March 2016

Just one thing.  How would you say  in an image?

Moreover, how can you convey a wide-ranging concept such as ‘just one thing’ that is both immediately understood and eye-catching?  For me, it’s starting with the creation of a list of descriptive words – writing down what pops into my head. Getting ideas out onto paper without restriction, not concerning myself with whether it is right or wrong. Just five minutes later I had well over a hundred words in front of me… a great starting point.  To simplify the list, I put them into vague groups such as emotion, movement, color, senses and so on.  Now that I had this organised in front of me, I was starting to add more words as ideas feed on ideas.

Just One Thing

Just One Thing – Spark

Click!!! My brain made a connection

I quickly came to the conclusion that I wanted to depict movement and instantly ‘speed’ sprung to mind. Speed is fairly easy to simulate with a blur streaking across the image but it seemed too obvious and certainly would limit my creativity… Click!!! My brain made a connection.  If using a single word to express just one thing was limiting, then I should not restrict myself. to single words – the one thing I portray and the one thing the viewer sees can and will be different.  Now we are getting somewhere I smiled to myself, then continued to consider the many ways we relate to and share the wonders of language.

Red is not just a color, it’s the blush of embarrassment, the mist of anger or the ripeness of fruit. The bringing together of hands can be translated as applause, prayer, respect or dominance. Seeing new relationships form between my loosely grouped words, I could begin to visualize and combine… my concept was coming together, solidifying.  Now to put these ideas into action…now to say just one thing in an image.

Hands are expressive, add impact to words and often communicate in a common language… A perfect subject!

Splash photography and the beauty of the pour. Freezing the movement of liquid has always captivated my imagination.

Each snap of the shutter creates a unique image reflecting the beauty of the pour. Take a moment to think about the multitude of variables involved in the simple act of pouring wine into a glass; they are numerous, complex and compound.  It is this random element of splash photography that fascinates me… the angle and flow of the pour, the timing of the shot, the curve of the glass and a whole lot more result in a diversity of shapes and swirls of varying translucence as the liquid glances off the surfaces. The usually unseen or barely glimpsed turmoil becomes visible and a natural beauty is captured in an instant that can never be exactly repeated again.

This led me to wonder what would happen if I were to remove the wine glass and just free pour… would it seem like an explosion rather than the usual controlled pour.  I drew up a concept sketch, my best guess of what would happen added to what I wanted to achieve. I switched it around 180 degrees to empathise that explosive effect… maybe a touch ambitious but this is my imagination, right?

Splash Photography

Pour Concept Sketch

It was pleasing to solve the problem…

…that I had presented myself. The outcome was not so far off from my expectations. However, I had not imagined the crystal-like quality of the turbulent wine as it struck and bounced off the surface.

Splash Photography

Pour Shot with Decanter

The set-up was basic and based around a small aquarium – the benefit of a glass tank is that the liquid is contained and therefore easy to clean up. Here is a sneak peek behind the scenes.

Splash Photography

Pour Behind the Scenes

I found that the result could be used in many ways with the P52 assignment template. I enjoy how by just changing the angles the dynamic and energy of the pour can be affected.

Splash Photography

Pour with Template

Photograph some high heel shoes! Now, how hard can that be?

I immediately called my fashion-conscious daughter to provide a selection of her favourite heels.  I soon realised the design and construction of shoes present a far more complex subject than I had anticipated.  The intricate combination of shape, line, curves, and material pose a demanding but ultimately fascinating challenge.

High Heel Shoes BTS

High Heel Shoes Behind the Scenes

To get the image looking just right, required a more complicated lighting set-up then I would typically use. Introducing a number of speedlites to complement the studio strobes is a great way to add and quickly adjust the fine details with a wink of low-powered light as required.

Red High Heel Shoes Shoes

Dorothy’s Dance

Hanging High Heel Shoes


Adding a splash, introduced a few new challenges. As a glass tank reflects, it’s no longer an easy process to place a light. Also, it was crucial not to water damage these expensive shoes.  Problem solving hat on…

High Heel Shoes Tank bts

High Heel Shoes in Tank – Behind the Scenes

The extra effort paid off…

High Heel Shoes Splash


Photographed as part of a Project 52 assignment