Saturday, January 30, 2010

Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone

It snowed about half a foot here in Kingsport last night.  I got out and took a few pictures, but nothing much worth sharing.   It was cloudy and snowy all day so I couldn't take any examples of front and side lighting, so that post will have to wait.

I did get the macro lens out and tried taking some very non-landscape shots.  Taking pictures of things other than mountains, lakes, waterfalls, and wildlife is a little outside my photographic comfort zone.  I'm sure many photographers are like me, we have our favorite subjects and don't try shooting different subjects often enough.  Participating in a monthly photography challenge, a scavenger hunt, or other activity that makes us branch out is a great way to learn new things and develop some new styles of photography. 

The Eastman Camera Club is running a monthly challenge and the theme for February is "Sweet Tooth".  I had to come up with something to show for this month's challenge so I looked around home to see what I could come up with.  We had four Hersey Kisses left.   Add a mirror, some Rain-X and some water drops, and you come out with something like this.

You can click on any of these thumbnails for a larger view.

I used Rain-X on the mirror to make the water bead up.  The biggest challenge was finding a place to shoot where I didn't get distracting things in the background.  It was surprisingly difficult with the mirror.  I eventually had to take some pictures off the wall.

With the "Sweet Tooth" challenge out of the way, I decided to try something else I had seen done before.  I got a piece of glass from an old picture frame and put Rain-X on it.  I then laid it between two chairs and put some artificial flowers on the floor below it.  I carefully put drops of water on the glass like I had done with the mirror.  I then set up my tripod so I could shoot straight down through the water drops to the flowers below.  The trick is to focus on the water drops and let the flowers go out of focus.  By focusing on the water drops you can see the flowers in focus like they are inside the drops!    I held a LED flashlight below the glass and shined it on the flowers.  Putting the flashlight below the glass eliminates glare.  This is another very cool effect!

I was using a 100mm macro lens and shooting from about 10 inches above the drops.  When I moved closer to the drops the depth of field became so small that it was almost impossible to keep the entire drop in focus. 

If it wasn't for the monthly challenge I would probably not taken these photos.   I encourage you to participate in one of the challenges, or anything that forces you out of your photographic comfort zone.

1 comment:

  1. Very creative shots Richard it is nice to think outside of the box everyonce in a while isn't it !!