I’m out of OCOLOY

I have tried the One Camera, One Lens, One Year for a while this summer, then I realized it was too restrictive for me, and I allowed myself a couple of more lenses. But after a few months of that, I have come to yet another conclusion.

This exercise just a ting that was suggested by “The Online Photographer” many years ago. I’ve seen the same suggested several times. The main thing is that you should get to know your tools so intimately that it becomes an extension of you. This all sounds well and good, but I’m not so sure. In fact, I did this when I was young. I photographed almost exclusively with a Pentax LX and a 100mm Macro for several years. Eventually adding a 35mm as well. But when I look back at my images, I don’t think it did me all that much good. And that is what I feel this time around as well. However, what I do think is effective is to go out shooting often. Several times a week. And also, work with those images. Find the best ones and print them.

So, I quit OCOLOY, but I will keep at the discipline of shooting often and printing often.

In need of longer arms

One of my mistakes (in photography) is to watch too many YouTube videos about photography. It’s not all bad, but the tips and tricks don’t always add up. For some reason, I got the impression that off camera flash could be handled hand held. That is, both camera and flash in hand. That’s a mistake. I’m not saying it’s no possible, but it’s very awkward. The image at the top of this post, I did just that, and notice how the shadow falls. First thing I did after this was getting a cheap light stand

Still life

This was fun. My first attempt at a studio still life.

ocoloy print 29 08/01-23

The item is a kind of a bowl for candles that my wife bought a few years ago. I have always liked how they look, and how the candle shine through the semi transparent leaves, so I decide to have a go at it.

The orange light from within is just the candle. I had to use a fairly long exposure to get it right. I put up a grey cloth as a background, but it ended up all black, so I flashed my Godox AD100Pro at it. It was fun to be able to adjust the tone of the background using the flash power. Next I decided to put a flash on the item itself to lift the underside a bit. I put a flash with a softbox very close on the left side. You can see the cold light on the base, and on the leaves on the left side. I went for a very subtle effect since I wanted the candle to dominate, and I wanted to keep the reflections in the table. I spend quite some time on tuning the flash power and balancing the candle exposure using the shutter speed.

The result? I’m happy. I managed to use the flash to improve the result without being obvious. It is not merely a product shot as I think it has some mood to it.

Could I do better? No doubt, but to my untrained eyes I can’t think of much. I think I could have added another flash on the right (or a reflector) to get a tiny accent on the right hand side of the base as well, but that’s about it. Maybe I’ll see more options later.

This is a very different type of photography than I’m used to. I have never “created” an image in this way before. I have always found naturally occurring subjects. Either in nature, or objects left there by other people. To pick up an object and then building up an image from that is something completely different. And it’s fun. It is more like drawing or painting. Most of photography revolves around removing unwanted stuff, but here it is the opposite. Even light is something you add yourself.