Friday, 30 October 2009

Art of Photography: Assignment 1 - Heavy/Light

I chose this category for my image which shows both contrasts in one picture. The idea was to photograph weighing scales with weights and a feather, with the feather being heaviest and weighing the scales down. So the image would show something which is usually known to be very light and expected to not weigh much, actually being heavier than the weights.

I knew when planning the photograph that I wanted it to be very obvious that the feather was heavier so that this fact was the main focus of the image. There were a couple of things I had planned which I hoped to be able to do in order to achieve this.
The first was to use depth of field to selectively focus on the feather and so draw the viewers eye to it. This I feel I achieved well. I had to experiment with the lighting, it's distance from the subject, and use the least amount of flash possible to be able to use the widest aperture to create a shallow depth of field. I also chose to angle the scales to provide that depth of field from the front of the object to the back, and to improve the composition of the photograph.
The second thing was that I hoped to be able to find the old style of balance scales, where the items to be weighed and the weighing plates hang on chains from horizontal balance bar. The reason I wanted this type of scale is that the difference in height from a heavy object on one side and a light object on the other is large, and it is therefor very easy to see immediately which object is heavier. Unfortunately I could not find these scales to use, except if I could afford to pay quite a large amount of money for them which I couldn't. This meant I had to use a different type of balance scales, which whilst they obviously do show the difference in weight of objects, it is not as immediately clear. Consequentially I tried my best to achieve what I wanted with these scales and I am still pleased with the final result, but I know it could have been better and more obvious if I had been able to use the correct scales for the photograph as I had imagined.

My original idea was also to use weights for the opposite side of the scales from the feather, and I had thought about painting the weights to experiment with different colours. This couldn't be done as the weights and scales were borrowed. When it came to setting up the picture I first tried with the weights but I wasn't happy with the look of the image and the fact that the weights, scales and feather were all black. Then I had an idea about using the measuring bowl filled with sugar! This would add more shape and colour to the image, add a contrast between the white sugar and black feather, and add more interest to the image. I tried this and was far more pleased with the result. It actually reversed the normal roles where weights are used to measure ingredients and replaced the weights with a feather.

All in all I still would have liked to use the type of balance scales I had hoped and I know it would have been more obvious which is heavier, but I am pleased with the final image and my idea.

Image taken at f/2.8, 1/200 sec, ISO-100 and 100mm.

No comments:

Post a Comment