This week's challenge is textures. Textures, or the contrast between textures can add a dimension to a photograph that suggests or implies what we can feel, both physically and mentally. Soft grasses contrasted against asphalt, concrete, or rocky terrain. Warm, soft sunlit clouds as a backdrop to the harsh cold concrete and steel buildings of the urban jungle. Or perhaps soft, cool, whispy moss in contrast to its host...a hard, cold, rough stone. There are times just the texture itself can stand by itself. For example, the grain of weathered wood, peeling and chipped paint, concrete, plant leaves, a pile of cotton balls...you name it.
I used to really enjoy a good nap mid through a day of fishing. Why? It wasn't always because I was tired. I simply wanted to relax, get lost in my own thoughts, and forget about everything else in the world at that particular moment. I can always remember how I felt sitting there, leaning up against the tree. Warm summer breeze, cooled off in the shadow(s) of the tree...cool, soft grass swaying in the breeze, birds flittering about doing their thing, even the rough bark of the tree I happened to be leaning against wasn't really all that unpleasant, either. It was as if I was magically transported to my youth when I hadn't a care in the world. Each time I see images like those, in my mind, I am there. I can hear the birds, smell the grass and wild flowers, hear the wind rustling leaves and the grass. I can even imagine what it feels like having the cool grass on my back and sun in my face.
If I'm not careful, I'm gonna need a nap just thinking about it!
As I said in an earlier post, this assignment will not be due until the 26th of March. This gives us for all intents and purposes, two weeks to come up with an image. If you're aiming for something outside, I would suggest waiting for the weather to calm down. Otherwise, stay inside where it's warm and find your subject there.
As with previous posts, watch your depth of field. Textures are not two-dimensional. A narrower aperture (f/11 or more) will be needed to get the entire depth of the texture and a tack sharp image. Also keep in mind, with a narrower aperture, you will be looking at longer shutter speeds. It will become necessary to use a tripod, especially if the shutter speed is slower than the focal length. As an alternative, the ISO can be increased. However, keep in mind, the higher the ISO gets, the more noise introduced to the image and can end up with soft edges and loss of detail. If using continuous or artificial light, keep from using flat lighting, or lighting directly parallel to the lens. For more depth, keep the subject lit from one side or the other. Anywhere from 45-90 degrees to the lens, dependent upon the situation.
Clean your lenses and sensors, get your boots strapped up, and get out there! Above all...have fun!