Monthly Archives: March 2015

Flute Reflections and Notes Bokeh

If you follow this blog, you know I love personal projects. These allow me to experiment and hone my craft.

One of the things I’ve been wanting to try for a while is a trick with bokeh. Any out of focus source of light takes the shape of the diaphragm of the lens, which is round if shooting wide open. As a variation on this, you can put a shape cut out of black cardboard in front of your lens, such as the notes in the flute photo, and the out of focus sources of light will take that shape. In the photograph below, I used some simple Christmas lights.

Muramatsu silver flute with reflections and notes in the background

Shiny objects always represent a lighting challenge.

The above picture is a composite of two shots, one for the bokeh (shot with wide open aperture) and one for the flute (shot for maximum depth of field). My Muramatsu GX model silver flute is in need of a comprehensive service. A lot of notes have been played on it since I received it as a graduation present for my PhD.

I couldn’t resist buying a piece of black plexiglas to provide a reflection of the flute and add some interest to this product shot. I plan to further experiment with these kinds of reflections.

Impressionist Photography: Winter Forest Multiple Exposures

Last year, I did skip the winter season when it came to my personal project on photo impressionism. I didn’t think I could get any interesting images. I should have known better.

Multiple exposures of winter forest scene in Blackford Hill, Edinburgh

I revisited this scene, which I had discovered in the fall. The muted early tones evoke rather different feelings than the bright fall colours

It is generally a bad idea to dismiss a photographic idea without giving it a try, I have learned. Sure, sometimes my initial gut feeling that I won’t get interesting pictures is confirmed. But I found that if I really try to explore the subject, I will at worst come up with some better ideas for next time, and at best get some more photographs to add to my body of work. It’s always worth a try.

Multiple exposures of winter forest scene in Blackford Hill, Edinburgh

I found there was a lot of dead wood lying on the ground during this winter, and these horizontal lines interfered with the vertical tree lines when taking the multiple exposures. So I had to find a way to frame my photographs without the wood on the ground. This is one of the few pictures where I managed to do that.

So I decided this time around to go back to Blackford Hill and see if there weren’t any interesting images to capture during the winter season. I was pleasantly surprised. This post shows my favourite multiple exposure photographs of the winter forest in Blackford Hill.

Multiple exposures of winter forest scene in Blackford Hill, Edinburgh

This is a picture I would never have taken even a year ago, and was a very pleasant surprise.

Sure, I prefer the fall (my favourite season for this kind of project) or the spring, but the muted earthly tones found during the winter season have an appeal of their own. What do you think?