Saturday, December 14, 2013

Abstract Reflections

I've been finishing up my final week of photography classes.  In my pet photography class, the instructor showed us how I could improve on my pictures using PhotoShop.  I have an old CS3 copy of PhotoShop, but didn't want to mess with my homework, because I thought it would be cheating.  The instructor has been more interested in the choices we make when we frame up a shot and press the shutter release.

Anyway, she gave us some tips and used some tools I'm not familiar with, so I'll probably be signing up for her PhotoShop Elements class next semester.  I was looking forward to having free time again, but I think I need this class, and I'm promising myself I will only take one class this time around instead of three.  The instructor is awesome.  She does a survey on the first day to understand everyone's level of experience, and honors their requests by teaching what the students want to learn.  Her classes are customized to the students' needs.  Also, her classes are small enough that it is more like having a tutor.  I feel so spoiled.

Our final assignment in creative photography was to create an abstract photograph.  She wanted us to put a macro lens on our cameras and get in tight on something that is more interesting in parts than it is as a whole.  I wandered around photographing the usual:  Christmas candies and garlands, stones, branches, flowers...  And then I wandered out to the horse paddock and began doing close ups of tails, manes, and that swirl of hair on their foreheads.  The horses kept sticking their noses in the camera lens, so I focused on one eyeball.  Sometimes I metered on the highlights of the white fur, sometimes on the mid-tones around the eye, and sometimes on the black within the eye.

By metering on the shadows, you blow out the highlights, so the white fur gets lost and is overexposed.  My instructor warns against doing that, but this was an "abstract" assignment, and I really liked the idea of having an eyeball floating in white space.  Also, whatever your story is about is what you need to focus on, and I wanted the story to be about the reflection in the eye.  If you look closely, you can see me and Rock in Gabbrielle's eyeball.

The one thing that ruined this shot was the fence behind Rock's head.  I always somehow end up with stuff in the background coming out of heads.  With this being taken with a macro lens, I practically had the camera lens on top of her eye, just inches away.  I am often amazed at how calm and trusting my horses are of me when I work with them from the ground.  I just can't tie a white plastic bag to my camera or Gabbrielle will head for the hills.  She is letting me pet and hug her when I wear white gloves, though.  That's progress.

I also photographed three reflections of myself in my Dodge Ram logo.  Next time I try this shot, I'll actually wash my truck first.


Katharine Swan said...

I actually don't think the fence reflected in Gabbrielle's eye ruins the shot at all. Was that what your instructor said?

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Katharine - My instructor frowns upon background lines coming out of heads and butts in general. She didn't say anything about this particular image. It's a big no no to have background lines coming out of eyes, and the fence is right at Rock's eye level.

When the classes ended, she actually sent me an email telling me I'm very talented, and that I am welcome to tag along an assist her on paid photo shoots that she does.

achieve1dream said...

I got way behind on reading blogs again. :( I'm trying to get caught up though. Sorry I'm not commenting, but it slows me down too much lol.

I LOVE both of these shots! So fun! You're really making me want to take photography class. :)