My image this week was made this morning. Our ensuite bathroom faces east. The clear glass window looks onto a little garden we made into a fernery. It is tucked down beside the house and you can see at the top of the image that there are concrete steps leading from the living level to the lower level. The sun was in the right place when I was getting ready for the day, and I thought it was worth a try. I made 11 images before the sun moved too much and upset the composition, which wasn’t long! I have darkened both sides to keep the eye in the image. The light and dark areas on the blinds are the shadows from a tall punga fern on the left, and the light reflecting back on the wall from the house. The two blue areas at the bottom are two blue pots, which are planted with ferns. I tried several crops, 3x2, and square, but I am liking the 16x9, so tried it as a vertical, and liked that too. Funny that after 52 weeks of square, and nothing else, I am leaning in one direction again. How long it will last is anyone’s guess, but I’m enjoying the look so far.
How I love this project. I couldn’t believe it when my friend's image arrived over the weekend. Our images are so similar this week, and yet so different. I was thrilled to see that even though we are separated by an entire ocean our minds sometimes think alike, and equally thrilled that we have treated the similar subjects so differently. We have both made images of whisks.
I made my original image on a piece of white paper and used the sun as the light source, which has enabled the hard shadow. I’ve fiddled around with the threshold slider to reduce it to B&W, then duplicated the layer and repositioned it to give a double exposure look. I used a different opacity for the second layer in an attempt to give this 2 dimensional image a feeling of depth, or a 3rd dimension. I tried various things with the second layer, flipping, vertically and horizontally, but kept coming back to this. The crop is 16x9, which I’ve been playing with recently. I like the balance it gives, somehow more pleasing for certain images than the 35mm 3x2 usual thing. The nectarine stone from Week 58 is 16x9 too. Probably square format is still my favourite, but it is interesting to look at things differently, just for fun, sometimes. And even when I’ve allowed myself colour for this year I still went to B&W for this week and last. Learning new tricks is not easy.
I think I bought my whisk in the US. We were staying with friends, and I was intrigued with the whisk she used to make French Toast for breakfast. I brought one home, and use it quite often. I’d only seen whisks which rotate in a circular fashion previously, and hers was a sort of punch up and down type, which you can use on flat plate, making it easy to beat the eggs first, then dip the bread in the egg which is already on the plate, before cooking. Anything to make cleaning up easier gets my vote. I also like it because of the shape, flat on the bottom, which I’ve used for several photographic things, including a card series.
I bought nectarines last week. Sometimes they have a broken stone inside, which is not photogenic at all, but this one had a complete, unbroken stone. When I was a kid we had a nectarine tree in the garden, especially the white fleshed ones. I loved them raw, but there were too many to eat when they were in season and I’m sure my mother didn't need four kids with tummy aches, so she preserved them, in glass jars, for the winter. They taste different cooked. I prefer them raw. It is much the same with strawberries, which I think are best eaten freshly picked, and still warm from the sun. They taste different when they are cooked too, but even then IMO they taste better than cooked nectarines! However, when nectarines were ripe on the tree my mother would never have allowed them to go to waste. Earwigs lived in nectarines when we were kids, and even today I still expect to find an earwig when I bite into a one. So a whole stone is definitely a thing of beauty for me!
It was a struggle to get the stone clean, finally resorting to a needle and a pair of tweezers! I didn’t want to photograph the stone looking gooey, so I spent quite some time picking out all the tenacious threads of flesh, a sort of gory nectarine autopsy, to get the stone looking its best for a photograph. Seriously. Yes, it was another one of my long suffering husband's eye rolling moments. Then to photograph it, light background, dark background, hard shadows, soft shadows, decisions, decisions. How hard could it be. Actually it was very hard, especially on a dark subject with not much contrast in the subject itself. Focus, lighting, composition, all the usual things, plus I like an image to tell a story. I'm not sure that this one does. You'll just have to read the words above to get this one. But I do love shadows and a less is more type of image, so after a crazy mad week, here it is.
Last weekend I spent two nights in Invercargill which, for those who don't know their New Zealand geography, is at the southern end of the South Island. I was there as part of a selection panel for a photographic exhibition, and was kindly hosted by a member of the group which organised the selection weekend. She has a nice room at the top of her house, which is where I slept. The window faces east and after a hectic day selecting images on Saturday it was nice to have a little sleep in on Sunday. I woke before the sun was fully on the window and dozed, feeling lazy for a while, until the morning couldn't be ignored any longer. The room has a beautiful wooden panelled ceiling, which glowed in the light. We decided to go out for breakfast to a terrific cafe called The Batch Cafe, at 173 Spey Street, Invercargill. Google The Batch Cafe. They've got a string of awards to their credit. We really enjoyed it, and next time I'm in Invercargill I know where I'll be going for breakfast. How about Vanilla French Toast with crispy bacon, maple syrup and crumbed roasted Central Otago peaches, with a couple of excellent coffees? Hard to beat anywhere I'd say.
My image this week was made in the bathroom, at 9.12pm. The bath was ready, and I was almost ready to get in. I saw the possibilities so dashed upstairs to get my camera. The blue twilight colour in the sky was what attracted me. I love that, when the sky turns a gorgeous navy blue, just before it goes completely black. We get it late here in summer. That light is great for real estate photos, as it makes houses look better than they sometimes are! Turn all the lights on inside and wait until the sky goes navy blue. And spray the hose on any paving too, for reflections. It can look fabulous. We often light the candles and enjoy a soak at the end of the day. Should have put a spa/hot tub on the deck, but we didn’t. BTW, the green outside the window is our second lot of potatoes, just to spoil the mood, with an outside security light switched on. (That's too much information, right?) Nothing is what it seems.
Each week I'll publish a new image as part of a joint Project 52, with my friend in the USA. We both make an image every week, and send them to each other. We are now in the 2nd year of this project. We find it challenging, stimulating and fun. Life should be fun.