One of the things I love most about photography is the fact that it's made me see the world in a different way. I now look at the world around me and notice the way objects are sculpted by light, be it a shaft of sunshine or the way light can create a three dimensional effect. For many years I've admired the still life images of Edward Weston. Here is a man who could create art from something as mundane as a pepper or a piece of cabbage, simply by the use of light. I recently came across the story of how he lit his iconic Pepper No.30, with an astonishing four hour exposure and this inspired me to have another attempt to create my own interpretation. I didn't feel the need for an exposure this long, largely because I don't have a lens with an aperture as small as f240. However, my exposure did run into several seconds, allowing me to paint some light in with a torch. To increase the sculptural effect I've done quite a lot of dodging and burning too - more than I normally would. I'm sure Edward Weston would laugh at my low budget effort but I'm pleased with the end result and wouldn't mind hanging it on my wall - after I've eaten the evidence, of course!
Sometimes the only thing I want to do when I get home from work is to thaw out in the warm with a cuppa and today, with its biting wind, was just such a day. Eventually though, having warmed up a little, I steeled myself to spring into action and find a photo for my blog. The light had gone, meaning outdoors photography was out of the question so I raided my 'bits and bobs' tin for inspiration. Over the years I've picked up dozens of pebbles on beach walks so I gathered together all the ones of a similar hue and set about creating an abstract design with them. I've also got a good number of pebbles with pink tones but they can wait for another day - I wouldn't want to use up all my 'rainy day' subjects at once!
The Photoblog theme this week is 'New Inspirations', intended to get everyone out trying new techniques. I decided to try my hand at focus stacking, although that choice did bring some frustrations as well as inspirations!
The idea behind focus stacking is to use it when you have a situation where you want everything in your photos in focus but the laws of physics prevent you managing this in one picture. Macro photography is a case in point so I picked this feather and framed up my camera on a tripod. I then took multiple pictures, shifting the focus a little further back through the frame with each one. The next step was to stack these images in Photoshop and let some computer wizardry figure out which bits of each picture. Of course, my somewhat elderly computer found this a huge challenge as it's inevitably lost some of its computing power over the years. Eventually I found a way round this (stacking smaller JPG files rather than the original large RAW files) and the end result has proved to be more successful than I expected for a first try!
If you'd like to join in the weekly theme and see what everyone else has created for it do pop over to the Photoblog forum to take a look. You can find it here.