Friday, July 8, 2011

Shooting on Glass

I received a DVD in the mail several months ago, by Karl Taylor. Called the Ultimate Photo Guide, I previewed it and decided to bite. It's a very well made video guide to specific skills such as macro photography, HDR and light painting. 

One activity he showed was that of photographing sliced fruit on glass for interesting "kitchen" art. As I had some glass available, some fruit handy and an hour to play, I decided to reproduce his setup.

The glass is supported above the ground, and a white background is placed on the ground underneath it. Using a speedlight on a cord, you light the white card with flash, and the reflected light passes through thinly sliced fruit on the glass. You photograph from above.

Here is my first attempt with lemons:
I liked it but it was not crispy enough for me. So I tried slicing a Granny Smith apple through the center. Here's a single apple slice:

I liked that, and decided to make a special effect. I shifted the color of the fruit using the Hue/Sat tool, and then negative-ized the image, to create something that looks like the full moon:
I think that's kind of neat. Then I took a bunch of slices and colorized them differently:
That's a little strange, but it would make an interesting conversation piece. It reminds me of Easter eggs after being dyed.

My last shot is a Red Delicious, sectioned vertically:

I tweaked the levels and colors a bit. Overall, I'm happy with the first exercise. I may do some kiwi and star fruit next!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Are you a bad poet?

Seth Godin is one of my idols. He is one of the most relevant observers of marketing, selling and online communities. I encourage you to join his blog.

Here's a recent post by Seth Godin which I think is relevant to this industry and us:

Quotes Seth:

Bad poetry

There's a lot of it.
One reason: it's easy to become a poet. Easy to announce you're a poet, easy to get a pencil and a paper, easy to publish your work online.
There's a lot of bad tweeting, bad marketing, bad facebooking, bad emailing and bad music now as well.
No barrier certainly leads to a lack of selectivity.
Surprisingly, though, amid the bad art, we actually find more good art.
A barrier to entry isn't the only thing that improves quality. Sometimes it's sufficient to let artists do their work without a gatekeeper.

As photographers, our barrier to entry is very low. Anyone with a camera can call themselves a photographer. 

Are you making good art or bad art?