Saturday, December 1, 2007

Light Variations

The image at left is an example of how beauty can lurk in the most common of places, if you just choose to look.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, my family stayed with some friends. The weather was pretty blah and I didn't think there was much to shoot. I decided to take my camera out and just start shooting some things around the house. One item that intrigued me was a hanging pendant light in the front hallway. The house was built in the early 60's, I believe, and I'm pretty sure the fixture dates from that period.

The fixture was a hanging globe made out of wavy plastic. I took several shots of the fixture, first just using available light, and then using a flash. I then got the idea to actually turn the light on. When I did, I was rewarded with some wonderful shapes and shadows. I picked a handful of shots that I liked the best and proceeded to experiment with them. The image to the right is an unprocessed shot of the light when it was switched off.

As I was looking at the images in Bridge, I noticed they all had a yellow color which came from the incandescent bulb inside of the fixture. I liked the color but I wanted to see some different interpretations. In Camera Raw, I played with the white balance. I created some images which were blue, others which were more of a red orange. I also played with weaker colors and different crops. The image at the top is one example of the lighter color with a square crop. I liked the way the curve of the light goes from top left to bottom right.

The image below was created by using a stronger color:

Finally, I decided to convert one of the images to black & white. I like how the edges of the waves turned black and created some nice lines. I also like the look of the soft shadows.

All in all I'm fairly pleased with how these images turned out. The post processing was fairly simple and consisted mostly of altering the white balance, using curves to increase contrast, and using hue/saturation to intensify the colors (or use of a black & white adjustment layer to create the black & white image)

Feel free to let me know what you think about these images or to ask any questions about how they were created.


Anonymous said...

Interesting to see the various treatments you did of the light. I've seen these lights many times and often thought that they could provide some interesting images. Excellent work on these, Jim.

marylea said...

Really beautiful results, and an obvious testament to your creative eye!