The egg is a banal subject with a distinct shape but almost no surface detail, which is why I chose it. The assignment was about the light not about the egg. Photography, unlike most other graphic media, always starts with a subject. I wanted my students to learn how to look beyond the subject when composing their photographs by learning how to integrate the shape of the egg with the shapes made by light and shadow. One of the greatest masters of this technique was Cartier-Bresson, whose images always contained very specific subject matter, but had a composition structurally built upon light, shadow, and movement.
My X-T1 was back from the shop so I pressed it into service for this project. I started using the 60mm macro, but quickly switched over to the 35mm because the 60mm had a lot of trouble focusing on the egg. (I wonder if the Zeiss macro will be better.) To get in close I used a Nikon 4T close-up lens on the 35mm. I had the camera set to shoot jpg and RAW in a square format with the profile set to black and white. This allowed me to see exactly what I was getting and gave me a reference black and white jpg to use later in post-processing. Being able to set my camera up this way is one reason I like using the Fuji X series. I'm beginning to use the Fuji X cameras as digital replacements for my old Hasselblad 500CM.
If any of you want to give this project a try and send in a photo, I can assemble some of them into a future blog post. It would be interesting to see the different ways photographers interpret pure light.
|All the images were taken on the same white background. Tone, even dead black and pure white, was caused by controlling the relative exposures of the shadows and highlights.|