52Frames: Single Light Source
This week's primary theme is "Single Light Source," and the secondary theme is "Softbox with a Grid."
When I think of using a single light source, I immediately think of flash. Other options include the sun, a candle, a single bulb indoors, maybe a spotlight or the moon if it's bright enough outside. However, as often happens, I forgot about the challenge until Sunday afternoon, so the the single source I used was... flash. I don't have a softbox or a grid for a softbox, so I ignored the secondary theme.
All were taken with the M100f4 Macro lens paired with a 1.4x converter on a tripod. All of these were shot at 10 seconds or longer, using only a single LED flashlight of the kind that comes in a four-pack for $5. I left the flashlight on for several minutes so it was about as bright as it can get.
The stone is a tigers eye, which I purchased just this weekend at Crystal Waters, in Eureka Springs.
Wikipedia describes the gemstone as, "...a chatoyant gemstone that is usually a metamorphic rock with a golden to red-brown colour and a silky lustre. [Tigers eye gains its] ...silky, lustrous appearance from the parallel intergrowth of quartz crystals and altered amphibole fibres that have mostly turned into limonite."
The closest magnification photo shows parallel bands of mineral that reflect light strongly depending on the incoming angle. This, I learned recently, is called chatoyance, and makes this particular piece fantastically mesmerizing since the darker parts of the stone, rather than showing clean parallel layers, shows what looks like a mountain landscape similar to the Badlands of South Dakota.
Final word on this series. I put the stone in a water bath in a plastic transparent container, and the light source was pressed against the outside of the container near the stone at an angle that I tried to make resemble the sun in the sky. Why the water bath? Because without the water bath, the reflections on the smooth surface of the stone would have caused too many specular reflections that would have taken something away from the mirage that I was trying to create.
What's 52Frames? It's a weekly theme-based photography challenge that's been running for something like eight years now. The About page says that their philosophy is based on the "3 Cs, Creativity, Community, and Consistency." Creativity when time allows to produce some excellent results. Community comments on galleries posted on Facebook (ugh, facebook). And Consistency in practice of taking photos every week. All submitted photos are collated into a weekly album, and comments are welcome.