Catching up! Today was Day 9 of the #AmyShuttPhotoaday challenge, a photo-a-day project for this month coordinated by Amy Shutt of Amy Shutt Photography. Today's theme was "soft."
Yesterday I used a dove feather and an optical prism to produce a photograph for the theme "sparkle." Thinking about the theme "soft," I had another idea today that involved using the printed feathers that adorned my wedding flower arrangements last year.
The set-up is similar to yesterday's image - a black mat-board and foam-board background from Hobby Lobby. This time, though, I had my husband release a single feather from the air. I used long shutterspeeds to catch the falling feather as it fluttered to rest on the black mat-board. After a few shots, I realized that although I liked the abstract nature of the photos, it was unclear exactly what was happening in them. So I had my husband hold the feather still at the top of the frame for a slit second after I released the shutter button on my camera, before letting it fall. In the shot above, it's more clear where the feather starts and where it ends up, even though the shot is still dreamy and abstract enough to embody the theme "soft." The image below is more abstract, without the element and action of a hand.
Which do you like better?
Both shots were produced with a 40mm lens on a full format Canon 5D Mark III. I used an aperture of f/2.8. I auto-focused on the feather beforehand, as my husband held it near the top of the frame, and then switched my lens into manual-focus mode during capture. I used a shutterspeed of 1.6 seconds, which was just enough time for the feather to fall and come to rest near the other arranged still feathers. I used a set ISO of 100. I also had my camera on a tripod.
With some feedback from fellow photographer and artist Julie Amador, I post-processed these images to convert them to black and white and to pull down down the clarity quite a bit to further give the impression of a "soft" scene.
Hope you enjoyed! Don't you love how the feathers spin as they flutter downward, heavy on their thick quill ends?