Eberhard Schuy: blending ideas with technologyBy Eberhard Schuy, Wednesday August 20, 2014
It isn't always necessary to create new or additional looks when we work creatively with backgrounds. Admittedly, if we photograph objects, it might be a bit easier compared to when we photograph people because we often have more time to arrange and perfect the setting in advance.
Indeed, making sure that everything is in place prior to capturing the image is almost an obligation if you take your photography seriously. After all, the creative use of the objects, props and technology in the picture constitute much of the fascination we see in pictures later on.
There is rarely an object that I spontaneously find interesting but I am always fascinated by the many possibilities we have to represent things in a photograph in both an emotional and interesting way. I like to show objects in a special light, in an environment that somehow reflects an aspect of my idea and in a way that tells the viewer part of the story explaining why I photographed that object in a certain way. This is the very challenge that I love about still life photography.
The photographer has the possibility to make use of a somewhat more sophisticated technique even in the very simplest way by arranging the objects to be photographed, such as the cutlery on a crumpled napkin, for example. The shoes in my picture (above) were photographed on a concrete floor with a triple exposure. This technique creates the typical look that would otherwise be achieved by working with textures. The colour overlays give the Victorian shoes the right look.
It becomes a little more complicated when the background is made up of pure light, however. In the image below, I shot without using a lens. I make a hard light, reflected from a smooth plastic surface fall, directly on the imaging sensor. This is a somewhat specialist technique that can lead to very interesting effects, such as the one you can see here.
Even if technology plays a big role, it is ultimately the photographer’s ideas and his or her knowledge of what is possible that are crucial for taking a good photograph.