Photography Exercise: Fungi In The Woods

For my Media Practices class, we’re experimenting with light in production – as a very simple introduction to working with color in film or photography, we were assigned to go out and take at least 50 photographs to illustrate an aspect of light described in Herbert Zettle’s Sight Sound Motion: Applied Media Aesthetics.  I was able to borrow my sister’s Cannon Rebel XSi (inferior to the 7D’s available through The New School’s equipment center) and spent the afternoon avoiding intermittent showers in the woods. I’ve always enjoyed walking in the forest, and rainy fall afternoons are one of my favorite times.

In these photos, I had the advantage of the texture of what I was shooting, the natural light and overcast sky, and a nice variety of colors and detail to work with. Since our first exercise in class dealt with high contrast lighting (and since I didn’t have the same equipment for this assignment) I followed Zetttle’s suggestion that flat lighting exercises follow chiaroscuro, high contrast ones (p.44). I also underexposed most of these intentionally, because the colors “popped” better that way. These aren’t very good at all, especially compared to some of the work of my classmates who are professional photographers, but I did like the color energy and the harmony in some of these pictures. It’s surprising how colorful an otherwise grey and green day in the woods can be.

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