Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Photography:Skulls & Candles

I've been trying my hand (and lens) at subjects in low light and the wonderful effects (as with Mr Skull above) you can expect to achive with a little practise, a bit of effort and (essentially) the right camera!

Well of course painting is my first love, my passion and favourite child but photography has quickly won a very important seat at my table. Initially the camera was simply a tool. A device to capture my paintings for use online as well as my portfolio. Simply utilitarian? Well yes, until the time came when I started to think about producing high quality photo's. Then everything changed...
Q: Time then for an upgrade?
A: Absolutely!

I'll not labour the point here regarding my transition from functional point & shoot bod into DSLR enthusiast extraordinaire! (I'll focus on that journey in a future post) Enough to say that the difference between the two is like comparing a Mini Cooper with a Ferrari F50!

The effect with the skeleton and candle was achieved using my Sony Alpha 350 with a 90mm macro lens on a manual setting. The key is to experiment with long exposures whilst using low (off camera lighting) lighting (other candles or even a diffused torch will do) and not being afraid to explore your manual settings. OK, it can be hit and miss at first (very!) but you soon gain a 'feel' for your subject as your choices become more and more intuitive.

Of course it helps in post editing to leverage the full benefits of photoshop but the aim is to get as much right before opening your favourite Adobe editor!

Oh, the skeleton? It's one of those cheap little plastic efforts you usually pick up for a song during Halloween. In normal light it hardly looks convincing but with a little 'razzle-dazle' the possibilities are simply endless.