still life

COPPER FIRE LIPSTICK COSMETICS PHOTOGRAPHY as ART

Title:

Title: “Copper Fire, v.7, Edit C”. Series: COSMETICS AS ART Creation Year: 2007. Copyright 2007 Nawfal Johnson.  All Rights Reserved. Penang, Malaysia.

VITA LIFT

VITA LIFT, originally uploaded by fine-grain.

Men’s Products.
Still Life.
Table Top.
Macro.

Fine Art.

Uploaded by fine-grain on 17 Apr 08, 2.50PM MYT.

Well, it’s not the typical white background macro-product-personal-care shot that you usually see on the walls in the Cosmetics Department at the Mall.

I guess, it wasn’t meant for that type of setting. As I’ve mentioned before (maybe more times than I know), I tend to approach all my macro work from an Art Photography slant. I like manipulating color and perspective and interpreting the subject in my own way. Maybe 70% of my shots (like this) are initiated because I like the shape and color of the subject. I want to see what I can creatively do with it to get an image.

I also don’t have the ‘fantastic equipment‘ that the Product Shooters have. So there! Cat’s out of the bag! Well, actually, I have five cats and they can’t all fit in my camera bag, but maybe one or two. Nevertheless, they are out of the bag.

Not often do I mention the equipment used to make a shot. However, I guess if you are a viewer who likes this shot, you may enjoy knowing that a ‘halfway decent‘ product-style shot, can be made with minimal equipment.

I used my Canon Powershot A620 Camera.
1 – SYSTEMS IMAGING 600-Watt Studio Flash with BOWENS Snoot.
1 – VIVITAR Macroflash.

Of course, a DSLR would offer more options, more flexibility, more details, more resolution and better dynamic range; but, if you want to be a better Photographer, you can’t wait for the “dream camera” to magically appear before you begin working and practicing.  You need to work with the tools you have. The “dream camera” will come later.

At the present, I’m making images and applying the same methodology used by a Paleontologist with a toothbrush in hand, delicately clearing debris from tiny fossils preserved in sandstone. In other words, basically using less sophisticated equipment by necessity, but getting decent results.

So, get out there and practice. Use the tools you have. Develop your skills, and better things will surely come your way.

Regards!

Tie Painting v.5-B

Tie Painting v.5-B, originally uploaded by fine-grain.

Painted Tie Painting.
Still Life Photography.
Abstract Expressionism Painting.
———————————————

This is a photograph that “ties” (no pun intended) together my liking for Still Life Photography and Abstract Expressionism Painting. This photograph is also one of the few, first images I’ve edited with Paint Shop Pro’s new program, X2.

I may be an anomaly in the general scope of photography, but I really do prefer Paint Shop Pro over Photo Shop.

The key, however, is still to create the best photograph possible in the camera. If the end results of the “camera-creation” are poor; then the end results after editing with software will be nowhere near what they could have been.

I fiddle around a lot with positioning lighting and moving subject and tripod around. I take many photos until I get approximately the image that I need with dark blacks and details still in the highlights; and also, I attempt to get a fairly decent gradation between the extremes. If I have to take my soft-box’ed studio flash off the light stand, and then hand hold it to get my ideal lighting, then I’ll do it. In fact, that’s what I had to do with this image: the lighting was too uneven when the light was sitting on the light stand.

Whatever it takes – do it.

Of course, this final result was a matter of experimentation, of adventure and creating change. And of course, help from X2.

Sometimes, I don’t really know what the final image will look like until I see it. You often hear photographers saying that they have an image in their mind and then work on the photograph to get it to nearly match their mind’s eye. I do that sometimes; however, more times than not (lately), I’m not sure what the final image is going to look like. I work with the image until I have that, “Ah Ha!” moment.

Then, I stop.

Balance Conceptual, v.4

Balance Conceptual, v.4, originally uploaded by fine-grain.

This is a concept photo I did today, and as the title states, it’s all about “balance.”

I wanted the image parts to connect in purpose and convey a similar message.

There are four main connections: 1) Color: Yellow and gold emphasized, and the black and white push those colors out into the foreground. 2) Shape: The shape of the egg and the shape of the spirit bubble are the same. 3) Line: The lines in the spirit level help gauge the viewers understanding of how level a surface, and these lines are augmented by the straight set of lines on the egg. And last but not least, 4) Balance: The spirit level bubble is approximately in the middle of the two lines; and, the egg is balanced on top of the level.

This image is cohesive because of the connections, and its ability to convey a specific message. In this case, the message is one of Science/Physics and can be applied to “Balance”, as well as, “Equilibrium.”

LOST SHOES, Edit C: Finding Subjects to shoot, Even in Bad Situations.

LOST SHOES, Edit C, by Nawfal Nur

 

TITLE:  “LOST SHOES, Edit C”
Creation Year: 2008
Original Photograph:  2000
Camera:  NIKON F90X
Film:  KONICA CENTURIA 200 ASA
Time of Day:  Mid-Day, High Sun – Harsh Lighting.
Scanner:  UMAX ASTRA 5600

There’s an interesting story behind the photograph, “LOST SHOES, Edit C,” at least I think so, because I experienced it; and in addition to that, I learned that some bad situations offer good opportunities…for photography at least.

In the year 2000, I went on a very long bus ride to Kelantan, a state in Malaysia that borders Thailand.  It was like a 10-hour trip…Did I mentioned that it was quite a long, long bus ride!  I had never been to Kelantan before, but welcomed the opportunity.  I was the semi-official photographer for the Penang Bola (Soccer) Club on this trip.  I thought that I could also work on some cultural photographs while in Kelantan:  The trip was a win-win situation!  ;^)

About 6-hours into the bus ride, the tour bus starts chugging up the hill, hot steam and black smoke coming out of every orifice that a bus has, and it basically dies, right there, in the middle of Nowhere, Kelantan! 

It’s mid-day, hot like crazy, no-one around, and the nearest bathroom, more like an ancient outhouse, was the only facilities available anywhere near to the breakdown site.

We were going to be there awhile…tick-tock, tick-tock, tick tock…2-Hours Later!  It was that kind of a wait.  I was bored…I wanted to use my time properly and find a subject to photograph to commemorate the breakdown.  The only touristy thing to do was visit the outhouse, and that was checked off my list of things to do in Nowhere, Kelantan.  What else?

The scorching sun had dried up the red clay that flanked both sides of the two lane highway.  And, there wasn’t much in the way of subject matter to hold my attention, that was, until I noticed these two shoes.  The shoes were just sitting there in the hot clay…teenager’s basketball shoes, but there were no kids around.  It’s almost like the person got plucked right out of the shoes, and the shoes were left behind. 

The shoes had been abandoned, they were LOST!  I was starting to put a connection between the LOST SHOES, and the poor broken down bus.  Maybe, that spot was some sort of mysterious zone where things go wrong, haywire, lost, and just stop working and are abandoned.  Don’t know….it was a mystery.  I didn’t bring my CSI kit with me to do a thorough going over, but I definitely smelled a mystery brewing.

At least my camera was still functioning, and I got a shot to celebrate the experience of the broken down bus and my long journey to Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia. 

Remember to keep your eyes open for interesting subjects, especially when you find yourself lost, in a bad situation, or even stuck out in nowhere, and waiting for a bus to be fixed!  What you find may amaze you.