A photoblog of my life, with notes.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fun with light

My friends Eliot Frost, Dick Fickling, and Zach Strauss spent a class period playing around in our school’s darkroom with a red penlight and a white penlight. Pretty much, we had a lot of fun and ended up with some pretty cool pictures to show to our Digital Photography instructor. Our results included the following:

This is Eliot, with Dick and Zach using the penlights in a strobe-like fashion. There’s a certain symbolism to the white and red lights here. Think about it - Hell is classically red, and Heaven is classically white or blue. In this way, red and white have come to symbolize good and evil, respectively. I like these images because they take a human form (in this case, my ex-roomie), and split their face between the two. You’ll see this especially in this next photo.

I’ve always thought that Dick, pictured here, has an excellent persona and face for pictures. Whenever I take a picture of him, he seems to have an intelligence and depth that comes out well in the pictures. In real life, he’s pretty cool, too, but anyway…
So here in this picture there’s more of that red-blue that I like to talk about. He’s lit from below here, which gives a mysterious, flashlight-under-the-face Halloween look. With the hood and totally black background, he looks like someone you’d be wary of meeting on a darkened city street.

But then I guess he looks like that anyway. Just kidding. Kinda.

Here’s a shot that I think Zach took. It was a bulb-exposure picture, which means that the shutter was open as long as Zach kept his finger on the button. Basically, dick stood in the middle of the room and I traced him with the aforementioned red penlight. I’m not really sure what kind of symbolism this picture has, or even what it means, but it’s a cool picture that I had fun taking.

9900K M2 is the secret here. For those of you who don’t know what 9900K M2 means, it means that I whitebalanced my camera to something blue, and it told me that I had a really hot light (9900K) and it was blue (obviously) and so artificially put in an M2 color filter. If you still don’t know what I’m talking about, tough cookies. This is my good friend Opal, for those of you who don’t know her. In this picture, the pine trees in the background look like bright golden sparks, which certainly is appealing to me. Opal certainly seems happy.

This is ninja (and my unsaturated picture of the post). He’s a little ninja from Ninja Town, that Dick bought for me for Christmas(?) last year. One of our assignments for digital photography was to take pictures of a small object and photograph it in various settings (With a focus on the lighting). I took a lot of pictures of Ninja, so I’ll skimp on the commentary a little.

This picture is done in the same style as the traced picture of Dick, above. Same penlight, too.

My good friend Keegan helped me out with this one. We thought it would be funny if we had a bunch of people ‘praying’ to Ninja, so we got some volunteers.

Ninja surrounded by his slain enemies; a true warrior of the night.

Keegan came up with this one of Ninja hanging by his feet from a tree. Fun with depth of field!

You’ll either get this one or you won’t. It’s a Bruce Springsteen(sp?) album cover, except that instead of a red hat, there’s Ninja. Fun times.
My friend Berndan Krull is pictured. He’s cool – he lives across the way in Donahue house.

Now we’re done with Ninja, and on to a picture of a mushroom. Everyone always tells me not to center things in pictures – it makes the picture uninteresting and bland; a cupcake without rule-of-thirds icing. Sometimes, however, there’s something to be said for placing the subject right in the middle of a picture. The way I see it, there’s a specific feeling given to each area of a picture. I’ll divulge my feelings on the issue, and feel free to comment. A subject placed in either of the top corners, facing across the picture (upper-right corner facing left or vice versa) is a subject with a distance to cross. It has to make its way across the picture, and often this gives that subject a feeling of flight. A good position for birds. If the subject is in the top corners and facing either toward the camera or has no face to speak of, then the photograph is given an air of freedom; the subject is above the average and emotionally higher. If the subject is placed in the bottom corners, an opposite effect is achieved. The subject seems to have weight and certainly gives the image more gravity. See the picture of Dick lit from both sides (#2 from the top). Anyway, to the point, if the subject is in the middle, it gives it a feeling of importance and significance, which I find amazingly appropriate for this little mushroomy specimen I found on a log.

Now if I just spent more time thinking about getting into college…

Here’s a crop of a picture that I really like. I got the sun shining through a tiny hole in a leaf. Shows you just how bright that darn sun is.

I’ll leave you with this interesting creature. If your computer is at the same resolution and everything as mine, then the bug pictured here is lifesize. If anyone knows what this is, please leave a comment. It looks like a cricketwasp and if nobody corrects me then that’s what it is. I love language.


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