Thursday, August 7, 2008

Photo Club assignment 3

So this week was when the 3rd assignment from the photo club was due. This time the assignment was all about exposure control. We had to take 9 shots:
  1. White white object (meaning make sure it comes out white, instead of some murky gray which the camera tries very hard to do)
  2. Black black object
  3. Back lit silhouette (don't you just love those silhouette sunset pictures?)
  4. Back lit properly exposed
  5. Camera motion (where the camera moves but subject more or less remains stationary)
  6. Subject motion
  7. Stop Action shot
  8. Bright object at night (yes, this is hard to meter for....)
  9. Moving lights
I've already shot roughly 4000 photos the past 2 months... so I decided to take it easy for this assignment and reuse shots I took from the Glow event and the picnic in Long Beach for stop action shots. However, I did take 4 shots specifically for this assignment, two of which I really liked.

From SMO Photo Club

This is my photo for black black object. I simply placed the flash on a white sheet of paper with white poster board as background. Simple desk lamp to light the flash from the side. I used a gray card for the white balance since it is important for the white background to actually look white :). For metering, I followed the basic rules, used partial metering (so it only looks at the center 9%) and since that's basically all black I dialed in -2 EV. This made the black look actually black and the white part actually white and overall exposed pretty close to correct I think. I wanted to go for a simple clean product shot and I hope I came close. The blue tint you see in the flash is actually natural light but shifted blue due to the white balance. That was a nice little unexpected bonus for me ;). I do wish I stopped the aperture down more so I can get the entire flash head in focus, but I was running out of light as is and could barely hand hold (tho I guess I could have gotten out a tripod). Again, overall I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. Nice simple and clean, with a tad bit of wide angle distortions :).

From SMO Photo Club

This was my properly exposed shot for a back lit object. I simply put the flower bowl and candle down on the white poster board in front of my window with it's veil/blinds drawn. It was getting pretty late so I was worried that I wouldn't be able to blow it out completely but fortunately for me exposing for the object was just enough to blow the background out creating a sea of white everywhere. Again I just used partial metering and this time did about a +1/3 to 2/3 EV (mostly trial and error). This might be my favorite shot from all my recent photos. I just love the simple white feel to it... like its in a studio or clean room. The flower also went well with the candle which was a new house warming gift. The glass bowl around the flower really made it work since it created interesting reflections and lets the light through. The shadows casted was also cook so I made sure I included that in the composition. Overall, I just like the picture... keeping it simple. As a friend recently reminded me... "less is more." Trying to make every day simple objects look interesting is perhaps one of the best photography exercises available.

The rest of the photos didn't turn out as well as I had hoped. They are available here.