Shape

A challenge was assigned to capture two images representing ‘Shape’ in any way. I started with creating a mood board with various examples of shapes in photography. This includes shapes created through shadows, silhouettes and also interpreted shapes.

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I have decided to capture shadows and silhouettes for the theme ‘shape’. The image below was captured using the intense evening sun shining through an Autumn leaf. I used a spider pendant behind the leaf to produce the silhouette of the spider through the leaf. The spider is a pendant for a necklace, therefore it had a loop at the top which I threaded through the leaf stalk so that it would hold in place. I then held the top of the stalk, positioning my hands out of the frame and placed the camera on a tripod so I could reach over and take the picture.

The red colour of the leaf and warm glow from the sun created a vibrant and intense colouration in the image and accompanied by the pumpkins in the lower background produces an Autumn themed photograph. A shallow depth of field was used to ensure that the leaf was the focus point of the image. The aperture was set to f3.5 to create the shallow depth of field but still allowing the majority of the leaf to be in focus, not one small section. The ISO was set to 100 to minimise noise and the shutter was 1/125 to freeze motion.

In reflection, I would have made sure the whole leaf would be in focus, not only the upper areas. The few seconds the sun produced deep gold lighting made it challenging to experiment with the exposure and camera settings. Even though the pumpkins add a seasonal theme they may cause a distraction to some viewers. However, overall I am pleased with the outcome of the tones in the image and the achievement of producing a silhouette with natural light.

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The image below is the second interpretation of the theme ‘shape’. I created shadows to portray shapes on the doors. Using a simple desk light I placed it on the floor where I positioned a doll figure in front of the constant light. With the rest of the lights off in the hallway, a shadow was cast on the door. F5.6 gave me a wider depth of field without making the aperture too small. The shutter speed was 1/10 to allow more time for light to enter the lens due to the low key lighting and the ISO was set to 1600 because of the lack of lighting. I do not want high ISO levels because of the added noise to the image but I did not want the shutter speed any slower due to difficulties getting the image sharp.

The image was made black and white in Photoshop CC using the LAB options and deleting channels Blue and Green, then selecting channel Red. I believe that this method creates more contrasts in the shadows and highlights. I was aiming for an atmospheric and eerie mood to the picture, therefore found that the monochrome effect emphasised this atmosphere. The idea of the image came from the typical children stories about monsters in the night, often illustrated in books as shadows on the bedroom door and walls. From this, I used a figure that was enlarged on the door with a distorted and ‘creepy’ appearance.

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