Saturday

The Making of a Photo - The Baseball


The last three weeks I have been working towards a series of photographs for an exhibition this coming December at The Empty Space Project in Putnam, Connecticut.


While I have plenty of mobile images to select from, I wanted photographs with a classic and traditional theme that also reflected in the viewer nostalgia. To achieve this, I searched numerous thrift stores trying to locate items that captured my eye and would be of photographic interest.


On a lower shelf, somewhat hidden, I discovered a basket filled with old and mostly useless eating utensils. I felt like I had hit the Mother Load. Their beautiful aged patina, the rust  and other textures which took years to develop, made them also useless, but now, they would be treasured by me. Still the search continued for anything rich in textures and visual interest.


After a little more than seventeen days, two shoe boxes were filled. One with the utensils and the other with numerous old tools like wrenches, screwdrivers, a couple of odd items, and a variety of different sized drill bits, which held special consideration for me. In the end I had assembled a collection of an additional couple dozen of old photographs, a metal teapot, a piece of small machinery, and an autographed baseball.




When working on a series, it is important for me to decide on one camera application and if the app’ comes with a selection of different film and lens combinations, to decide and select one combo and stay with it for the project.



Version One - Lighting Variations, No Post Processing



Notice the lighting differences between this and the next image (MPro)




 (MPro)




Color version (PureShot)




More even lighting (MPro)




Square ratio (MPro)




Sometimes it can take an entire day, as with this photograph, making adjustments to the foam-core reflectors and gobo cards, including anything being hand-held to redirect or block the light. Therefore it took 193 exposures of the baseball photograph, applying different camera applications and their film/lens combinations, including two different image ratios, because the photograph can have different uses other than 1:1 ratio for the exhibit.


The taking of so many exposures is not only pushing ones own creative visual ability in interpreting ‘seeing,’ it is no different then a writer re-working their own work until it is polished.



Further Fine Tuning of the Lighting



Notice the changes on the baseball and background (MPro)




(MPro)




The Table-Top Set






iPhone view using PureShot




iPhone view using MPro




Being able to see the set with all the reflectors, gobos and the iPhone attached to a monopod, which is attached to the tripod, helps one better understand what is involved in obtaining the photograph. Since viewing the exposure on an iPhone can be misleading, the phone is connected to a laptop, this causes the image to be uploaded directly after the exposure is taken by using Apples program ‘Image Capture.’ The laptop also provides continues power, so there is no concern of depleting the battery during the many hours of working on the image.


Sometimes it can take an entire day, as with this photograph, making adjustments to the foam-core reflectors and gobo cards, including anything being hand-held to redirect or block the light. Therefore it took 193 exposures of the baseball photograph, applying different camera applications and their film/lens combinations, including two different image ratios, because the photograph can have different uses other than 1:1 ratio for the exhibit.


The taking of so many exposures is not only pushing ones own creative visual ability in interpreting ‘seeing,’ it is no different then a writer re-working their own work until it is polished.



Alternative Version and Post Process Examples



Original un-edited photograph




Step 1: SnapSeed - Tilt-Shift, Elliptical 




Step 2: SnapSeed - Center Focus, Old Lens




Step 3: SnapSeed - Grunge, no texture added, color change only




Later in the day I shared the photograph with my good friend and neighbor, who likes baseball and has been watching the World Series, responded in a text message, if I would wish to borrow his father’s catchers mitt, including his own Boston Red Socks cap. Even though I felt I had the shot, I said, “Yes” and decided to spend the additional time to start all over and create not only an alternative version, but maybe even achieve a better image.



Preliminary Final Versions









View of the table-top set




Creating a still-life image, especially one with natural northern window light, which is constantly changing, is a challenge. Yet it is just that what provides me with subtle variations between exposures.



NOTEs:
Applications used, MPro, PureShot, and SnapSeed, processed on an iPhone 4S


All photographs taken with an iPhone 4S by
©2014 Egmont van Dyck - All Rights Reserved








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