Paper Folding

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. 

The light on the paper provides a contrast of complementary colors in abstract curves

Abstract curves in complementary colors

The Set-up

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).

camera set-up with paper and light

Using my 60mm macro lens, I focused on the front edge of the paper

Starting simple…

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. 

Paper back lit by green and blue diffused light

Abstract heart image using blue and red lights

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.

second camera set-up with light on the front and back of the paper

Here’s a quick look at the set up and the image as it looks on the back of the camera.

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.

Image showing red light on the background and blue light on the front paper edge for dramatic contrast

Wow! With the light no longer diffused, the contrast between the back and front lights is dramatic.

Now using the white cardboard shapes you’ll notice the thicker edges catch more light.

dramatic Image showing blue light on the background and green light on the front folded paper edge

An organist I am not, but the color contrast is amazing

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.