When the weather is yucky….go low key
I have put a hold on my winter bird photography. It seems that my work schedule and the weather hasn’t allowed me the opportunity to take the time out to capture photos. Most of my feathered friends visit me in the morning. During the snow days, when the birds are plentiful at the feeder is when I have to head out to work. However, I have enjoyed seeing them during my short walk from the door to my car. I had planned on making homemade bird food from hollowed out oranges, peanut butter, and meal worms. The perfect weather for this combination is when it is snowing and very cold – for a few days. The snow days have been a bit sketchy and it begins to melt as soon as a thick blanket of snow accumulates. In order to have this mixture out, the weather must be cold for a few days so the peanut butter remains hard and doesn’t create a gunky mess all over the birds.
This brings me to my next photo project – Low key indoor photography. I can’t seem to shake the photography bug and I must find some way to use my camera. My interest is mainly nature photography but it doesn’t hurt to mix it up a little; You never know, you may learn something new in the process!
The Prop and Camera
The subject above is an artificial indoor plant/flower I have in one of the bedrooms. Being that there are no beautiful flowers outside at the moment, I figured I’d work with what I have. I wanted to create a moody photo with a pop of color. Which is the reason why I did not create a black and white photo post processing. For the set up I used:
- An artificial indoor plant
- Black poster board (low key element)
- house window with closed blinds and curtain
I set up my tripod, my camera, and the plant right in front of a window. It was an overcast day which created the perfect diffuse/subtle light needed. I opened the curtains just enough so that light was shining directly on the plant and no other object in the photo. Since this was a dark scene the exposure time was going to be a bit higher which is why I opted to use a tripod. I did not want an extremely high exposure time so I increased the ISO to compensate. The purpose of the black cardboard was to create a completely dark background while the subject remain in light and the center of attention – low key. Then, I snapped a few exposures from different angles until I found one that pleased me.
On a side note: It is best to decrease the dark/black in post processing. This will reduce the appearance of any cardboard captured in the photo.
On a final note
This was a pretty easy photo to capture. Most of my time was spent on finding a subject to capture and what time of day had the best light. We have had PLENTY of overcast, dark, and dismal days here during the winter so anytime during the daylight hours produced the same lighting results. Sometimes when I look at the photo above I think it would almost pass a a real plant! However, I am still working on my green thumb so practicing with an artificial plant will prepare me for when I am ready to capture a flower created my nature and myself.
Spark creativity by capturing the world around you one photo at a time
18-140mm at 85mm 1/80 sec ISO 2000 f/5.3