Boot Camp III Assignment #2: Results

Results from Assignment #2, in which you were asked to choose a local object, significant to your community to photograph.

In addition to a plethora of beer photos (quelle surprise!) some pretty cool stuff came back upstream from all over the world. I'm also guessing some of you have newfound respect for the NatGeo photographers who often have to tell the story of a place with photos of things…

First off: Deceptively simple, right? You think, "Oh, all I have to do is find an object and shoot it."

Easy peasy lemon squeezy, huh? Yeah, not so much.

After finding a subject, you have to decide how (or if) to contextualize it. Or maybe it is locked into place and you have to deal with some not-so-ideal surroundings. Do you include a person? Anything for scale? How do you make an object into an interesting photo?

All valid questions that come into play even before you have to start dealing with the lighting, etc.

That said, here are some that stood out to me. Not that my opinion is gospel -- as always this photo editing stuff is pretty subjective. Take a look at the full edit (linked at the bottom) and see which you would have chosen and why.

Leading of is the Traveling Trunk of Charles Lummis, by Allison Achauer. Interesting story behind this one (click the pick on any of these for context and more lighting info.)

Allison was given free reign in the local museum, which is endangered, to photograph it. (Because she took an interest, and asked.) She used a single warmed-up SB-800 to light it.

Robert Orsa photographed a section of The Wall, which has been transplanted from Berlin to Simi Valley, California.

Orsa used a pare of bare speedlights -- a Vivitar 285 on the front and a Canon 580 II on the camera left side, to light both visible planes to give it some depth.

Across the Pacific in Siem Reap, Cambodia, Jorge Rodriguez chose to photograph a wooden sculpture. The artisan working on it is part of a group preserving traditional art techniques after they were all but lost in the turmoil of recent decades.

Rodriguez used two lights -- one each on the sculpture and the craftsman -- to create the photo.

Heading southwest and crossing the equator, we arrive in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Reader Cornelius Muller created far and away the simplest image of the final edits by sandwiching a local strawberry. His first choice would have been grapes for the famed local wines. But it is winter in the southern hemisphere, so strawberries were the order of the day.

No context here, but I was stopped by the unusual quality of light -- a top/bottom sandwich of speedlights, both gridded to keep light off of the background.

Back in the northern hemisphere, Tom Elingham chose to photograph organic lavender local to Wallington in the UK.

Placed in a drawer (where it is used to freshen clothing) the sprigs were top/back lit with a speedlight in a LumiQuest SB-III, with fill coming from another strobe in a DIY ring light.

Last but not least is this image of herring, from the town of Fano, Italy on the Adriatic.

Fabio Giraldi used a gridded speedlight and a DIY ring fill to light them swimming in a sea of hair, giving what one commenter called a Botticelli vibe to the image. I agree. And if you are trying to stand out, probably better to take a visual risk than to shoot a six pack of beer. (Especially in this crowd.)

Speaking of six packs, perhaps beer would be an appropriate thank you for his fishy-haired model. But Fabio himself will enjoy either a hard copy set of Lighting in Layers or a LumoPro LP160 speedlight as this assignment's winner.

Congrats to Fabio, and also to everyone who completed the second BC3 assignment, the full results of which are here.

As with last time, them's my picks. Feel different? Hash it out in the comments. But be respectful, please.


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