The Egg Story!

So, liquid diet out of the way and what a liquid it was! Just so your inquisitiveness gets quenched, it was buttermilk with a lot of ginger, curry leaves, green chillies and most of all, Salt!! Yes, salt in my mouth was almost like seeing God. Almost! 🙂

Okay now the Egg Story! It’s not much of a story really, not this one. But if you do get a chance, search for the egg story as it referances to Photography and that is something every body aspiring to learn a bit more about lighting should check out. Let’s understand what my Egg Story is all about. First, the final image:

A story of 3 eggs

If you think that this was much of an effort..I’d really like to say no, to that. It, infact, came together pretty accidently. I was trying for some other image in my mind, but this worked out better. Moral of the story, “Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched”. You just might get more options than you initially set out with so don’t give up if your perfect image hasn’t come through in the first instance. Let’s look at my first image that I shot hoping to realize an idea.

For most beginners, it is not a bad image. But it fails to communicate any specific idea. It’s just 3 eggs, lit from behind and right of camera. However, if you notice, to the left side of the image, the top part of the front egg has a deep shadow. Now, in Cochin, a South Indian city, we have been experiencing quite a few cloudy days (not to mention humid!), so although there is a shadow, it isn’t very harsh as it would be expected on a clear sunny day. So, it’s like a blah shot. White blending into white..not much depth, though it’s pretty sharp.

I have a light + stand but I didnt want to create more wash out in the image and considering I wanted a fair amount of shallowness in depth, I didn’t want to stop down the aperture either. But, then I thought, the outer baffle of the soft box can act as a fill-in for the subtle shawdows. Although I have a reflector as well..and I was shooting hand-held, it would have been a little difficult to get the same angle to shoot. I.e. head on..Brought the light stand closer to the setup..and this is how it looked:

You will aslo get an idea of the direction of light. Yes, the spoon and whisk didnt make it to the final image and that is something I had wished to incorporate. Let me continue the story. The images coming out were just not working out for me and I moved around the table to get different perspectives. But everything just said..blah. Then, as though a light went off inside my head..A darker background will offset a white object! Tada! As soon as I realised this, I saw a gray poster paper staring at me. Although it was in tatters..my only next thought was, how am i supposed to get this propped up? It won’t get much support from the lightstand in this department..except with a little help from some friends..a.k.a. clothes pegs.. 🙂

I didn’t want a white background..so it covered that…I needed something to prop up the poster paper..it covered that..it punched up the white in the egss..it did that! What was the next step..go vertical..remove any additional non-related object..and shoot! Export into photoshop, correct the background grey..maybe blur it a tad bit..not that it would call any attention unto itself..being a the dark horse..correct overall sharpness and color..and lo! you have the final image as above! In all of this sudden turn of images..what I did miss out was a bit of hay..it could have covered the underlying tablecloth..and given the eggs a more delicate feel. This is a jist..a real story can be fished out from this and improved upon. I like it as is..it has opened my eyes to multiple ideas and creative possibilities. It has also made me think on my feet to tactfully use already available materials and equipment and do double duty with it!! This is just the beginning! So much to go! Happy Week! Happy Shooting!

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