ND – Gorgeous Hot Sunny, Very Very Blue
It’s ironic that with…
…the expensive high-tech gear I currently sport, the things that enthuse me the most in photography right now are either maliciously attacking perfectly decent medium format 120 film with a cheap plastic camera and lens combo that has a reputation for leaking light twenty-four seven to eat away at the sensitive medium, or using that expensive gear deliberately badly to heavily distort my subject in homage of Mark Rothko.
I recently posted on the subject of Rothko homage, and the more that I look around, the more I see subjects with further pseudo-Rothko photographic potential. Here are some such images I shot at home last night.
Rothko Experiment 3 Red
Nikon D700 'FX', Nikkor 50mm F1.4G AF-S, Exposure 1/2.5 @ F1.4, ISO 400, This is a multi-angle wall in the corner of a room. It is all painted a dark red colour, and the different tones come from the varied angles of the different parts. As with all of these images, the effect is created by heavily defocusing the lens, and running a slow shutter speed to allow deliberate mechanical blurring by moving the camera during the exposure
Rothko Experiment 4 Red Yellow
Nikon D700 'FX', Nikkor 50mm F1.4G AF-S, Exposure 1/3 @ F1.4, ISO 400, Using the same technique again, this shot is actually the same red wall, but with a long vertical pine picture frame along one edge. This wood strip that I have just included in the image gives the lovely yellowish band, but the whole image was simply distorted further from reality by rotating it 90 degree anti-clockwise to make it look less like it did. Rothko often produced canvasses with a large area of roughly one colour, and then a thin band of another contrasting colour along the top or bottom edge
Rothko Experiment 5 Red Yellow
Nikon D700 'FX', Nikkor 50mm F1.4G AF-S, Exposure 1/8 @ F1.4, ISO 400, There are two advantages with doing these types of shots in very low light conditions. The first is that you can use a slow shutter to allow some deliberate blur to creep in via wobbling the camera slightly during the exposure. The other is that the effects of any dim lighting that you have are magnified and enhance the colours of the subjects. All of these shots were taken under dim CFL energy-saving bulbs which emit a yellow glow, saturating further subjects that are already yellow, and warming subjects that are red. Here we have the vertical divide between the previously used red wall, and a neighbouring yellow wall that is lit by a yellow bulb in the distance. The view is disrupted by rotating it 90 degrees anti-clockwise in post-processing to disorientate the viewer from seeing vertical walls
Rothko Experiment 6 Yellow
Nikon D700 'FX', Nikkor 50mm F1.4G AF-S, Exposure 1/8 @ F1.4, ISO 400, This last image was done for fun, and not really meant to depict Rothko's Multiforms at all. Generally his work comprised of straight lines, rectangles and squares, so this round doughnut shape is less fitting. However, it's a demonstration of how much a subject can be distorted by the techniques I've described. Can you tell what it is? Bearing in mind that this is heavily defocussed, deliberately blurred, the subject is actually shiny so responds to the yellow lighting very strongly, and I even held the lens just within a few inches of the subject and therefore much closer than its minimum focus distance. This image is of the reverse side of an Apple iPad. The darker center of the doughnut shape is actually the black Apple logo on the back, surrounded by the shiny brushed aluminium casing
Part 3 of this occasional series is Here, and Part 4 is Here.
(c) Nakedigit 2010