While still “staying home to stay safe”, I stumbled across another intriguing macro photography video. It showed the creation of abstract images with colored lights and folded paper. Inspired, I collected a few sheets of paper and some thin white cardboard and began folding. After several minutes of twisting, clipping and creasing, I had a bunch of crinkled paper and a greater appreciation for those who try their hand at origami.
I hoped the lights would bring interest to the simple images and more importantly, that the shadows would hide the flaws. I staged my creations and began to shoot.
Like I did with photographing “Tiny Bubbles“, I created a crude macro stage setup and used my trusty flashlights with the colored LEDs (red, blue and green). This time I remembered to capture a photo of my setup while I was shooting (instead of trying to recreate it later in a diagram).
I started with colored lights behind the paper to diffuse the light. The shadows did hide the flaws, and I was pleased with the simple lines and abstract results.
Back and front lighting
I found that the sheet of sketchpad paper that I used as a light diffuser was adding an unwanted texture to the colored areas of my images so I adjusted my set-up. I removed the light diffuser and added a background of white poster board. I then lit up the background (behind the folded paper) with one color while focusing a second color on the front edges of the paper.
Here’s the result of bouncing the red light off the white poster board while holding a blue light on the front edges of the paper.
Now using the white cardboard shapes you’ll notice the thicker edges catch more light.
Being a landscape photographer at heart, exploring macro photography has been a challenge for me. I hope you have enjoyed the results of this diversion.
Until the next shoot, stay safe and remember it’s all about the light.
Some of these images would make great puzzles
Would you really want to do one of these? If so, I can consider it for a late birthday gift or Chanukah gift. 🙂
Ok these are really cool . I like the back lit best wonder how it could work backlit with cactus or something desert like ?
Thanks for your feedback! A cactus background could be a cool idea… let me think about how to incorporate that.
Kathryn, These are lovely photos. Did you do these in a dark room? Also, the back of the camera in the one shot show f/5.6, 1/10 sec at ISO 64, are those the settings you used?
Hi Jean, Thanks for taking the time to read my post. I did not do these in a dark room. The photos of the setup show exactly what I did (simple paper and flashlights on a console table). I did pull the blinds in the room, but it was afternoon and it was not dark. Depending on what i was shooting and how much light I wanted in the shot, I varied my aperture from f4.5-f10 and the shutter speed from 1/60 sec to 0.8 seconds. I did use the lowest ISO (64) for all the shots. At times, to get the correct focus point, I had to switch to manual focusing, and I did use the delay mode for shooting to insure no camera shake. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!
Kathryn, Thank you for the reply, I appreciate the additional information. I am a member of a photo club and was pointed to your blog by a mutual friend, Kathy Whisman. Our club is always looking for new ideas for a hands on class we do, I think this will be something we can do.