Contrasts - Part 3

Whilst looking for 'contrasts', I hit on the idea of an old book versus an electronic book, but when I went to work on this, I hit an unexpected secondary contrast.

I retrieved my wife's 2011-model Kindle from a drawer where it has been left unused for several months, having been replace by a new tablet, only to find it's battery was so drained no amount of charging could revive it. It will almost certainly get recycled rather than repaired.

Dead Kindle

This model Kindle has been superseded, I think, at least three-times in the model range, and itself was the fourth generation since the original launch in 2008! So the contrast is not just between 'old' and 'new' but is also, and more poignantly, between 'longevity' and 'transitory'.

130-year old book of poetry by Elisabeth Barrett-Browning

Perhaps, more importantly, the book remains a desirable object, worthy of being loved and cherished as an object in it's own right, where as the modern equivalent quickly fades to something with little or no value at all, and therefore soon becomes unwanted and unloved.

Contrasts - Part 2

Now I really begin to see the pitfalls in the what I've set out to achieve, because as well as the expected photographic issues of shooting smallish objects up close (shallow depth of field and obtaining accurate focus), there also the very annoying issue of every spec of dust, pet hair, grit etc., literally looming large in every image. Unfortunately there's nothing for it but to keep the blower-brush to hand and to be vigilant, both during shooting and later in Photoshop.

Here's the affect of the black card as mentioned in Part 1:



Contrasts - Part 1

My first assignment is all about contrasts, so I thought a good start would be to gather some small objects to demonstrate contrasts in their physical characteristics.

This leant itself to indoor table-top shooting, which, given the weather we'd been having, was a sensible way to get started and keep momentum. I dug out an old Lastolite light 'tent', which I bought years ago for snapping objects to sell on ebay.

This is designed to be used with a single light source and is made of white diffusing material, except for one side panel which is silver. This silver panel reflects light back onto the unlit side of an object in order to 'fill' the shadow. I bought some coloured paper and card to fashion backgrounds, and to help control the lighting and shadows.

© Tim Tucker 2014
Sketch of lighting set-up

The basic idea was to use soft diffuse light for showing off softer, smoother objects and make a much more harsh, directional light to show up texture in other objects. Lighting itself would come from a very old and very battered Bowens studio flash unit.

Hello World!

Welcome to my opening post for this on-line learning log. This blog is going to capture my thoughts, ambitions and, yes (probably!) frustrations as I embark on a BA(Hons) Photography degree at the Open College of the Arts.

Why do a degree? Well, bluntly, opportunity - I have the time and funding - but also ambition to move my photography on from what has been, if I'm really honest, a pretty stagnant state in the last few years.

It's eleven calendar days since signing up to the first unit, Art of Photography, I have already tinkered with my first assignment, setup this log and received a deluge of reading-list books from Amazon.

Now, in the next few weeks I really need to crack on with that assignment!