Before we get into it, I thought I should provide you with a little bit of background on this series.
I never took photos before I began working at Midwest Photo Exchange. That’s why I’m the Photo Frosh. Many of our customers are beginners just like me, and the Photo Frosh aims to provide beginner photographers with tips, tricks, and inspiration.
The Photo Frosh: “30-Day” Challenge follows the assignments laid out by Expert Photography. Armed with my trusty Nikon D7000 and Tamron SP 17-50mm F2.8, I will attempt, over the course of the next few months, to complete each and every one of these challenges, and graduate from Photo Frosh to Photo Fresh.
Challenge #4 was Texture. I was pretty excited about this challenge. It was more about having an interesting eye than it was about photographic skills.
I was partly correct.
My strategy for this challenge was similar to my strategy in the black & white challenge. That is, when seeking out my “subjects,” I tried to look at the world more abstractly. I wanted to take photos that captured color, shape — photos that really paid attention to how a thing looked and felt, and not necessarily what it actually was.
I also wanted to keep in mind Expert Photography’s major tips re: capturing texture:
1. Use hard lighting to best capture contrast.
2. Fill the frame.
3. Try to get a decent amount of different textures in a single image.
4. Crop to focus the viewer’s attention on the texture, not necessarily the subject.
I mostly kept my aperture open as much as possible, and I found that my F2.8 Tamron was a fast-enough lens to really capture some interesting textures.
However, I sometimes found that shooting with a wide aperture to have unintended consequence, thanks to the shallow depth of field.
This image, while containing a variety of aesthetic effects, did not come out the way I intended because the shallow depth of field really narrows your focus in a weird way (not to mention the top right of the photo is totally blown out).
Another area I failed in was getting a hard light on the texture. The day I captured the images for this challenge, I’d gone out at around 2 PM. It was somewhat bright, but it was also cloudy (and possibly even snowing at the time). What I should have done, instead of relying on available light, is use a speedlight. Instead, I had to try to adjust the contrast in post, with mixed results.
I’d love to hear your opinions about my photos in the comments. Any additional tips for creating texture in an image?
The next challenge is High Angle. Feel free to share your high angle photos with firstname.lastname@example.org and I might include them in the next Photo Frosh: “30-Day” Challenge post!