It’s that time of year again here in the lower northeast. It’s the winter but instead of a blanket of white snow, we are blessed with a copious amount of rain and it just being cold enough to keep you inside but not cold enough to freeze anything. Even if you would go venture outside, all of the colors are blah and forests are oceans of bare trees. So what is a hobbyist photographer to do during these times? Adapt and overcome!
This is the time to really work on sharpening skills and working on things with what you struggle. If you’re like me you might have dozens of YouTube tutorial videos saved in your Watch Later folder. Or maybe there’s a genre you always wanted to try. Give it a shot! This is my mentality going into the next few months.
This weekend I wanted to focus on dramatic/moody shots of simple objects. Such as food.
I consider myself mainly a lifestyle or documentary photographer. I enjoy taking photos of what is happening around me as it happens and preserving those memories. Even in landscape/wildlife photography, you just capture the beauty around you. So when it comes to staging a photography shoot, I have next to no clue as to what it is I’m doing. Directing available light. Manipulating that light. Artificial light. (Holy smokes does artificial light frustrate and scare me)!
So by the time the winter months are over and I actually have daylight when I get back from work, I want to be more proficient with lighting. And trust me when I say this, given my current level of lighting expertise, “improvement” is all but guaranteed. But I want to take it as far as I can go!
Today, I thought I’d keep it simple. I was inspired by something I saw on Instagram recently and I thought it would be great to try. Dark dramatic photos of food. It looked like I would only need one source of soft light and I knew my office had the perfect window.
It was a lot of fun just getting the shot. I finally setup a backdrop that was given to me by a friend that has been sitting in my garage for over a year. I completely forgot he told me the actual backdrop material wasn’t included. So I made due with an old black comforter cover. Then I just setup a small table, my tripod, and grabbed an aging apple from the back of the refrigerator drawer.
Just to spice things up a bit further, I located one of the girls’ spray bottles and sent a mist of water over the fruit. Perfect? Subjective. But I think it gave that one more thing that made this more than just a picture of an apple.
I took way more photos of this apple than anyone ever should. Then there were bananas. …And then yams. It was all fun! But that’s the joy of digital photography. You can take 1000 photos and keep just 1 and it doesn’t hurt the wallet!
Fun was most important thing that came out of this shoot. I’m OK with the final image but there’s room to improve. I got to do what I enjoy (photography) while trying something new and playing with the kids. Next on the list is learning the Canon Speedlite 580EX that I’ve had for years and never learned.
What are you doing during these times to keep the creative juices flowing? I am all for sharing ideas! Comment or contact me!