus white sheeted figure in background.

ImageXIa  ImageXIb       DSC_7066-Edit-A_clutter_shook_him_up_in_a_most_un-welcome_manner-resized-a

I after my initial thoughts that I put down on paper my final idea through my sketches was to produce an image implying that something had just happened, something that has just woken the Professor.  I decided to photograph my friend posed in bed looking startled, seen through a reflection of the mirror on his dressing table with a vase of flowers tipped over in the foreground to imply that it was the noise from the fallen vase has just awakened him.  I used Lightroom to crop, adjust temperature and levels.  Remote speedlight in soft-box, 24-120mm f/4, @52mm, 1/250, f/4, ISO-125, matrix metering, WB-Auto.

Image XII.  It is a horrible, an intensely horrible face of crumples linen…. He could not keep back a cry of disgust…. And the linen face was thrust close to his own. Face to face. Sheeted face top left, Graham’s bottom left. IDEA – Scream mask from novelty shop with a sheet then overlaid with separate image of crumpled white linen in Photoshop for texture affect.

ImageXIIa  ImageXIIb

ImageXIIc  DSC_6804-Edit-And_the_linen_face_was_thrust_close_to_his_own-resized

To be used across two pages with text on top.   This is my punch-line to the story and for this shot I wanted something dramatic and suitable for a double page spread.  To obtain this image I used Photoshop to merge two images in to one by creating a background image (ghost) and a foreground image Professor’s hands.  I have a polystyrene skull which is a prop for Halloween parties which I covered with a pillow case then laid over a white sheet and photographed standing over it and using the zoom method employed for image X to suggest that it is rushing forward.  In Lightroom I adjusted the temperature, contrast, and levels which created a natural dark bokeh affect to the edges of the sheet which was a welcome and unexpected bonus as it saved me having to create it in Photoshop.  I then took a photo of Graham’s hands as he crouched in front of me reaching his hands up and positioning as directed with a white sheet draped over a door as a background.  After adjustments in Lightroom I exported both images to Photoshop, selected the ghost image first for background then selected the hands photo for foreground and using layers I painted out the white sheet draped over the door in the background of the top layer of the Professors hands to reveal to ghost background image below.  I feel that this final image captures the horror and drama that I was looking for in my “punch-line” image.  Two images combined in Photoshop.  Hands 24-120mm f/4 @44mm 1/125, f/4, ISO-125, matrix metering, WB-Auto. Skull and bedclothes, 24-120mm f/4 1/15, f/4, ISO-125, matrix metering, WB-Auto.

Draft Word Document.  Oh Whistle and I will come to you my lad-draft

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise – Juxtaposition

 

‘Great Expectations’ by Charles Dickens.

DSC_5741-Juxtapostion-1-Text-resized

Since I first wrote this blog and published it I have figured out how to add text in Photoshop; so I have now included this finished book cover to my work.

juxtaposition-1

24-120mm f/4. 1/160 Sec, f/6.3, ISO-125, WB-Sunshine, Flash 1/4 amber gel.

IMG_0768  Set-2 (1 of 1) Set-3 (1 of 1)

Equipment used 2 x speedlights, Pocket Wizards, 1 x softbox, 1 x Chinese lantern, 1 x Gobo, 2 x reflectors. 1 x amber Gel.

Great Expectations plan  Click on this link to open the pdf for my mind-map.

In this exercise I have chosen to take a still-life approach to creating a cover illustration for a book.  The book I have decided to use as my inspiration is ‘Great Expectations’ by Charles Dickens.

Synopsise: First published in 1861 the novel’s story is of Pip an orphan being brought up by his uncle and aunt and on a course in life to become a blacksmith.  However, when still a young child fate throws him in the way of an escaping convict whom he has to help and soon after this event he is called upon to regularly visit a strange, recluse, rich spinster (Miss Haversham who was jilted on her wedding day and still only wears her wedding dress) and her adopted daughter Estella with whom Pip falls in love.  He later learns that a mysterious benefactor has named him as an heir to a great fortune but he must first give up his present life and go to London to be educated as a gentleman.  Believing that the mysterious spinster is his secret benefactor and that her adopted daughter is intended for his wife he willingly gives up his life with his uncle and aunt and goes to London to become a gentleman but having become a gentleman he reaching his 21st birthday fate has yet another twist in it’s tale for Pip….

The elements for this photo are all relevant to the characters and events that I have just described and I used the mind mapping technique to help choose and find the elements for the picture.

I started with the title of the book and looking up the meanings for the two words in the Oxford Dictionary gave me ideas of possible imagery symbolisms.  I then added the names of the main characters and looked at connections between the symbolism ideas to strengthen  the final choices.

My first attempts included a sea chest represents the expected fortune, the iron file represents Pips humble origins and the convict, the lace handkerchief and lace glove representing Estella and Miss Haversham, I also included some bonboniers to represent love and the expectation of marriage.  My first mistake was to take some pictures in landscape format and the realized that it would not be suitable for a book cover; so I had to re-shoot tilting the camera for portrait.  After re-taking the images I then felt it lacked something In order to make the picture interesting; so I searched for and found an old rusty chain that could represent the convict.  Happy with this I I made another attempt.

However, on reflection I realized that I had moved away from the brief of this exercise.  The brief was to have no more that three elements that would strongly contrast against each other for a simple image still life to provide a very simple symbolist type of message.  I slept on it and removed the sea chest, the lace handkerchief and glove.  I then had the idea to create a shape of a heart using the chain, placing the iron file sticking out of the heart shaped pile to resemble a dagger and to contrast the chain and the file I added the bombonier.  I now have only three elements, the chain representing the convict, the file representing Pip and his connection to the convict and the Bonbonier that represents both Miss Haversham and Estella for whom Pip dreams of marrying as part of his Great Expectations.  The way that I have arranged these elements is intended to also suggests love, heart ache and betrayal which are all elements of the book.  I positioned the gelled speedlight inside the soft-box to direct the light down the length of the file to create a good texture and used the reflectors to fill and soften shadows.

I am happy with my final result which allows enough space and a suitable background for text and is in portrait format for the book-cover.  The amber gel has produced a nice antique colour-cast which I believe adds additional interest.

 

Exercise – Light through the day

Finding both a suitable and fairly interesting subject and that was accessible and practical to be able able to visit at different times of the day and possibly on different days was tougher than I first thought.  The subject I settled on was a location in Spain close to my apartment.

View (1 of 1)

After some scouting around, I found my subject of a ruined Spanish windmill on the sea front with the imposing “Ifach” rock in the background which both will alter in appearance as the sun moves across the sky.

Standing point (1 of 1)

I then decided upon the exact spot on which to take all my shots from.  I decided to use my Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens which lighter for the camera and I used the view finder grid display in order to help recompose for the same view for each visit.  As I was on holiday, it hadn’t been possible to bring a tripod with me; so I would had to hand hold the camera and relay on high ISO settings in the very low light conditions.  Fortunately may camera has a remarkable ISO range in order to cope for such challenging circumstances.  All shots taken with white balance set to sunlight.

06-04 (1 of 1)

Getting up at 5:30 I raced down to the sea front in order to reach my subject before the sun began to rise.  This first shot was taken at 6:04 local time.  The sun is just beginning to lighten the sky but the street lights are the dominant source in order to illuminate the windmill.  ISO-8063, f/2.8, 1/60 sec.

06-16 (1 of 1)

6:16, ISO-8063, f/3.3, 1/60 sec.  12 minutes on the sky is quickly lightening with some pink colour from the dawn light the street lights are still the most dominant on the windmill; but the rock is now beginning to be illuminated by the sun and colour from it’s sandstone origin is becoming visible.

06-24 (1 of 1)

6:24, ISO-6400, f/5.6, 1/60 sec.  The early dawn light is now overtaking the dominance  for illuminating the windmill and the sky is now much lighter with more pink light visible and the rock is already much revealing more detail.

06-52 (1 of 1)

6:52, ISO-3200, f/5.6, 1/5000 sec.  Very much lighter the street lights are now turned off the windmill is only illuminated by the dawn and I have been able to use a fast shutter speed on a slower ISO setting.

07-37 (1 of 1)

7:37, ISO-800, f/5.6, 1-1500 sec.  The sun is beginning to get high enough to start shinning directly on the windmill and stone inside is reflecting light through the window.  The rock too is reflecting light from the sun beginning to model it’s shape with much more detail emerging.

07-39 (1 of 1)

7:39, ISO-800, f/5.6, 1/1500 sec. The sun is now much higher and both the rock and the windmill is getting light to model both their shapes.

07-47 (1 of 1)

7:47, ISO-800, f/6.7, 1/2000 sec.  This image provides to good modelling of the windmill; so clearly illustrating its curved shape.  The rock however is just beginning to loosing the high lights that emphasises it’s own shape.

07-58 (1 of 1)

7:58, ISO-125, f/5.6, 1/125 sec. The sun is now much higher ant the modelling effect is still very effective on the windmill; but the rock is loosing it’s punch as a result of both haze and less effective directional light to model it’s shape.  The sun is much brighter and my ISO is much lower whilst still obtaining a fast shutter for hand held operation.

10-12 (1 of 1)

10:12, ISO-125, f/9.5, 1/350 sec.  The sun has now moved to a position in the sky where there is no modelling light on the rock and hardly any on the windmill.

13-13 (1 of 1)

13:13, ISO-125, f/13, 1/180.  The sun is now more or less overhead, I have reduced the shutter speed for greater depth of field the haze has burned off and I can get better detail of the rock thanks to the highlights that have added texture to it.  However, the windmill in the foreground looks fairly two-dimensional.

17-16 (1 of 1)

17:16, ISO-125, f/13, 1/350.  Which a lower sun both the rock and windmill have a more modelled and textured appearance.  Thanks also to the greater depth of field to the image.  The clouds have been burned away by the hot sun leaving a clear blue sky background.

18-35 (1 of 1)

18:35, ISO-125, f/4.8, 1/750.  At this angle the light from the sun becomes more golden in colour, texture in the stone of the windmill however the light does not provide much benefits regarding modelling the curve of the tower and the rock also looks less interesting despite it’s brightness and colour.

18-58 (1 of 1)

18:58, ISO-125, f/6.7, 1/1500 sec.  In this image we have a nice dark edge to the windmill a graduation of the shadow as it reached the tallest part of the tower and light lit stone beyond, this I would describe as broad lighting.  The rock is also nicely lit providing some nice contrasts to create texture and modelling.  The image still maintains a golden appearance.

20-26 (1 of 1)

20:26, ISO-125, f/8, 1/500 sec.  This must be the golden-hour, the rock and windmill both have a warm yellow hue and both are nicely lit for modelling and texture.

21-12 (1 of 1)

21:12, ISO-400, f/8, 1/60.  The sun is disappearing over the horizon and as the light disappears the windmill and rock looks flatter and duller.

21-19 (1 of 1)

21:19,  ISO-250, f/8, 1/60 sec.  The light is quickly disappearing and I am raising my ISO again to compensate.  The windmill are both looking flatter and the colours are more blue grey dominated.  The sky a deeper blue looks richer as it is quickly turning to black.

Clearly, there is a short period early in the morning and during and just after sunset when for the best opportunities to get really good images.  Preparation, patients and good timing are essential ingredients.   I also think that perhaps the use of a graduated neutral grey filter could also have been employed to even better results to bring out more dramatic colours from the sky.

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise-Measuring Exposure-2

In this exercise I have taken 5x images of the same subject to learn how the deliberate choice to slightly over or under-expose may sometimes benefit the picture.

The first as recommended by the camera’s light meter, the second half-stop darker, third one-stop darker, fourth half-stop lighter and fifth one-stop lighter.

This exercise is typically known as ‘Bracketing’ and this idea originates from the days of film photography.  When a subject has both challenging contrasts of light and shade photographers would often take 3 or 5 shots at different exposures to try to get an image that was closest to capturing detail in both dark areas of an image and in the bright areas.  Starting from the light meters recommended exposure to above and below in half or one-stop increments. Manufactures such as Nikon added this as a feature in their later SLRs and for the newer DSLRs keeping the name ‘Bracketing’.  This useful feature will automatically alter the exposure for the chosen number of shots from half-stop to one-stop increments with the choice of number of shots from 3, 5, 7, etc.  With the advent of digital photography and the development of software to manipulate the digital images ‘Bracketing’ has become a new science and art-form in the photography world with the development of High Dynamic Range (HDR) software that can combine all the bracketed images into one picture that can now make possible the inclusion of all the detail in both bright areas and dark areas of a scene that previously was not.  This however, often makes for a very hard / gritty contrasty type of image limiting their use.

Images shot as recommended by the light meter.
Average-1-resized Average-2-resized Average-3-resized Dad-1-mid-tone (1 of 1) Dad-2-mid-tone (1 of 1)

1a                             2a                                      3a                                      4a                       5a

Half a stop darker
Half_stop_darker-1 Half_stop_darker-2-resized Half_stop_darker_3-resized Dad-1-minus-half-stop (1 of 1) Dad-2-minus-half-stop (1 of 1)

1b                            2b                                     3b                                    4b                        5b

One stop darker
One_stop_darker-1-resized  One_stop_darker-2-resized One_stop_darker_3-resized Dad-1-minus-one-stop (1 of 1) Dad-2-minus-one-stop (1 of 1)

1c                            2c                                        3c                                       4c                       5c

Half a stop lighter
Half_stop_lighter-1-resized Half_stop_lighter-2-resized Half_stop_lighter-3-resized Dad-1-plus-half-stop (1 of 1) Dad-2-plus-half-stop (1 of 1)

1d                           2d                                      3d                                      4d                       5d

One stop lighter
One_stop_lighter-1-resized One_stop_lighter-2-resized Oner_stop_lighter-3-resized Dad-1-plus-one-stop (1 of 1) Dad-2-plus-one-stop (1 of 1)

1e                           2e                                      3e                                      4e                        5e

My selection of best images are as follows:

1c This provides the most contrast in the detail of the stone figure with shadows offering a good sense of texture and form.  This image is one-stop over the recommended exposure as indicated through my camera’s light meter.

2a In this subject I think that the recommended exposure works best.

3c Again the darker, one-stop above recommended exposure works best for Holly’s fur coat.

4d I feel that this image looks best, half-stop brighter than the suggested exposure giving an up beat / high-key tone.

5a I believe that this is the best choice and is the exposure recommended by my camera’s light meter.  It has some rim-light that helps him stand out from the background and there is sufficient contrast for a modelling affect.

Reference material:

Basics Photography 07, Exposure.  by David Prakel. Published by AVA Publishing

 

 

Exercise – Colours into tones in black-and-white

In this exercise, I created a still life using sweets, modelling clay and drinking straws laid on my grey card that I use for manually setting the white balance. The object of this exercise is to use colour filters when converting a colour image to black and white to improve the tone and contrast of the black and white picture. This can be achieved with digital photography by using the colour filter options in Photoshop or Lightroom by adding or subtracting the colour values on the control sliders found in the greyscales functions, available to both of these programs. These features simulates in a more controllable way the adding of a coloured filter to the end of a lens on a camera when photographing with black and white film.

I began this exercise by using my grey card to set the white balance for my camera, I then I set up my still-life with the camera set on a tripod positioned over the subject. I used my 105mm lens, manually focused and set to aperture priority, ISO 100 and I used a cable remote to trip the camera.

First image remains as shot in colour.
Second altered in Photoshop with the greyscale function with no filter adjustments.
Third, fourth, fifth and sixth images all adjusted in Photoshop with one filter raised to simulate a coloured filter over the lens but with the other primary colour sliders lowered to adjust tone and contrast.

Original_colour-resized
Apart from sharpening this image has been untouched and simply converted to JPEG.

Original.
Photoshop – Filters – Camera Raw filter – HSL/Greyscale – tick box “Convert to Greyscale”.
Original_grey_scale-resized
This image has been simply converted to the grey scale in Photoshop without any adjustments to the colour filter sliders which were set to the following default settings:
RED – +7, Orange – +2, Yellow – 0, Greens – -13, Aquas – -22 Blues – +5, Purples – +5,
Magentas – +7.

Red filter.
Adding_red_filter_and_reducing_green_blue_yellow-resized
Filter sliders:
RED – +100, Orange – -27, Yellow – -36, Greens – -41, Aquas – -22 Blues – -69, Purples – +5,
Magentas – +7.

Yellow filter.
Adding_yellow _filter_and_reducing_green_blue_red-resized
Filter sliders:
RED – -42, Orange – -8, Yellow – +11, Greens – -19, Aquas – -22 Blues – -23, Purples – +5,
Magentas – +7.

Adding_green _filter_and_reducing_yellow_blue_red-resized
Filter sliders:
RED – -49, Orange – -21, Yellow – -33, Greens – +78, Aquas – -22 Blues – -13, Purples – +5,
Magentas – +7.

Adding_blue _filter_and_reducing_yellow_green_red-resized
Filter sliders:
RED – -12, Orange – -29, Yellow – -33, Greens – -77, Aquas – -22 Blues – +100, Purples – +5,
Magentas – +7.

By playing with these colour filters in the grey scale I have been able to alter the appearance of all the items on the grey background. However, the grey background itself, has remained constant in all the images.

Assignment 2 – Elements of design

Assignment 2
Chosen subjects: flowers & plants
Single point dominating the composition
Dominant_point-5-resized
Choosing a subject that had a fairly plain background, I then played around with positioning the subject in the frame until finding a composition that I liked. I then used Photoshop to colour pop for a more interesting effect.
I have positioned the rose in the bottom left hand corner to deliberately create a dynamic tension by drawing the eye away from the centre of the picture where the viewer’s eye would naturally want to rest and thus making the eye flick unconsciously back and forth across the picture. Below are some alternative compositions that I considered before making my choice.
Single point-a-resized

Single point-b-resized

Single point-c-resized

Two points
A classic example of a geometrically divided frame, the sharp image of the bee in the foreground, balances well with the bright yellow Dandy-lion of the secondary dominant point in the background. I took this image very quickly getting as close as I could without scarring off the bee and then I had to crop the picture in Lightroom to complete the desired effect. I used the theory of balance by framing and cropping moving the bee closer to the edge of the frame whilst the larger point followed closer towards the centre to the picture / fulcrum and thus producing a visually balanced picture.
Two_dominant_points-3-resized

Several points in a deliberate shape
This image of the pattern of tiny flowers forming the octagonal shape stands out sharply against the contrast of the blurred green background of the foliage and again I have balanced this with the yellow dandelion on the right hand side to create an attractive picture. Each flower could be considered a point making a small octagonal that in turn is making a larger point to make a larger octagonal. I used the dandelion in the background to add a little colour and balance to the picture.
This image conveys to me both design and order in nature.
Points_making_a_shape-1-resized

A combination of vertical and horizontal lines
Reeds in a pond with ripples in the water extending out to the bottom of the frame, the bank, grass, dark background beyond and the iron railings all providing the elements for this almost graphic design. I noticed that the reflection in the water from the contrast between light and dark creates implied horizontal lines as well as having elements of obvious lines.
Combination_of_horizontal_and_verticle_lines-3-resized

Diagonals
Using a macro lens to get in close I have framed this to create a sense of dynamic movement by drawing the eye from the bottom left through the picture to the brighter yellow in the top right. It could even be looked at from another point of view that stamens point down to the bottom left. However, whichever way the viewer chooses to read the image both ways direct the viewer through the picture.

Diagonals-2-resized

Curves
I focused in as close as possible to this rose, framing and later cropping the image to emphasise the curves of the rose petals for my desired effect.
By placing the centre of the rose in the top right corner of the frame, I have divided the frame in a geometrical manner to create a sense of dynamic movement from the folds of the petals to radiate out towards the bottom left hand corner of the picture.

Curves-4-resized

Distinct, even if irregular, shapes
An implied British Lion.

Points_making_a_shape-2-resized

I when looking for this composition, I wanted to find something in nature rather than a deliberate still life. In my search I found a pattern of flowers that if I reframed I could create an implied shape.
distinct even if irregular shapes-a-resized

At least two kinds of implied triangles.
I have use three methods to create implied triangles the first by cropping and using contrast, I have created two implied triangles with a third obvious triangle.
In my second image, I have used perspective by photographing down the length of the tree lined avenue to create four implied triangles.
In my third and last, I have simply used camera angle to create two implied triangles between sky and ground.

Implied_triangle-3-resized

Implied_triangle-8-resized

Implied_triangle-9-resized

Rhythm
To achieve the desired effect that I wanted, I focused in as close as I could on my subject and then cropped the resulting image to create the impression of rhythm. Using the idea that most people will naturally view the image from left to right I chose a subject with a repeating pattern that both draws the eye across the picture whilst also encouraging it to look up down as it moves from left to right. I this image the colours direct the eye up and down the photograph whilst the shapes direct the eye across the picture.
This creates to me a feeling of warmth, movement and direction.

Rhythm-2-resized

Pattern
In this composition I wanted the create a pattern so I selected a number of small colourful flowers and I deliberately framed them so that they just fit to the edges of the frame in order to create a sense of continuation for the pattern.

Patterns-7-resized

Exercise – Focal lengths – for cameras with variable focal lengths (with a zoom or interchangeable lenses)

The object of this exercise is to appreciate the simplest effect that the changing of lenses from a short focal length to a long focal length can make with regards the amount of view taken in from these different focal lengths.  I tried to find a subject of some interest with fore and background and settled on the ruined building that I framed to the right of the overall image to give a sense of place and context.  I was lucky to have a roughly shaped triangular field of bluebells in the foreground for the long focal lengths which also added colour.  From closely examining all the photos I notice that  although the magnification changes from one photo to another the relationship of different objects doesn’t alter from one another, in this case by examining the tree in relation to the chimney in all the photos  illustrates this point very clearly.

I set my camera upon a tripod and kept the tripod in the same position for all the photos, only slightly altering the composition by repositioning the subject in the view finder.  I kept the camera setting to ISO-200 with the white balance set to auto and aperture priority set to f/8 for all the images taken and I have mentioned the different shutter speed as they automatically changed for each focal length under each picture.
I have used both primary and zoom lenses for this exercise: 24mm, 50mm, 105mm and a zoom 55-300mm DX (1.5 ratio) lens. When quoting focal lengths for images taken with the zoom lens I have quoted both the 1.5 (DX) focal length and the equivalent full frame (FX) focal length above each relevant photograph.

Prime 24mm wide angle

24mm-resizedDue to the wide angle of this lens the attached lens hood created a slight vignetting but I decided not to crop it out as I want to fully illustrate the full width of angle created from this focal length. Shutter speed 1/640.

Prime 50mm (Standard focal length)
50mm-resizedThis is the standard focal length for 35mm SLR film camera and as my camera DSLR has a full size sensor this is also the equivalent standard focal length for my camera. This means that it is approximately the same angle of view as that of the human eye. Shutter speed 1/400.

Zoom DX-55mm / FX-83mm focal length

83mm-resized
Shutter speed 1/250.

 

 

 

Prime – 105mm telephoto lens
105mm-resized

Shutter speed 1/320.

 

 

 

Zoom – DX80mm / FX 120mm
120mm-resized

Shutter speed 1/200.

 

 

 

Zoom – DX 86mm / FX 129mm
129mm-resized

Shutter speed 1/200.

 

 

 

Zoom – DX 116mm / FX 174mm
174mm-resized
Shutter speed 1/200.

 

 

 

Zoom – DX 165mm / FX 247mm
247mm-resized
Shutter speed 1/200.

 

 

 

Zoom – DX 220mm / FX 330mm
330mm-resized
Shutter speed 1/200.

 

 

 

Zoom – DX 300mm / FX 450mm
450mm-resized
Shutter speed 1/250.

Assignment One – Contrasts

Assignment One – CONTRASTS
In this assignment I have been tasked to find eight subjects that I could use to express extremes of different qualities and take pairs of photographs, which bring out the essential differences and then to add one photo that holds both contrasts.
From the twenty-one choices, I selected: Large/small, pointed/blunt, liquid/solid, strong/weak, light/heavy, black/white, straight/curved, sweet/sour. Please review my work and notes and I look forward to your critique. Thank you.

STRENGTH OF STEEL
Strength of Steel-resized

Strength – I looked for something that both suggested and represented strength and I came upon the struts that are attached to the bridge and the supporting arches. I see these struts act as lynch pins between the burden and the support and the angle of the strut suggests tension between the arch and the road. I consider that the strut is part of a whole and that the strength is through the working partnership it has with other components, namely the main Arch support above it and the supporting girder below.

I used my zoom lens adjusted to 65mm, f/16, 1/100, ISO-100, WB-Auto, RAW. I made adjustments in Lightroom, cropping and straightening, and making small adjustments to exposure, contrast, highlights. Sharpened and saved to JPEG.

WEAK AS A SAPLING
Weak as a Sapling-resized-a

Weak – Looking for contrast to strength I felt that a small fig tree sapling that I am growing offered the suggestion of something that is weak, as it looks small and fragile; and most importantly alone. To make this image more interesting I wanted to exaggerate its vulnerability; so I set up a scene with the plant surrounded by tools that could destroy it setting the open shears in the background suggesting imminent destruction.
I set up the scene on my garden table to take advantage of natural light with the help of some reflectors.

Camera on a tripod, I used my recently purchase Nikon 105mm Macro lens, f/13, 1/250, ISO-125, RAW, WB-Auto and additional flash. I made adjustments in Lightroom, straightened and cropped and made some adjustments to exposure, contrast, highlights, sharpened and saved to JPEG.

SWEET MEMORIES
Sweet memories-resized-a

Sweet – My first thought was sweeties and I imagined brightly coloured sweets in a bonbonniére. My thoughts then led to sweet childhood memories; so I had my scene and using some framed photographs that my wife has of herself and her sisters as children I had the ideal sweet memories and all I needed was to buy some sweets and Jelly Babies was the perfect choice.
The Jelly Babies also work on another level, suggesting coloured childhood memories, sickly sweet, bright and cheerful. The lace cloth suggest femininity and nostalgia, the frames emphasise the importance of those memories to the individual and the bonbonniére the possession of an adult who perhaps hasn’t quite grown up.

I set this scene up in doors using a white reflector to provide a clean background, I set my Nikon speed light to operate remotely standing to the left of the scene, in very close, just out of shot, pointing the flash to the ceiling to bounce the light down and create an even light and minimize shadow. This was controlled from the small flash built into my camera the reflectors were set up on the right hand side of the scene. With the camera on a tripod, I used my new 105mm lens, f/13, 1/250, ISO-125, WB-Auto, RAW. In Lightroom I straightened and cropped, made some adjustments to exposure, contrast, highlights, sharpened and saved to JPEG.

SOUR RELATIONSHIPS
Sour Relationship-resized-a

Sour – I now needed a similar scene to contrast sweet memories and convey SOUR; so my thought naturally led me to ideas of relationships and how they can turn sour. I wanted a similar scene and I also wanted something else to convey the taste of SOUR. I thought lemons and limes and I thought lemons with gin and limes with tequila. Therefore, gin and tonic for the women and tequila for the man, I then found a suitable image of a loving couple on the internet that I t printed and tore in half, then using some personal framed pictures to suggest relationship history, I set the scene. All the items add layers to the story, the knife, the salt, the limes all suggest bad words, bitterness, recrimination, aggression and pain. I used the red painted wall of our living room for the background which I felt suited the mood of the picture. The doilies suggest that all of these emotions are controlled and kept “civilized” in the context of the expected behaviour of a typical middle class couple.

I set up my lighting the same way as I had set up for “Sweet” with the speed light to operate remotely and in the same way of bouncing the light from the ceiling and setting the reflectors in same positions. Again the camera was set on my tripod, 85mm lens, f/4.5, 1/250, ISO-125, WB-Auto, RAW. Lightroom adjustments – I simply sharpened.

A SPLASH OF LIQUID
A Splash of Liquid-resized-a

Liquid – I wanted to somehow convey an impression of the properties and feeling of liquid through a single image and after much consideration I thought that a splash is a good clear example and also provides a sense of drama and spectacle. I chose a strawberry as it adds colour and texture and was easily manageable. I set the scene outside on my garden table to take advantage of the natural light as I was using a fast shutter speed. I set the glass on a white table cloth and used a white reflector to provide a clean background. I had trouble with the wind blowing over my reflectors and my D-800e is not the fastest for high speed continues shooting; so I often missed the perfect exposure and after several hours I finally had some images that I could use.

Camera set on a tripod using my 85mm lens, f/4, 1/6400, ISO-400, WB-Auto, JPEG (normal). In Lightroom, I adjusted the light temperature to give a cooler look and bring out the blue, I angled and cropped the image for greater impact and I made small adjustments to exposure, contrast, highlights, whites and blacks and sharpened.

FROZEN SOLID
Frozen Solid-resized-a

Solid – Following on from the theme with the water and strawberry, I decided that the contrast for liquid water is frozen solid with the strawberry trapped inside; so I froze a strawberry in a cube and set up inside this time and simply used the light from an LED torch to illuminated the subject. I decided upon an LED light as it provides a cold blue white light that I thought suitable for the subject. I found an A4 blue plastic presentation binder that I could use as base and background for my ice cube. Laying the torch to the left of the cube shining diagonally through the ice and setting the cube angled to the camera I quickly took my pictures before the ice melted.

Camera on tripod, 105mm lens, f/5, 1/5, ISO-200, WB-Auto, RAW. Lightroom – Image angled and cropped for more of a dynamic impact, light temperature adjusted to give a cooler look and bring out the blue form the light and I made small adjustments to exposure, contrast, highlights, whites and blacks and sharpened before saving to JPEG.

SHARP NOSED
Sharp nosed-resized-a

Sharp – My first thought was that a pointed object is a good example of sharp for example the end of a knife, tip of a spear, top of the railings in a Park, but I wanted something more interesting. I am fortunate to have Brooklands Museum right on my doorstep; so I paid a visit and took some pictures of the Concord on display. Cutting edge in aeronautical design with its long pointed nose and in addition the pitot tube extending out from the tip of the nose heightens the sense of its sharpness. I felt that this was the perfect choice and surely a subject that is both iconic and a head turner. To get an almost “Thunderbird” effect I simply tilted the image when cropping.

Photographed hand held I used my thrifty fifty (50mm lens) f/22, 1/250, ISO-250, WB-Auto, RAW.
Lightroom – I adjusted the angle and cropped for a more stylistic image, small adjustments to light temp, exposure, contrast, highlights and shadow, sharpened, saved to JPEG.

BLUNT WORK
Blunt work-1-resized-a

Blunt – With Concord still in mind my first thought was to get an image of the nose of a sub-sonic aircraft as a contrast, but I did not feel that this would convey the feeling or impression of blunt. However, staying on the thought of design I had an idea of drawings and pencils. This led to the idea of another still life scene, this time I used an architect’s drawing I have for a planned extension, a blunt pencil, an architect’s ruler and sharpener, etc. The blunted pointed end of the pencil contrasts well against the sharpness of Concord. I used my speed light remotely bouncing the flash off the ceiling and operated from the built in flash on my camera but this time I didn’t use reflectors.

Camera on Tripod – 105mm lens, f/8, 1/250, ISO-125, WB-Auto, RAW. Lightroom – small adjustments to exposure, contrast, and sharpening before saving to JPEG.

VANGUARD TO CURVES
Vanguard to curves-resized-a

Curve – Whilst at Brooklands the curved design of the Vickers Viscount with its painted curved lines created a nice artistic image of curvature and so I captured this image with a hand held shot then converted to Black & White in Lightroom making some adjustments in the colour controls in the Black and white mode to adjust the grey scales separately and I tilted and cropped the final image for a greater effect.

Camera hand held – 50mm lens, f/20, 1/250, ISO-250, WB-Auto, RAW. Lightroom, tilted and cropped, small adjustments to light temp, exposure, contrast, converted to B&W and adjusted, sharpened and converted to RAW.

STRAIGHT TO THE POINT
Straight to the point-resized-a

Straight – For this subject I chose to use the large model of Concord outside Brooklands museum, it has a long straight profile leading you straight through the picture and I chose to convert to Black and White in Lightroom to remove distracting colour from the subject. Hand held I stood just about under the nose of the model to get the shot and tightly cropped.

Camera – 50mm lens, f/22, 1/200, ISO-200, WB-Auto, RAW. Lightroom – Small adjustments to light temp, exposure, highlights and shadows, contrast, B&W with fine adjustments, sharpened and saved to JPEG.

LIGHT AS A FEATHER
Light as a feather-resized-a

Light – My thoughts for something to be as light as a feather; so on one of my dog walks I collected a number of bird feathers and on returning home I took this shot holding my camera with my right hand whilst dropping a feather with my left and looking through the view finder at the same time. I set my camera to continue high speed shooting, set image quality to JPEG low res, set auto focusing to shoot and refocus, fitted speed light with TTL and hoped for the best! After many attempts I got this image that I was happy with as it conveys the impression of the floating feather. I then converted to Black and White in Lightroom.

Camera hand held – 50mm lens, f/4, 1/250, ISO-125, WB-Auto, JPEG-low. Lightroom – Adjustments to Light temp, exposure, contrast, shadows, whites, blacks, converted to B&W with adjustments and sharpened.

HEAVY TASK AHEAD
Heavy task ahead-resized-a

Heavy – Whilst walking my dog I took note of some large rocks placed in the Park for the kids to play on and I had the idea of creating a “selfy” trying to move the rock. Returning with my kit and some Garden tools I chose to use a rake as a prop and a spade and a hat to help with focusing. Setting the camera on higher ground on the tripod and using both the cable remote and 20 second timer I programmed the camera to take x 3 shots each time, after many attempts and a lot of exercise I finally got a shot that I was happy with. When editing in Lightroom I tilted the image to put the rock lower which helps give the impression of a great weight barring down against my attempt to lever it up. Again I thought black and white was a suitable medium for this image.

Camera on tripod – 55-300mm zoom lens at 200mm, f/22, 1/100, ISO-400, WB-Auto, RAW. Lightroom – Adjustments to light temp, exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, converted to B&W with adjustments, sharpened and saved to JPEG.

WHEN I AM BIG
When I am big-resized-a

Small – I chose a still life using some tiny teddy bears that my wife keeps in her desk and using some coloured felt and my speed light set up to operate remotely from the built in flash on my camera. This image is of a teddy bear acutely aware of his height and rather remaining small wants to be big. I thought using a tape measure gives a good perspective of his size against the real world.

Camera on tripod – 105mm Macro lens, f/14, 1/250, ISO-125, WB-Auto, RAW. Lightroom – Adjustments to light temp, exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, whites, blacks, sharpened and saved to JPEG.

MINE’S A LARGE ONE
Mine's a large one-resized-a

Large – Following on the theme I thought large; so obviously large teddy bear, adult, with something large and with a little word play I came up with a large whisky and so I had my planned still life. I used my speed light on remote and controlled from my camera via the built in flash and in addition I set up my reflectors.

Camera on tripod – 50mm lens, f/11 1.3 sec, ISO-125, WB-Auto, RAW. Lightroom, adjustments made to light temp, contrast, highlights, shadows, sharpened and converted to JPEG.

BLACK & WHITE
Black & White-resized-a

WHITE & BLACK
White & Black-resized-a

Black & White – I saw this project as a particular challenge as if you are working in this medium you can not have one without the other unless you simply want a plain black image or a plain white image. I got inspiration from a late 18th century past time of creating silhouettes of people using black and white card. To recreate this idea I used the translucent part of a 5 in 1 reflector as a screen and behind this I placed an LED lamp and my remote operated speed light. I then asked my wife to stand in front of the screen whilst I took the pictures. The flash gave me the freedom to operate my camera hand held for the shot. I then made adjustments in Lightroom converting to black and white and I used Photoshop to produce a second image reversing the Black to White and flipping the image to create the two contrasts.

Camera hand held – 50mm lens, f/8, 1/250, ISO-125, WB-Auto, RAW. Lightroom – Adjustments to light temp, exposure, highlights, shadows, whites, blacks, B&W conversion, sharpened, cropped. Photoshop – flipped and black and white reversed the both images saved to JPEG.

STRAIGHT TO THE CURVE
Straight to the curve-resized-a

Contrasts in one Image – I chose this image as the light has created some very attractive curved patterns on these straight and curved edged items. I loved the coloured rainbow effects from this experiment and this is my favourite image simply because I find it unusual.
To obtain this image I wanted to shine a plain white background through the items then photograph them using a polarize filter. To achieve this I used the screen of my laptop, but first I had to create a plain white image; so using Windows “Paint” and simply saving the blank canvas as the image I then made it my screen saver. I then laid the ruler and protractors on the screen stood my tripod with attached camera and PL filter over the top and took my photos.

Camera on tripod – 50mm with PL filter, f/8, 0.8sec, ISO-125, WB-Auto, RAW. Lightroom – Adjustments to light temp, exposure, contrast, shadows, highlights, saturation, tilted and cropped, sharpened and saved to JPEG.

Object in different positions in the frame

The river Thames by my local town of Chertsey is in flood and so I chose to use a park bench that normally would provide visitors and hikers a pleasant place to sit and rest as the subject of this exercise.
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