light & shadow

Life Thru the Lens 49/52.... It's Christmas cookie time

Because of our big transition in life, we have moved in with my mother-in-law for a bit. Which, we are super grateful for. However, the light in her house is not especially grand for still life photography. I know I am not the only person who struggles with this issue, so I thought I'd give you a few tips on what I learned through my first photo session since moving. 

I started this shoot in a tiny little corner of the kitchen by the back door, with a light background. It wasn't enough room; I spilled my entire jar of milk trying to hold my diffuser over the shot so that the cake plate would not have so many highlights reflected on it. And, the light was not what I was looking for, especially with the light background. I changed the set up to a dark and moody shot, but still was not pleased with the end result. 

1/60 at f3.2 ISO 400 with a 50mm

Things I like about the shot...

~Front to back composition. 

~The colors and the props.

~The disheveled look.

Things I do not like...

~The lighting, there is no interest in the lighting.

~It's missing something, prop wise.

So, I moved the entire shot to the dinning room table. The problem with the dinning room table is that the light comes in at an angle from the hall window, which is not accessible because the stairs run under it. The light also tends to be harsh, and casts dramatic shadows. If I could defuse the light from the window it would not be an issue, but since I cannot reach it I have to work with what I have. I set up a dark and moody backdrop with part of the light from the window cut off from my subject to emphasis the harsh shadows. 

1/100 at f3.5 (exposure compensation one stop underexposed) ISO 280 with a 50mm

Things I like about the shot...

~ The lighting. I really like how the shadows created interest in the props. 

~ I added more props, including a small cutting board propped up on my background. Which brought depth to the shot and takes your eye all the way through the shot. 

~ I also added a stack of plates and took the mixing bowl out. I think this is a better use of my props, and allows for the focus to be more centered on the cookie cutters, and the cookies on the plate stand. 

Things I do not like...

~ I love the lightening, but I do know that it is a little harsh, and could cause some clipping if it were to be printed. 

So, I rearranged my tripod, and camera, for a top down shot. 

1/200 at F4.0 (exposure compensation one stop underexposed) ISO 1100 with a 50mm

What I love about the shot... everything!  Photography is all about working with what you have... equipment, light, props, workspace, knowledge. Use what you have, (plus) build on what you know, (equals) growth in your abilities. 

 I'll be visiting these lovely communities this week... join along... Trough My Lens Monday, Image-in-ing,  Our World TuesdaySweet Shot Tuesday,  Wednesday Around the World, Little Things Thursday, and Friday Photo Journal

Life Thru the Lens

1. Share your life through the lens past, or present.

2. Grab my button and link back to this page, so others can find our community.

3.  Visit at least one person and create a community with them through encouraging comments.

The RULES:

~All forms of photography accepted… keep it family friendly please.

~Anyone with any photography skill can participate… we are all learning and growing.

~Any camera you take pictures with is acceptable… the best camera is the one in your hand.


Life Thru the Lens 17:52... One Thing

A recent prompt for my online photography class was One Thing. I made you all guess what the theme was last week. I kind of figured you would all lean toward time. I actually almost put time on the photo because it fit so well. 

I'll admit, at first, I was pretty challenged by this prompt. First of all I had no clue what I wanted to shoot for that long, and second I had no idea how I would change each look up. I also felt like the photos should have some other common denominator, besides the watches, to tie them together... enter the yellow flower in a jar. 

I acquired these watches several years ago; they belonged to our grandfathers. They mean the world to us as we have very little left of our grandparents that are no longer with us. 

The purpose of the prompt was to shoot one thing over several days, or weeks, in different environments and light. I shot these photos in my front door on an overcast day in the morning, in my bedroom in the evening, and in the kitchen in late afternoon. 

This last shot is my favorite one. It is not a perfect shot. You can see where the backdrop is not over far enough, and the folds are not perfect. The flower is a little dark. But, this is the money shot for me. This shot screams interest and a little bit of a disheveled-ness that makes me want to know more about the story.  I have realized, this is the kind of photography I want to be producing every time I shoot something. I want the picture captured to evoke a response of longing to know more. 


I'll be visiting these lovely communities this week... join along... Texture TuesdayTexture Twist, and Sweet Shot Tuesday.


Ack! You all are so awesome, our little community is growing so much. Can you feel my heart exploding with joy. I will be updating the Pinterest Board with all the features this week, so be sure to check over there. 

Life Thru the Lens

1. Share your life through the lens past, or present.

2. Grab my button and link back to this page, so others can find our community.

3.  Visit at least one person and create a community with them through encouraging comments.

The RULES:

~All forms of photography accepted… keep it family friendly please.

~Anyone with any photography skill can participate… we are all learning and growing.

~Any camera you take pictures with is acceptable… the best camera is the one in your hand.

Visit our Pinterest board to see who has been featured. 

LTTL 12:52... a peek into my workflow

Last week, I worked a bit on my still life project. The prompt was Light and Shadow Play. I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to create until I woke up one morning and I knew the light was perfect for shooting.  I scrounged around the house for props, dismantled my dying flowers, and began shooting. 

Shadow and Light ©2015 Simply Living Photography

{Edited with Kim Klassen LR Preset Lightly, texture KK Magic soft light at 10%-15%}

I began in my usual back-door shooting location, but quickly realized that I did not like the light drop-off it was creating, or lack there of. And, the shadows were not pronounced enough. So, what is a gal to do but sit on her chair, and pout. That's when I noticed the front door light!

Shadow and Light II ©2015 Simply Living Photography by Lisa Kerner

{Edited using Kim Klassen LR Preset Lightly, Texture Waterfront 18, normal light at 10%-15%}

Just like outdoor lighting, if your indoor lighting is not sufficient, then move. Because I have no real interest in working with artificial lighting, I am going to have to compromise by chasing the sunlight around my house. I dream of owning a studio someday where chasing the light will not be as big of a challenge. But for now, I have to work with what I have. 

Shadow and Light III ©2015 Simply Living Photography by Lisa Kerner

I also began my shoot with just the two jars and the flowers, but felt like it was missing something. I wasn't sure how to fix that problem so I went to my online group for inspiration. While looking at other works of art, I remembered my tiny scissors and this little piece of Battenburg lace I had tucked away in a drawer. I thought about ironing it, but then decided that I liked the disheveled look.  

Continuous Effort ©2015 Simply Living Photography by Lisa Kerner

I have been working at still life for almost three months now, so I thought it might be a good time to take inventory and see where I've gown, and where I have not. 

~Compared to some of my first shots, over all, I think I have improved on my technique. Actually, looking back at them now, I almost want to laugh out loud. They really are not that good. But my shots today? I am proud of them. 

~I began using Lightroom, and now it is an integral part of post-processing my photos, cutting way down on culling, organizing, storing, and editing time.

~I have learned exorbitant amounts of information about Lightroom and Photoshop, things that have cut my editing time in half. 

~I would like a dedicated space to create. Although, I will still have to chase the light, it would be nice to have a space for storing, and organizing, props and supplies. 

~I would like a couple more lenses with better f-stops. I do think it is time to invest in my glass. 

~I know I still have tons more to learn. But, anything worth learning takes time.

Linking with Texture Tuesday, & Texture Twist 

 

YOUR TURN:

Did you see my post about  our weekend adventuring of ATVing and why I think phoneography is a legit form of art.

Life thru the Lens the rules....

1. Share with us your life thru the lens past, or present.

2. Grab my button and link back to this page, so others can find our community.

3.  Visit at least one person and create a community with them through encouraging comments.

The RULES:

~All forms of photography accepted… keep it family friendly please.

~Anyone, with any photography skill can participate… we are all learning and growing.

~Any camera you take pictures with is acceptable… the best camera is the one in your hand.

~I am going to start featuring a photo in my Pinterest Life Thru the Lens... be sure to check it out.