The art of summer

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Several weeks ago I gathered some vegetables from my backyard garden and piled them on the cabinet next to the kitchen sink.
The kitchen sink, like in most homes, is in front of a window, so that while washing dishes you can entertain yourself by looking outside to wash away the boring task of the dishes.
Why mention this at all?

Well, the nice northern light coming through the window was shining on my vegetables. As I passed the veggies several times during the day, I was drawn to the pile of food catching my attention. I found them to be rather pretty.
I thought it would make a nice photo, but then I would have to get out my equipment and go to the trouble of making the photo. Mind you, I said “making the photo,” not “taking” the photo. There is a big difference. I could see the potential for a photo of the vegetables, but it needed some help in the presentation.
I took a plexiglass cutting board and placed the veggies on it. I placed a regular single-lamp light bulb under the cutting board. I knew the lamp light would photograph yellow with my camera color exposure set for the daylight coming in the window. I placed a black piece of cloth in back of the display to put emphasis on my subjects.
It was beginning to look very nice, but the left side on the photo was way too dark in the shadows created by the light coming in the window. So I added a strobe flash to the left side, bouncing the light off a white piece of mounting board. Mounting board is really just a white, smooth piece of cardboard that was handy.
The light from the flash is the same color intensity as the daylight coming in the window, so I didn’t get a color shift from the flash “fill” light. (Technically, the color Kelvin temperature of the two light sources is the same. All light has a color temperature.)
The veggies needed just a bit more help in looking their best. I wanted them to be all shiny and bright. I used my hand to drop water from the sink onto them. The water made the veggies reflect the light, giving me a nice highlight or sparkle on their skins.
I “made” the final photo of my garden veggies that you see here.
Why tell you all about this photo anyway? I hope that you will enjoy and appreciate the photo more if you realize an hour of work and planning went into “making the photo.”