In the search for new projects to improve my skills, I found a couple of online forums which offer periodic assignments, typically weekly. Any member of the forum can post a submission according to the week’s theme, and the entries are judged in the end by the admin or some other suitably well informed person. The winner and a few runners up are then called out for the whole community to see. The one main requirement typically is that the photo shall have been created during the week of the assignment, and not be something from your archives.
For my first assignment, I have tackled “Geometric Shapes” from the DPS forum. I began by wandering around outside in the neighborhood. The most interesting thing I found before it started to rain and I moved indoors was a bench infused with holes. I shot it close up looking straight down with large aperture, green grass blurred in the background. Definitely geometric. Nice shade of blue. Not too compelling.
Once indoors, I quickly settled on my kitchen, which between cabinets, tiles, and appliances, is full of lines and rectangles, among other things. More interestingly, however, there are a few curved, reflective surfaces, which would allow me to contrast the straight lines that are naturally present, with some distorted versions of the same. In the end, I ended up photographing the tile design behind the stove reflected off a mirror-like tea pot lid. Here is a wide angle view for context.
I went through a number of iterations on this, trying different lenses for different perspectives, moving the lighting around, changing up the depth of field, and so on. As you can see in the series of images below, the size of the tiles behind the teapot relative to the size of the handle varies quite a bit as a function of focal length. Long lens compresses everything, and makes the tiles behind seem larger. Wide angle makes the tiles look smaller.
I felt that the it was best to keep the key light almost at a right angle to the wall, as shown in the pullback shot below, with the umbrella off to the right. This best evoked the texture of the tile by creating shadows in between tiles, and is evident in the two shots in the bottom row of the above grid. Otherwise, the wall feels very flat, as it was in some of the earlier shots.
In the end, I am submitting the last shot in the grid. I like the framing, the complete focus, and the play of the different curves against the regular array of diamonds. Let me know which you like best.