Posts Tagged ‘glass’

IN THE FIELD: Finding The Light

December 14, 2011 33 comments

Nature’s light shines in extraordinary ways. But we humans have done a pretty darn good job of manufacturing not only sources of light, but objects that capture nature’s gift of light.

Stained glass windows are a classic example of the marriage of natural light and an object of our creation. Their variety of shapes and forms have adorned churches, monasteries, homes and fancy-dancy lamps for centuries. Motifs range from religious, wildlife and nature to geometric designs and patterns. Intricate designs can be painted directly on the glass or small pieces of glass can be combined to create a mosaic.

No matter what the motif or technique, the natural light streaming through a stained glass window is a display I simply cannot resist.

INSPIRATION: Inanimate Objects

September 26, 2011 16 comments

I am primarily an outdoor photographer. I find inspiration in nature every single day of my life. This is not to say that I never shoot indoors or find inspiration from inanimate objects that are not part of an outdoor landscape. Because I often do.

Case in point: last year I was shopping for my wife’s birthday. She has an affinity for hand-made glass. Any kind of glass: art glass, vases, bowls, and pitchers. And every year on her birthday I like to give her a new piece to add to her collection.

While on my quest for that special piece of glass, I walked past a storefront a small shop. Displayed in their window was a shallow Italian glass bowl, with colors so vibrant they refused to be ignored. I had to have it. And I knew right where my wife would want to display it.

And I couldn’t help thinking what a unusual object it would be to photograph. The patterns in the glass are abstract. By photographing just part of the bowl, it could make for an interesting study in color and shapes.

So, almost a year later, I decided to finally take the photograph. I set up the bowl on a table with the camera and 35mm lens mounted on a tripod. The close-focusing feature of the 35mm 1.8 lens was the right choice to get all areas of the bowl in sharp focus. Indoor photos were taken using a remote flash mounted on a small stand. A reflector was used to balance out the highlights, and to lighten up the shadows, in the outdoor photos.

I played around with various flash and camera settings. The results were varied and in some cases, surprising. Overall, I was very pleased with the results.

Here is the only kicker: my wife keeps teasing me that the only reason I gave her the bowl was because I wanted to photograph it. Stashed in some hidden part of my brain, I would have to admit…she is probably right.