When we all shot film and our exposures were not perfect, there was very little we could do about our mistakes. All that has changed, and now we can make meaningful adjustments to the contrast, exposure and the color cast. It is a great time to be a photographer.
You can create remarkable multicolored and monochromatic abstracts by dropping individual drops of food coloring in to water. The way the color mixes with the water is endlessly fascinating, constantly changing, and it produces images that are worthy of being framed.
A vocabulary word I still remember from high school chemistry is immiscible. This refers to the fact that some liquids can’t mix together to form a homogenous solution. Oil and water are an example. When oil is mixed with water, no matter how long you stir, they will never blend together to become one liquid.
One of the more interesting projects I’ve explored in photography is shooting birefringent crystals. Birefringence is the splitting of a light ray by a crystal into two components that are at different velocities and are polarized at right angles to each other. What this means in terms of photography is that when light passes through the crystals, you can see rainbow colors in the unique and beautiful forms that make up the crystal.
I live in Tennessee, and in this part of the country it doesn’t get cold enough in autumn to see colorful leaves frozen in local rivers. When I first moved here, I had been hoping to get shots like that, and I was disappointed that it wasn’t going to happen. I came up with an idea to get the shots I wanted, though, and it worked out quite well. I was able to create artistic and colorful macro shots in which I had total control as opposed to finding beautiful patterns serendipitously.
It is disappointing when you travel somewhere hoping for beautiful weather, and instead of sunrise and sunset lighting, beautiful cloud formations, and comfortable temperatures, you face a rainstorm, a dull sky, or even a blizzard. While the pictures that you had in mind may not be possible, there are always great photographs that can be taken. It’s just a matter of expanding your thinking.
The ultra intense colors emitted from phosphorescent paint under a blacklight grab everyone’s attention. These colors exist nowhere in nature and any photographer who loves to think outside the box should experiment with the amazing possibilities this technique affords.
Architecture is one of the subjects photographers love to shoot at home and abroad. Even if your passion is shooting landscapes or people, it’s hard not to get excited by a stunning work of architecture such as the B’hai temple in New Delhi or the twin towers in Kuala Lumpur. From impressive city skylines like New York and Philadelphia to a Navajo Hogan in Monument Valley, and from the interior of a Buddhist temple in Thailand to a Bavarian castle in Germany, architecture is awe inspiring. It is art in the form of stone, steel, wood, and glass. It is often a glimpse into our past, and it is so varied throughout the world that it is endlessly intriguing.
If this were a perfect world, ice cream would be good for you, celery would be fattening, and camera manufacturers would arrange the controls on all flash units in the same place. It’s too bad on all accounts.
Even though portable flash units have buttons and dials in different places, the basic functions of the various features are the same. In this section, I will go over them and explain when to use them. You will probably need to consult the manual that came with your flash to identify where the features I discuss reside on your unit. Whenever you travel away from home, it’s a good idea to have this manual with you because if you don’t use a function for a while, it’s easy to forget where it is and how to use it.