Saturday, 1 June 2013

Light, Patterns, Textures, Flows and Creativity

Everywhere around us there is light. The light reveals patterns, textures and flows in everything. We can add to the light and we can use the patterns and textures. We can represent the flows as a moment in time or as a time frame through long exposure.

Recently I started to play with glass spherical orbs, I've got several different sizes and colours. They are a lot of fun and you can really unleash some creativity with them. They can be shot with themselves as the subject and a part of the composition as I have above where the orb rests on the granite edifice of a building. The harsh tungsten lighting thrown from right of camera highlights the shape and form of the granite and is relit by the light cascading from the orb itself. I really enjoy the contrast between the harsh hand chipped rock wall blocks and the smoothness of the orb.

Moving away from the orb for a moment, we come to flows. At Monash University I found a small stepped fountain lit from under the water. I spent some time with this small flow of water - you're looking at around a 10cm drop in height with a very gentle cascade barely able to promote any bubbles. Grubbing around on the floor with my lens just about in the water got me the angle and appreciation of the light I was looking for. This gentle golden flow is reminiscent of many things from beer through a bubbling stream. When I first posted it on g+ people were guessing what it was for quite a while. This to me is the mark of a successful abstract. It's part of a greater whole or context but when this small unrecognisable part is removed from that context it becomes abstract.

Still with the flows and textures is another image I've shared on Google+ which kept people guessing for most of a Saturday. A harmless game encouraging people to recognise what is going on. At the time of posting this image no-one has figured out yet that this is the result of a laser beam being shot into an acrylic block. The shape, flow, form and texture is amazing. It reminds me of a rocket climbing into the sky or the water blast of a powerful fountain. Shortly people will read this and know what it is. How do I know? Too many late night stints on Discovery Channel and Discovery Science. When a laser is built for a laser cutter the laser generator is tested and tuned using acrylic blocks as they allow the test engineer to see the beam and how it's focused and directed.

There are wonderful textures and shapes everywhere, while walking through Melbourne Observatory with some friends late one night we found this interesting orb of dark material with stainless steel bands. Spectacular. Capturing the texture at night was an interesting experience. I tried to balance the depth of field to capture the spots dots and fingerprints of curious children from during the day with the need to capture the feel and colours overall.

These stainless steel roof panels were suspended on tight cables with an interesting wave pattern over head. The panels interlock and provide protection from the sun and during the day are somewhat mundane - but at night - a whole new magic. Each panel is sitting differently to its neighbor so the qualities of the light and reflection are different on each. Good fun. While this is still a traditional thirds type of composition it moves away from the regular thirds using the diagonals to break the image up. The central star attracts the eye away from the brightest and darkest areas and holds it captive.

So the point of this blog entry? It pays to look all around you including up in the quest for light, patterns, textures and flows. Use them to help with your creative thinking, your ability to see something that others don't. You are a photographer, your role is to find the interesting within the mundane and expose it to other people. Good luck with your quest.

As always, write and comment if the mood strikes you. All feedback and criticism is welcome.