Project 52

Assignment 31 - Soft

It's Week 2 of conceptual photography and this week's concept is "Soft."  Hmmm.  I don't have a baby handy, so I had to come up with some other options.  I sketched out a few ideas, and after a quick trip to Walmart to buy supplies, I got to work.

Image one was cotton balls.  I built a pile of cotton balls and then started dropping more cotton balls so I could capture them as they were falling.  My trigger finger wasn't fast enough, so I ended up catching one in every four balls in mid-air.  I decided to improve my success rate by dangling a cotton ball with some fishing line at various spots around the photo.  It was easy to edit out the fishing line and drastically improved the odds of me getting a cotton ball in flight.  Once I had taken about 20 shots, I dragged them all into Photoshop and combined them into one image. 

We were given a layout with words on it, and the layout was square, so I played around with various options for fitting the cotton ball image in the layout.  I tried one with it cropped in close and one with a broader view, but preferred the closer crop, below.

I cleaned up the cotton balls and pulled out some Q-tips.  I scattered them on the table top and starting throwing them around to capture them dropping into the scene.  I don't know if I was just getting better at it or if the hang time of a Q-tip is longer than that of a cotton ball, but I was much more successful capturing the Q-tips in flight.  After spending 30 minutes compositing the photo together, I realized that I had forgotten to refocus the image after the cotton ball picture, so all the Q-tips on the table top were slightly fuzzy.  I reshot the base image and the final picture is below:

I had one final image in mind.  It was a soft boiled egg.  I've been trying to build up my portfolio of food images, so I thought I'd give it a try when I had a few minutes the next day.  I got the image all set up and boiled the egg.  I don't typically boil eggs, so I had to look up how to cook a soft boiled egg - the consensus was six minutes simmering was all that was needed.  It worked like a charm - perfectly runny inside and firm outside.  I used a spoon and a napkin as props, and this is the image I ultimately submitted for the assignment:

Next week's assignment is to "say one thing about one thing."  The assignment is meant to make us work with technique, point of view, angle, lens choice, and light to make that subject reveal something we NEED it to say.  And then we need it only to say one thing about it.  I've come up with a few ideas so far, but I'm going to keep noodling on it and hopefully I'll have time to experiment with several different subjects.  See you next week!