Warmth is a candle and a good reading list.
Today is day three of #amyshuttphotoaday, a photography project for this month coordinated by Amy Shutt of Amy Shutt Photography. Today the theme is "warmth."
Warmth typically isn't something you can see. Fire and steam are perhaps the lone exceptions, for warmth is most often a feeling. But red hot coals and flames are so ingrained in our heads as "hot" that we can feel these even through a photograph.
But "hot" and "warmth" are not the same things. Hot is typically uncomfortable. Warmth is a cozy and comforting feeling - like reading a good book in bed on a Sunday morning. Warmth is also a quality of photographs. Warm images boast rich yellow and orange hues, like a tree in fall back-lit by a golden sunset.
I struggled a bit with "warmth" today. First I tried taking photos of the steam coming off my morning tea. I failed miserably. To see the steam I needed a dark background with an overexposed teacup - the shots came out terrible.
So I moved to the candle sitting on top of a bookcase. I moved the candle down a shelf (while being careful that no books risked burning during this exercise!) To my delight as I lit the candle and started shooting long exposures, the background popped with some of my favorite reads: Isaac Asimov's hilariously both scientific and pseudo-scientific Only a Trillion, Ray Bradbury's short stories, John Steinbeck's entrancing East of Eden, Kurt Vonnegut (just read everything of his), Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du Mal. The candle lit the books up with a mysterious orange light particularly fitting to my science fiction obsession.
Yes, to me warmth is a candle and a good reading list - and time. Plenty of time.
This shot was taken with a 40mm lens at an ISO of 100, an aperture of f/22 (a tight aperture to be able to push up my shutterspeed for long exposures), and a shutterspeed of 6 seconds. In Lightroom I lightened the shadows on the books while keeping the exposure constant on the candle flame.
I blew in the candle's direction to get the flame to flutter during the long exposure. Curiously the flame's reflection against the candle's glass is relatively motionless, while the flame itself leaves a trail of transparent light as it wavers back and forth.
I hope you feel "warm" today!
See you tomorrow! The theme will be "rule of thirds."