Looking for an interesting indoor photography project? Then break out the bubbly! Soda water, that is.
Back in my youth, I was the kid who would stare at the glass of soda and watch the bubbles form on the side of the glass and rise in an endless stream to the surface. I was fascinated by it. How did the gas get into the soda in the first place? What caused the bubbles to form on the smooth glass? Why did they create this constant stream of bubbles? (We only had two television stations back then and no Internet, so it was easy to be fascinated by simple things.)
As an adult (soft of), I now understand the scientific principles behind my fascination. I'll explain it in a moment, but first, let's have a look at how you can create your own bubbly photos.
I recently had the pleasure of conversing with Sonny Portacio of pocketlenses.com. His website is a fantastic resource for everything involving mirrorless cameras. On it he states, "You don’t need big, heavy camera gear to make great pictures. Mirrorless Cameras have forever changed the landscape of photography. You can learn to make stunning images with lightweight, agile, mirrorless gear. Size, weight, performance and capabilities are some of the many reasons people choose a mirrorless camera over a large, bulky DSLR."
I couldn't agree more. My Olympus gear is incredibly light, durable, and reliable - all without sacrificing image quality. During our conversation we chat about how I got into photography, why I shoot mirrorless, my primary subject matter and some of the tips and techniques that I use to try and create high quality imagery.
Listen to Part 1 of my conversation with Sonny.
In Part 2 of the podcast, I discuss the backstory behind some of my images, give tips on how to improve your photography, and talk about some gadgets that I use to create my images.
Photographing Elegant Still Life Images
As a nature/landscape photographer the quality of my images is very much dependent on the whim of mother nature and the light she decides to present to my lens. It can be a real disappointment to head to a great location only to have poor quality light spoil the scene. I've grown to accept that and cherish those moments when the light is perfect. There are times however when 'bad' light seems to lead to the best results. This 'black velvet' project is one of those cases.
The key elements are quite simple; a still life subject, muted natural light and a piece of black velvet. Although other fabrics will work, black velvet absorbs almost all light and has little to no sheen. It tends to pick up lint easily so having a lint roller handy will save some post-processing work later. Practically any subject will do but I tend to like using natural subjects from my garden. It's a nice change to be able to have greater control over the elements in your photograph. As far as lighting your subject, it may seem counterintuitive, but I find I achieve the best results under rather dull, early evening, overcast lighting - the type you would normally avoid.
Peter Baumgarten is a professional photographer and educator. He is also an Olympus Visionary and NiSi Official Photographer.