I got this idea a few days ago - find something that is not straight, but shoot it at angle so it appears to be upright. So I was on the look out for wonky lamposts, buildings etc., and was very pleased to find this tree. This was the best angle because it showed the maximum incline, but the tree was in shade and there was sunlight in the background. I converted the image to black and white to prevent the bright green grass in the background from distracting from the drab soil in the foreground.
I went to Greenwich yesterday, primarily to take shots for my website, but I also decided to reattempt a shot of the Thames Flood Barrier that I'd struggled with in August. This picture has been cropped to show a section of one of the barriers, which is my interpretation of 'smooth':
The problem is that the shiny panels of the barrier are so highly reflective, I kept getting blown highlights. I remember reading about a professional photographer who wrote that Winter was his preferred time to take pictures because of the quality of light, and I discovered this for myself in the last few weeks as I haven't had problems with lens flare or hot spots which I had during the Summer.
For my final pair of contrasting images, I have chosen black/white. In infrared photography, anything that reflects infrared light shows up as white so I had quite a few possibilities. In the end, I opted for an image of a pelican that I took at London Zoo in July:
I was initially worried about not being able to show enough contrast in an image that is predominantly white, but there are several specks of black to prevent it from being totally washed out.
The image representing 'black' had me stumped until reading an article in February 2010's 'Practical Photography' magazine. In this article, the photographer took a picture in complete darkness, using a torch for illumination and the bulb setting for the shutter. I tried the same method using a black guitar propped up in front of some black satin material. I positioned the guitar, tripod and camera to reveal what it is, but hide the parts of it that are not black. I set the camera up with the light on, and then operated the shutter by remote control while 'painting' over the guitar with a torch. I had about 6 attempts at it, altering the aperture until I got an image that I was happy with, and this is it:
I have chosen this picture to show hard/soft:
This was taken in October 2009 on a flight to Egypt. I specifically chose a window seat that wasn't blocked out by the wing (this has happened to me before) and I was lucky that the sun wasn't too bright. I have imcreased the contrast to highlight the texture in the clouds and increased the saturation.
I made my Facebook Fan Page public today!
I sent inbox messages to a few people who I thought were more likely to become fans. I'm aiming for about 40 in the first instance, and would like to see this number increase once the website has been launched.
What have I learned?
I have a better appreciation of the 'seasonal effects' on photography. The landscape has changed significantly - leaves falling off trees and low-lying plants killed by frost. Also, the light is less harsh and I personally find the sky more interesting (from an infrared point of view) because there are more clouds.
The contrast assignment has increased my range of subjects and techniques. It has also given me the opportunity to experiment and show familiar objects in new ways.