Sunday, July 8, 2012

NYIP Unit 3 Photo Project

My third NYIP photo assignment has finally been shipped to my Instructor, Walter Karling. Below, I describe the different objectives and my responses to them. This one was not so difficult; I have just been very busy with other things, like my Hallside Gallery show, which went very, very well. When I receive my Instructor's comments on this assignment, I will share them with you.

Photo 1: Use sidelighting to emphasize texture. This photograph was taken on the beach at Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico on a late winter afternoon. The texture and conrast in the sand, highlighted by the low angle of the sun, was intriguing and I noticed how the pattern leads the eye deeper into the image to a tiny couple strolling hand in hand. The curve of the beach reinforces their solitude. Notice the warm light characteristic of this time of day. I would estimate that sunset was about 45 minutes away; it's called "the magic hour" because sometimes even rather mundane subjects can be transformed by the quality of the light. This was shot with my Nikon D7000 with Nikkor 18-200 zoom set at 18 mm (f/10, 1/320 sec, and ISO 200). Focus was 1.3 m (just below midpoint in the image). This image also works well in black and white although the sepia like tones are very reminiscent of what the actual conditions were like.

Photo 2: Use backlighting to enhance a subject. I seem to have many photographs from Mexico. Maybe because that is often the only place and time I have to take pictures! This photo is a Los Cabos oleander blossom, backlit by the morning sun. I cropped this using the "rule of thirds to place the subject in the lower right intersection. We'll see if Walter thinks I "hit a home run!" This was taken with my Nikon D5000 with 18-200 lens at 55 mm, f/5.6 for shallow depth of field, 1/125 sec, and ISO 200. Not a great photo, but I like the intensity of the colors.

Photo 3: Photograph a person in open shade outdoors. My muse again, Kassandra. She hates this picture, but I find it very soulful. Taken at mid-day, she was shaded by the overhanging roof of the house. Her face is lit by diffused light on a heavily overcast day. Nikon D7000 again, but with the Nikkor 85 mm micro lens, about 127 mm equivalent on a DX format camera (f/5, 1/60 sec, ISO 200). This is a great length for portraiture because you don't have to be right in your subject's face; I shot this from about 5 feet. I did touch this in Photoshop, softened the skin and sharpened her eyes (the windows to the soul). A terrific young lady!
No reflector
Photos 4 and 5: Use a reflector as a second light source. This was a sort of technical exercise, I believe to make a point about how an image can change by adding additional lighting. The time was mid-day with bright sunlight diffusing from the right side through some window blinds in my office. The D7000 with the 85 mm micro lens was on a tripod and focussed at 0.45 m (f/8, 1/160 sec, ISO 800). Various subjects were placed on a piece of white typing paper. In addition to the coffee beans, I shot some other items with similar lighting conditions, but chose these because of the warm colors in the beans and their detail. Certainly not something you'd hang on your wall, but it illustrates the lesson. Each shot was taken under exactly the same settings; the only difference was that in the lighter one (Reflector), I used an 18x24 white cardboard to the left and very close to the subject (but not in the picture obviously) to reflect the indirect window light towards the beans. The effect is somewhat subtle. Aside from increasing the overall brightness of the image, the reflector significantly reduced shadows and brought out more of coffee bean colors, mostly due to its effect on the exposure I bet. I also think there is a slight increase in the perception of texture; I'll let you be the judge. By the way, the settings were those that the camera read initially without the reflector. I then set the camera to manual so that the camera would not compensate for the extra light. You can almost smell the coffee roasting!

We'll see what Walter Karling thinks about these. I feel that they are a bit perfunctory, but that's my problem. Hope you are enjoying the summer if you are in the Northern Hemisphere and your winter if not!

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