On Taking Assignments #4 - Texture

It's really surprising how much light affects texture in photographs.  Conceptually, texture is easy to create with directional light.

I used a flash to shoot the black and white shots above, angled parallel to the surface plane of the objects.  The result is very similar to long shadows at sunrise or sunset (when the sun lights along the earth's surface instead of straight down upon it) where an object of very small height can cast a significant shadow.

When sidelit, even a relatively smooth surface such as paper shows its texture.  Shadows form on the surface from the fibers and the result is completely different to what you normally perceive with a book, which is a smooth page.

Below is a sample of 4 different shots where nothing changed but the position of the light.  The difference between the first and last shot is such that they look like different objects.  Try lighting a portrait in this fashion and two different people will appear.

This was an interesting assignment and a good reminder that photographs are as much about the light as they are about the object being photographed.

On Taking Assignments

I frequently listen to the On Taking Pictures (OTP) podcast, which I highly recommend to anyone looking for good conversation about creativity, especially as it related to photography.  In January 2014 the hosts, Bill Wadman and Jeffery Saddoris, began a new segment of weekly assignments that they gave to listeners.  Results of the assignments are posted on the OTP Google Plus group.  I decided that I would commit myself to the assignments for a year without interruption, and that I would complete each one before the next assignment was announced on the show each Tuesday morning.  My 'On Taking Assignments' blog posts are the culmination of my year-long focus on these assignments.