Assignment #7: Photograph a juxtaposition of texture: put smooth against rough or rough against smooth.
With this assignment I’m taking a different approach. I frequently find I want more out of my images, but I’m not sure what. How do I figure that out? What is the creative process? I selected an item I wanted to photograph, and with this post I’m exploring how I got from an image that is blah at best, to something I kinda like.
My friend Elisabeth, from Virginia Beach, gave me a beautiful knitting bowl for Christmas. Not only is Elisabeth a corporate executive, she is also an excellent cook and entrepreneur (Pennacook Peppers – check them out on Facebook; their pepper jelly is the best!) as well as a gifted potter. She made me this knitting bowl! I love it.
Picture #1 – Harsh Light, Ugly Backdrop
With this image, I’m not doing Elisabeth or the bowl any favors.
I put the knitting bowl, holding a couple of balls of yarn, on a side table next to a window with western exposure. The light is harsh. The blanket-in-process is scruffy looking, with knitting needles and markers poking out. A water mark appears on the table beneath the bowl. Ugh.
Picture #2: Adding Warmth and Shiny/Tiny Objects
To provide warmth, I taped up a sheet of gold-colored poster board on the wall behind the bowl. Adjusted the blanket to hide the needles as well as the watermark. Placed some knitting tools in front of the bowl for additional interest and texture.
This isn’t knocking my socks off. And the light is glary.
Picture #3: Lamp as Light Source
Because the light continued to bother me, I waited until dark and turned on a table lamp to provide the light source. Also angled the table to draw the eye in toward the bowl. Tried to shine the light on the crevice and swirl – key features of the bowl through which the yarn is threaded – to focus the eye there.
Not loving this. The hot spot on the back of the bowl is a distraction. I’m not sure the little knitting tools add much to the image.
Picture #4: Change in Perspective
I waited a while to take more images and tried a change in perspective to get the creative juices flowing. Shot the image from above to capture crevice and swirl from inside the bowl. Thinking that less might be more, removed the blanket and tiny tools.
No. This is going in the wrong direction.
Picture #6: The Monochromatic Look
Back to a more traditional perspective. My friend Susie suggested I identify the feeling I want the image to evoke, and to keep this in mind while shooting. I decided I wanted the image to conjure feelings of home, warmth, softness, being cared for.
The blanket is therefore a must and goes back in. Also in – a second ball of yarn that matches the blanket and the first ball to add more texture but not more color. The bowl is on the same side table next to the window, but this time I pull down the white window shade to diffuse the light. Knitting tools stay out.
Very close, but not quite right…..
Picture #7: My Favorite
This is my favorite. I like the hint of pink from the second (different) ball of yarn and how the curvy blanket hugs the bowl. The table edge to the right adds some healthy tension and helps frame the bowl. The shadows on poster board add depth, and I find the quality of the light in this image more appealing. And the crevice/swirl – front and center – really show what makes this beautiful bowl a knitting bowl.
So, did I succeed? Does this image evoke feelings of home, warmth, being cared for? Please leave a comment to let me know.