Sunday, 12 April 2009

A Splash of Colour


A Splash of Colour
Originally uploaded by stephenlamb

I got the idea for this series of photographs from an article in the May 2009 issue of Digital Camera magazine. I filled a vase with water and placed it in front of a white background. I set the camera up on a tripod with a remote cable release fitted to it. Since there is nothing to focus on, I put the handle of a wooden spoon into the vase and focussed on that with the camera on manual focus. I then poured some food colouring into the vase and took a series of photographs as the colouring spread through the water. I found that a very small amount of colouring worked best. I tried blue and red colouring.


A Splash of Colour

I emptied and refilled the vase four or five times and ended up with about 200 images. I then transferred them to the computer. The selected images all had to be cropped to get the final composition and to remove all signs of the vase. Other than that, the main editing was to use the levels command to clear up the background and to get it as white as possible. I also intensified the colours a bit.

A Splash of Colour


The main problem with these photographs is that the vase was not clean enough. There are streaks on the outside of the glass which are visible in the photographs. I need to be careful to remove them next time. The other thing I will do differently next time is to use a vase with straight sides - the one I used was circular. I will also try using more colours in the future - and I wonder how it would look with two different colours in the water at the same time?


A Splash of Colour

Finally, this quote seems apposite here:

"There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality." (Pablo Picasso).

Friday, 10 April 2009

Tulip


Tulip

Tulip
Originally uploaded by stephenlamb

I planted a bowl of purple tulips last autumn. The bowl has been sitting on our patio all winter and the bulbs have just flowered. I brought the bowl indoors so that I could photograph the flowers more easily. I placed the bowl in front of a sheet of white card in the conservatory and tried to isolate one flower. I could not quite do that in camera and so this image is a crop from a larger photograph. I did not get the exposure quite right - forgot to check the histogram - but I am pleased with the result.

I have been surprised at how many of the Christmas photographs that I uploaded to Flickr last November and December have been looked at in the last few days. It is actually Easter but some people must be trying to get into a Christmassy mood!