Saturday, November 6, 2010

Point of Interest

After shooting my BMW die cast toy car for the last couple of weeks (the post can be found here and here), I decided that I should start shooting something else. Again, flickr has become my source of inspiration. I started to browse through flickr to find what image should I take. Inspired by one of the picture I found, I decided to shoot something from my daily use.. Spoon and fork.
I always love the idea on how normal simple stuff like spoon and fork becomes very interesting photograph if you compose and lit it correctly. That's why I'm so excited to start this 'project'. I started by arranging my spoon and fork so that it would look nice. After a few try, I decided that I will cross the spoon and the fork together.
Still using my Nikon D40 camera and a Nikon SB-20 as my light source, I lit the spoon and fork using a bare flash. The result? Not good. Since spoon and fork are very reflective, I got a hot spot on one part of the spoon while the rest are dark. I need more diffused light. That's when I decide to make a light box.

Just like my friend, Ronny, has mentioned in his MacGyver post, I tried to be creative and make my own lightbox. I use two Styrofoam as the pillar of my lightbox, and I covered it with a printing paper. I put my SB-20 directly above the light box and without any reflector and set it to 1/2 power. After using my lightbox, the result dramatically improved. I got nice contrast on my spoon and fork, and the light really highlights the shape of the spoon and fork. I kinda like this result, but it's a bit dull. Nothing really pops out and draw my attention.
And then I realized that I need something to be my Point of Interest. I need something that's not too big so that it'll cover the whole picture. I want something that is small enough to be placed on the spoon, and something that has bright color so it will draw my attention to it. After searching for a while, I found a red onion. It's not too big and it's red. So I think it will be a good Point of Interest. Ok, I'll give it a try.
Red Onion Refined_small_2_setup
Setup shot of the red onion shot
I still use the same lightbox as the one that I used before, but this time I add reflector to lit the red onion better. And the result, as you can see on this picture on the right. Pretty good, I love the light. The spoon acts as a reflector so that I can get nice 3D shape of the onion. The onion serves me well as the point of interest in this picture. It draws the attention of my eyes to it. The composition of the spoon and the fork acts as leading lines to the onion. The placement of the onion follows the rule of third. So I think it's a decent 'follow the rule' picture.
Red Onion Refined_small_2
Red Onion Shot
Finished composing a technically correct picture, I started to think the impression that I want the viewer to get by seeing this picture. It's clear to me that a red onion on a spoon won't arouse the appetite of the viewer. So, I bought a box of strawberry, especially bought for this 'project' (just kidding, I love strawberry. This 'project' is just an excuse to buy a rather expensive strawberry for me to eat). I used the same setting as the onion shot. But this time I remove the reflector. So I set the spoon so that the tip of the spoon is not covered by the printing paper and will get the light directly from my SB-20. And there you go, I got a picture that's technically correct, and can bring something to the viewer. (You can see the final result on the top of this page. The first picture of this post). For all of the picture I've taken for this 'project', I set the white balance a little bit cooler to get the cool mood.
Lessons learned from this project:
  • Technically correct picture doesn't mean anything until it can convey a message to the viewer (and I don't think red onion does that)
  • Point of Interest is really important to draw the attention of the viewer
  • Rule of third really helps (this lesson is not for you photography master out there, it's just that I just realized it)
  • Photography can be a great excuse for you to eat strawberry. (OK, this is getting random. I think I should stop writing)
Nice, now it's time for me to eat the strawberry. Yummy. Thank you for reading my post. Click here for the larger version of my final result. Keep on making picture. ^^

No comments:

Post a Comment