Up close and personal: Part 3

Welcome to the first Gale Photography blog post of 2018!

Yesterday I was fine-tuning and timing my new “Macro Photography” talk.  I reckoned it was looking and sounding pretty good, but I felt the ending needed a theme.  Macro photography can be done anywhere, so I set myself a little challenge.  It was to spend no more than 30 minutes taking some macro images.  The rules were that I could not leave the house, and I must use a hand-held LED torch as my light source.

The choice of theme was one of those “lightbulb moments”, so it was only fitting that my first subject was – a lightbulb.  It was one of those lower-energy filament bulbs that has what looks like a car headlight bulb in the middle.  Popping the torch behind the bulb gave interesting back lighting.  It’s got a real steampunk/industrial look to it, and because it’s a semi-silhouette it’s almost monochrome.

We had a good friend over for lunch on Monday and made a dessert called “lemon surprise pudding”.  It’s delicious, and has the juice of 2 lemons and the zest of 4 lemons.  The means that there zested lemons left over.  After a couple of days what’s left of the peel and the pith underneath starts to dry out.  Lighting it at an angle brought out the texture of the pith and the little bits of colour from the remaining peel.  It’s like a lemony moon.

Another industrial look for the final image.  It’s a powerbank for my mobile phone and has a ribbed metal case.  Lighting from the lower right gave strong highlights and shadows.  Composing across a near diagonal gave a very odd optical illusion.  Our brains don’t seem to like diagonal lines and always want to straighten them.  In doing so the edges of the image go completely crooked, even though they are not!  It looks like a trapezoid rather than a straight rectangle.  You can check it’s really straight by putting the edge against a known straight line.

I popped these images, and a few others, into my talk and it now finishes by showing how inclusive macro photography is.  I’m looking forward to giving the talk for the first time in February.

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