Tuesday, October 30, 2007



I had another opportunity to try modifying a scene by shooting through a translucent object while out in Death Valley. The previous attempts with ashtrays, pint glasses and wine glasses had given me some ideas that I wanted to try in some portraits. This time I used the water bottle that I was carrying around with me. The clear plastic added some interesting effects, but even more effective was the specular highlights from the sun, glinting from the edges of the water in the bottle. It was about half full, with the top edge in the frame to the left, giving those rainbow refractions that you can see flaring across the shot. A couple of people have mentioned problems achieving this effect with other lenses. I do wonder if it is because I'm using a very wide open and very fast lens. Physically the aperture of the 85mm at 1.8 is 47mm across - so there is plenty of room to hold something over part of the aperture and still have part of it unobstructed. I suspect with slower lenses or smaller apertures it would be increasingly difficult to co-ordinate holding something right up against the lens to cause this sort of distortion. You can still certainly shoot through an out of focus foreground element to get a similar effect, but it might take a bit more arranging to not obscure the subject. I'm really trying to work with the very edge of these modifiers, moving them in just enough to cause some change, but not covering the lens in most cases. If you try it out, please let me know how you get on, what you used and share the results.


steve said...

This may become "your move". Very interesting indeed. Only nit is that I am personally troubled by the flare coming out of her nostril. I love what it did for your background.

Scoop said...

I love this. Back in the 70's I tried lunch bags, vaseline around the edge of the filter and various other items that I can't recall now but it was fun.