Death and Decay.
Technical Data: Canon 7D; Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II; f/22 at 0.5”; ISO 100; Silver Efex Pro.
This week I decided to try out the new skills I had learned at last week’s lighting class. My subject? A vase of flowers past their prime. WAY past their prime.
I set to work setting up a studio on the living room table. I started off mostly shooting with natural light, but as the sun went down, I switched to studio lights. Or at least, I would have, if I had studio lights. Instead, I used standard household lamps.
The lights weren’t nearly bright enough, and the results were not that great. So I switched to using a reflected on-camera flash, set at a very low power. This was about as good as it got.
Too many shadows for the look I was trying to get. Ah, well. It was a learning experience. I shared my story with Joe Coca, my instructor from the lighting class. He gave me some additional tips to try next time.
But then… I was looking at my 60 or so pictures, and one caught my eye… The bad one. The one with the flash set at +3 by mistake. Blown out and ugly.
And that’s when I remembered that I was shooting a vase of dead flowers. Aren’t they supposed to be ugly? So then I set about making the picture look even worse. I converted it to black and white, added some grain, some vignetting, and a light coffee toning. And I like it!
My instructor liked it too:
I actually really like this shot. I think the BW treatment is really good for it.
It reminds me of a scene out of a murder mystery.
Very gritty with the hard light and deep shadows. The soft light probably would not have done it.
It wasn’t the shot I set out to make, but I really like it nonetheless. Great shot, learning experience, who can ask for more really?