Going to the Light
A 365-day Photo Journal

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Day 18: Playing with the Light

click photo for larger version

Today's photo is an example of when you have something in your mind and the finished product turns out better than your vision. In my mind, I saw this as the vase in sillouette with just red around the edge. But the light actually wrapped around it and made it almost glow. The vase is actually opaque with shards of mother of pearl in a mosaic pattern. I took this in a mostly dark room with the flash set up directly behind the vase. So I'm guessing that the light bounced off the mother of pearl tiles and bounce all over the room resulting in the front side being lit as well.

If you happen to be reading this blog and want to expand your own creativity, I want to recommend a purchase for you. Assuming you have an external flash for your DSLR camera, do your self a favor and get the flash off the camera. Light coming from the same angle as your lens is rarely flattering. And while you can sometimes bounce the light and get better results, an off-camera flash gives you dozens of more options. Included in this is the ability to use the flash outdoors to counter the effects of backlighting. I purchased a $25 triggering set off Ebay that allows you to put your flash anywhere and trigger it from the camera. Just let me know if you need more info on this.

For this shot, I put the vase on the table and used a black jacket pinned up behind the table as the backdrop. The flash (with red gel) was put between the coat and the vase pointed at the vase. 85mm lens, 1/200 sec at f/3.5, ISO 100.


Kristie said...

Ooooh, beautiful! That could be in a magazine, to sell that vase. :)

I have an external flash and rarely use it for that reason .. everything looks flat and washed out. Plus, I have a tendency to turn my camera and shoot vertically, and the external flash winds up washing out the ride side of the photo while the left side is still dark. Obviously I should check out this trigger thing you mention ...

terrie said...


Jim Smith said...

Terrie...thank you so much.

Kristie...you really should try out the remote flash thing. You can even have one of your kids hold the flash for you and put the light right where it's needed. It's as easy to set up as the flash itself.

Alisa said...

I am so interested on how to use the flash off the camera. Hmm so much to learn-