Peter Steeper: Eating at the Trough
"Eating at the Trough," by Canadian amateur photographer Peter Steeper, was made with a Canon G3 point-and-shoot digital camera, a 420 EX flash and an off-camera cord.
"After an incident in the kitchen with ants I decided to take advantage of what I thought was a great photo opportunity. Then my wife discovered what I was doing. The experiment ended suddenly."
As for the outpouring of familial support for his domestic photographic endeavors, he notes:
"The background is one of my wife's fine white china dishes. I am banned from ever using her china again as a prop."
The vision it took to create this shot is impressive. Note from the shooter's description that an incident in the kitchen turned into a creative opportunity.
Whether it's an obsession with photography or simply a creative thread in the photog's brain - being attuned to this moment as a great moment to create a cool shot is something of a wonderful gift/talent.
Combine that vision with a solid execution (love the highlight on the right and the shadow on the left defining the "depth" --and thus thick consistency-- of the syrup). The highlights on the ants' little bodies are really cool for bringing them to life, and I'm guessing that the bubbles in the syrup were a happy accident, but they add something to the value of this shot too.
This image has some of the same characteristics of the winning shot you'll see soon -- people will stop in their tracks to look at this shot. It's got visual mojo.
As I mentioned in the lead-in, this photo epitomizes the idea of the photographer making the photo rather than the gear doing it. A point-and-shoot and a small flash, with dash of spontaneity, led to a spur-of-the-moment photo.
Some might call the light simplistic. IMO, much more would have been overkill.
And the light was necessary for more than just aesthetic reasons. That close of a macro shot needs some aperture to control depth of field. At such clse range, even a small flash makes small apertures possible.
The smaller chip size of the P-n-S camera helped, too. A smaller chip means more depth of field for a given aperture setting. (This would have been a much more difficult shot to pull off with a dSLR for several reasons.)
But beyond the technical stuff (there were far better technicals displayed elsewhere in the pool) this is a photo that could be used to convey many different ideas that have nothing to do with ants.
They are us, whether we are blue-collar workers, guys at a bar, sugar addicts, mooches, or any number of other things.
Great shot, Peter. And thanks for your gracious understanding about the date.
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