Or to paraphrase Lewis Carroll, ‘Looking Though the Glass’ !
I was delighted to see the other evening while enjoying my glass of Tío Pepe – other dry sherries are available! – that the image of the tv screen beyond was inverted in the liquid in the glass, with some interesting results (all to do with how light is refracted through glass – vague recollections are coming back to me from school about refraction and wavelengths and prisms) but, being more of an artist than a scientist, I am more interested in the effect than the cause!
I wasn’t expecting to see these images and they were whizzing past on different tv programmes so I captured a few on the spur of the moment with my phone – next time I will set this experiment up properly – it’s good to have a few indoor photography assignments up your sleeve as the cold weather approaches! and there are a few ways to improve these shots. Here are some of my favourites from this first impromptu experiment.
All things bright and beautiful, All creature great and small,
All things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all.
Those words take me right back to my infant school assembly! Everyone knows this hymn, even today – and most of us can say we know the words by heart – to the first two verses anyway!!
I’ve been trying to think of inspirational themes for my photography outings – much more successful with a theme!! Now it so happens that the theme for the 2021 BBC Countryfile Calendar Competition is ‘Bright and Beautiful’ so I think I might just give that a whirl.
Of course it’s light and dark that create all those great photographic effects: the photographer who can capture light falling in a special way on a scene or lighting up a person’s face (to minimize those wrinkles!) holds the key to success – candle light, the glow of an open fire, reflections bouncing back off office windows, sunlight streaming through stained glass – Christmas lights! – all lovely, but Nature’s light has the most appeal – glorious sunsets, or dappled sunlight through the trees in a forest, light caught in water droplets on a leaf or clear blue skies over snow capped mountains. I’m going in search of some of those now but in the meantime here are some I prepared earlier !
I would never want to see things in just black and white, but as far as photography goes, with the aid of Photoshop you can see your colour photos as monochrome images as well and it makes for an interesting experiment. You find yourself concentrating more on the shapes, textures and composition of a picture – it’s a bit like when you turn the volume on a television down – what you notice are the facial expressions of the people on the screen, their gestures and movements rather than just what they are saying.
Of course some people only ever shoot their pictures in monochrome and they often turn out more striking than if you desaturate an image you’ve taken in colour. Here are some of my black and white pictures: I think architectural features stand out, patterns and textures are accentuated, you notice the shadows, reflections and shapes in the windows of buildings, the markings on a butterfly’s wings or a bird’s plumage.
I love this picture – the snowy white plumage of the goose and the dark gravel behind it. Birds’ plumage and their beady eyes look great in black and white
Reflections, mirrored in water or glass, create some interesting effects
A silhouette creates a stunning image. A dark shape or outline against a light background makes for a great photo.
Eliminatiing the colour is an excellent ploy for getting people to concentrate on the details, the forms, the action …….
I’ll finish with some butterflies – one of the most colourful creatures I can think of – but with their extraordinary markings they still look beautiful in black and white !