Conference of the Pears {14/365}

Back at it with the "Window Light"!  This time with the pears before they become sacrificial victims in tonight's dinner. Aside from photography, I love paintings.  My favorites come mainly from the Dutch Golden Age. Admittedly, I have a crush on Rembrandt. His use of light is very inspiring; very pure, clean, and realist.

So, before I slaughter the pears and commit them to the roasting pan and my Arugula salad, I placed them aside a north facing window.

A window-lit still-life isn't always (to coin a photographic phrase) a "Drop N' Pop" deal.  For this shot I had to finagle, bully, and ultimately bribe the light to spill over the scene appropriately.  The pears had to be spaced far enough from the north facing window to be lit evenly, but close enough to maintain a nice contrast; if they were too close, the far right pear would be lighter than the far left, and if they were too far, the contrast would be ugly, not soft.

The other issue was the trim light coming from a south facing window which was projecting a hideous cyan light from the sky onto the left side of my lovely pears. To compensate for that, a few weak Orange gels were taped over the window and thus canceling out the cyan and balancing the light to an even white.  (Yes, I know, Photoshop exists, but I'm a purist and don't like to rely on Photoshop because nothing is ever guaranteed to work after-the-fact.)

Last issue was I needed a large field of focus to keep all the pears looking sharp.  With natural light this means a small aperture, which means a long exposure.  This shot was a 15 second exposure at f22.  Tripod!

The pears also demonstrate a lighting technique called chiaroscuro.  Chiaroscuro is the strengthening of the illusion of depth by depicting light and dark and contrasting them boldly. Rembrandt was famous for this. Note the areas where the dark meet light and vice versa, creating a dimensional image from a two dimensional medium.  Learn it, love it, live it.

At the end of it all, I had a very hard time deciding, of the dozen exposures I shot, which pear photo to post to today's entry for Project 365.  So, I figured, why not post both my two favorites?

Which one do you like better?

[Note: Viewing these shots on the web does NOT do them or their details justice!  You should see them big!]