Putting down the books – Part 1.

“Sometimes you have to put the books down, forget the tutorial links and get the camera out and just play.”

This quote has been repeated to me many times by many people over the last few weeks. So that is what I have done. My reading list will be minimal for this assignment and the research will be in a large part practical. I, of course, reserve the right to change my mind but it is time to look at what is required of me from the assignment and putting what I have learnt in the exercises to the test in preparation for the assignment.

I started with familiar ground. I enjoy macro photography and, dare I say it, the odd macro flower! This time I brought the flower indoors. Using a single continuous light I moved the flower around in the light to reveal texture at about 45 degrees (LSM REF.)

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Having warmed up a little and feeling a little braver I pulled the camera back and introduced the vase into the frame.  I lifted the light high at about 90 degrees to the flower but just in front. I didn’t like the harsh shadow falling on to the surface so I diffused the light. However the end result was the backdrop was too light….

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From there I took the diffuser away and tried a simple reflector to soften the shadow on the surface but it was still too harsh. I concluded that I prefered the dark background and the overall low key effect  but the shadow on the surface isn’t softened to the degree I wanted and is too distracting….

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I felt that the answer was probably there somewhere but I was getting a little frustrated so decided to move on to a different experiment with back lighting. I wanted to see how a bare bulb would work. Apart from the obvious it went well…… Well, no it didn’t actually. I guess it was obvious that the petals were translucent themselves. I hadn’t anticipated the dust in the air being so apparent either.

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I got bored with the vase at this point and exchanged it for a glass bottle.  I liked the effect on the bottle but the lighting is showing dirt that I hadn’t realised was there. I also didn’t like the neck of the bottle showing through the petal.  (I apologise for the different size of this image. I’d explain but it’s a boring WordPress update technicality.)

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So in came the DIY diffuser…. And I like this a lot. The tracing paper used in the DIY diffuser is poor quality so I stop short in saying it’s a usable image for assignment purposes.

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