Project 52 is an attempt to reconnect with my creative side. When COVID-19 struck in March 2019 all of my photography outlets were cancelled - school's, sport teams, parks and people's homes were closed. For many months my photography suffered as I could not seem to motivate myself to pick up the camera.
During the next 52 weeks I am going to assign myself one project per week commencing 1 January 2021. I will have seven days to complete the assignment and post the results here by Friday of each week. Still Life will be my main focus during the winter months. I will be using LED lighting for the first time and hope to learn it's benefits and shortcomings. Mixed in with LED with be some speed lights as well.
My assignment for Week 1 was to photography my grandfather's pocket watch. The assignment included lots of challenges, from styling, to composition, lighting to the overall impression I wanted to convey.
Attempt #1 - I started with an old rusty gear that I picked up at the local antique store. Watches have gears inside them to there was a relationship between the two items. I positioned the watch in several different locations. My intent was to side light the gear from a 90 degree angle to produce shadows. I moved the light between 90 and 180 degrees and experimented. This was the final product with the light directly behind the gear and watch. I did not choose this as the final image as I thought it too gritty to represent my grandfather.
Attempt # 2 - I wanted more even light around the rim of the watch so I built a small enclosure using white foam core. I had my LED light, positioned at 90 degrees, inside a soft box shooting through a scrim to soften the light. At 270 degrees I had a small speed light aimed at the bounce card on the far side of the watch. I tried many times to lose the hot spot on the right side of the watch however I was not able to accomplish this.
Final Image - While I liked the silver tile in attempt # 2 as it contrasted nicely with the other items in the image, it did not convey the impression or emotion I was looking for. Using a Texture applied to the image warmed it up a bit and provided more of the emotion that I was going for. The image has a bit too much grain for my liking, however the grain comes from the properties of the tile and to remove it would soften the remainder of the image too much.
Here is the setup I used. Sorry for the background clutter!
On to Week 2!
I have wanted to photography my Father's military medals for quite sometime. After he passed I had the medals properly mounted, he never bothered, in fact I don't recall him ever wearing or displaying his medals after he retired.
Here is a behind the scenes.
The medals were suspended from a boom using fishing line. I had one speed light facing away from the medals towards a white foam board which bounced light back into the medals. This avoided me blowing out the silver portion of the medals. I had a second speed light with a grid and a blue gel facing away from the medals towards a black presentation board to put a highlight behind the medals. This was a fun week and I learned a lot about bouncing light using speed lights.
Here is the final image.