Thursday, November 17, 2011

Inspiration through jelly beans

I was reading a photography website (ClickinMoms - I have a banner for them on the left hand side of my blog) when I came across this photo of jelly beans in the article about photographing food.
  I like things in jars and I like taking pictures of things in jars, so this just fit right into one of my themes.  Since I don't eat jelly beans, it didn't occur to me that they'd make a good subject. 

I try hard not to voluntarily put myself in the candy isle.  I could live there.

After a facebook discussion on where to find jelly beans, I went to Target, bought two bags and didn't bring home any other goodies, amazingly.

I just love this photo. (above)  I like how clear the jelly beans are in the jar and how the jelly beans in the background are not in focus, but they still look like what they are. 

When I first set up the shot in my house I put the jar and jelly beans on a white background.  I thought that's why the colors popped out at me so much in the original.   Those just didn't look right.  Too white, too bold.  So I had to go back and find the photo.

Ahhhh, it looks like a cutting board.  A nice earthy color bringing out the colors of the beans.

That explained a lot!

I got out a metal tray in a dark earthy color, a tall glass jar and set up the lighting.  Took a dozen shots or more.  Then I switched out the tall jar with a shorter one.  The shorter one had a larger opening and I liked that better.

This is the best shot from my first session.  It's not as warm and cozy as the inspiration piece and I think that's because there was too much light shining on my beans and tray.  Also, the tray was reflective, unlike the wood used in the original.  My jar is too far toward the middle, which usually can be an easy crop, but I lost most of the jelly beans on the left side when I did that. 

I had never taken a picture as inspiration and then tried to replicate it nearly exactly.  I kind of like it!  I can see things in mine that I like, but I can also see things that can be improved upon.  I think I'll take more shots in the daylight (no natural light right now) and use a cutting board as the base. 

It's good to know that I still have a lot to learn.

Have a great day!


Lisa said...

As I was reading your commentary I was thinking to myself about what I think the original photographer did as far as lighting. I was ready to comment to tell you, but lo and behold you figured it out. That was a fun read. It definitely looks like the original used side lighting or bounced the flash away from the subject. They may have also used a flash diffuser. You can make your own with a white paper or coffee filter if you are using the flash that came on the camera, if you use a flash that is hot shoe mounted you can do the same, but maybe bounce it off the wall or ceiling. I think your shot is great though! I really miss the POTD project and shooting for myself. I hope to get back into that soon when all the sessions are over for the year.

Ann in the UP said...

It is very interesting to have you share your learning experiences with us. (Even if we are failures at photography.) I love the whole jelly bean idea---in any of its manifestations. LOL

Katharine said...

This is beautiful! I am very slowly learning how to take the best shots and make the best use of my camera... I love this!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

This is so interesting. I think your shot looks great! I am inspired to work harder with my photography.