Thursday 22 November we had a workshop on `Photography using Cross Polarisation organised by Michele Emslie. As you can see this involves using an LCD screen as the light source. This emits polarised light, in other words the light generated by the screen comes out in a narrow angle. We all had polarising filters on our cameras and by rotating these we can block most of the light from the screen so it appears black or a dark magenta (Apple Retina screens).
If we then put a transparent object in front of the screen that has some degree of polarising capability (because of internal stress or molecular structure) the polarised light gets rotated and not blocked anymore by the polarising filter on the camera. Clear plastic things like cups, cutlery, CD case, safety specs all do this to varying degrees, as you can see from the images captured on the night. The different colours are related to the thickness and the stress in the plastic, the light gets rotated more when the plastic is thicker, as it has to travel a longer path.
A few images of club members in action, we had to turn the lights off in the room to avoid reflections and spoiling the colours, hence it was a bit dark apart from the laptops lighting up the room.
We all enjoyed this evening and since this is easy to do once you know how, I’m hoping to see more of these images from our Visionaires. Many thanks to Michele Emslie for organising the evening.
Last month a few of us wandered around Footdee, the old fishing village of Aberdeen. To make things more challenging we were handed a brief to take foto’s fitting the following categories: Action, history, colour, texture, different perspective. Here are a few of the shots that members posted on Facebook:
Kevin organised a brilliant evening on the beach to demonstrate his fire spinning skills. An unprecedented number of Visionares turned up near the Beach Ballroom armed with with cameras and tripods. Basically Kevin stuffs some fine wirewool in a whisk attached to a piece of string. He lights the wirewool with a small battery and swings the whisk around. It is advisable to stay well clear as the sparks fly a considerable distance. Not that impressive to see in real time, but when it is dark enough and you take a long enough exposure (10 secs or so) the resulting image is quite spectacular. Below a small selection culled from Facebook. Fascinating to see the different shots that were posted up.
It took a while to get dark enough, so there was a bit of talk amongst yourselves before the fireworks started.
Someone suggested we used the Beach Ballroom as a backdrop, very effective.
Later the action moved to the tunnel under the road which produces a nice rectangular frame.
On Thursday 30th March, we had a real treat – well lots of treats really. Diane from Jotolio Photography came along to teach us about food photography. We were all invited to bring along some food to photograph and we excelled ourselves. There was everything from a wonderful cake with glazed fruit on top, to chocolates, eggs with fluffy chickens, tropical fruit, etc.
Susan’s Citrus Fruit
Eileen’s Tempting Tart
David’s Delicious Strawberries
Diane started with a presentation showing us just what is possible when photographing food. The photos she showed us were stunning and very inspiring.
Diane reminded us that this type of photography is totally under our control. The food is not going to move and the lighting isn’t going to change. We can take our time and be as creative as possible.
She invited us to think about Why, What and How.
Why are we photographing the food: is it the colour, the form, the story or to make a statement?
What should we put in the photograph and what should be left out? In particular careful consideration needs to be given to the background.
How should we take the photograph? We were encouraged to be creative and to have fun, to play with bouncing light, using card and foil.
Black backgrounds work really well with bright food, but be careful the food doesn’t leave a smudgy mark!
Colour is important with food and photographs should not be oversaturated. The food needs to look appetising. Coloured plates can add to the photograph, but if the same colour is used it must be exact or it will clash.
The general rules of photography work just as well for these food photos:
Where is the eye drawn to and is it to what you hoped would be the main focus of the picture?
Decide how to present the food – would it look better cleaned up, cut up or broken up?
Use a small depth of field to separate the elements of the picture.
Decide how much of the image to show, use reflections and shadows.
Consider if you want to present a story or create a drama and use background props to show this.
Try different camera angles, crop your photos.
Look for or create patterns.
Consider composite images e.g. add smoke
Consider using a simplified colour palate e.g. use green and pink, purple and green etc
Consider the lighting – use back lighting or a perspex sheet and light transparent objects from underneath.
After the talk we had a great time working our way around the hall photographing the lovely food that had been brought in.
The eggs and little fluffy chicks proved a popular subject.
Needless to say some of the arrangements changed somewhat over the course of the evening
and there was definitely less food went home than was bought in. All in all a thoroughly enjoyable evening.