Saturday, April 01, 2006

The Joy of Abstract Photography

I had time to play in my kitchen this morning and these photos (plus lots more like them) are the result. Yeah, I know, most people play in their kitchens and create edible goods. I play in my kitchen and create abstract photos. Well, you know what they say, different strokes for different folks.

Some folks have asked me how I make these images.

The first thing you need is a camera with either fully- or semi-manual modes. I usually use either aperture-priority or shutter-priority modes, depending on whether I want to control the depth of field or the exposure time.

The next thing you need is lots of light. If you think you have enough light, get more!

The other thing that helps is a good close-up or macro lens. I just got my close-up lens last week. Before that I had to rely completely on the built-in zoom capabilities of my camera. That worked okay, but I really enjoy using the close-up lens, now that I have it.

I mount the camera on a tripod (stability is critical for close-up work) and use a remote trigger to release the shutter. Using the remote trigger ensures that I don't shake the camera, because any movement at all will blur the picture.

I use the computer to crop images, remove dust spots, and do other stuff, like creating fancy backgrounds and borders. I have some pretty good software but my skills are fairly basic. If the photo isn't pretty decent right out of the camera, I probably won't be able to fix it on the computer.

Some people use sophisticated timers and lighting systems to do photos like these. They create some stunning photos. They also have far better post-processing skills than I do.

So, that's it in a nutshell. Photos like these are what I do when I'm not working, doing stuff with the family, playing the piano, writing music, etc. Well, a girl needs something to fill her time, right?


Barbara said...

wow! those photos are amazing. Are they drops of water or bubbles, or what? Did you get the colours by playing with they on the computer, or the lighting you used?

Evie Sears said...

The colors are created by reflections of light on the surface of a CD and on the water. CDs and water are very reflective surfaces. Rotating the CD and positioning the water drops within or alongside the bands changes the relationship of the light to the CD and water surfaces. I also used a sheet of white carboard to subtly reflect light back onto the CD and water. That effect is seen primarily on the water surfaces.