Monthly Challenge – Religious Icons

Update – 5-13-2013

I won First Place in the “Digitally Projected” portion of my photo club’s Monthly Challenge with the image pictured below.

After giving up on taking a picture of some sheep for my photo club’s monthly challenge, I went to plan B. I had an idea for this shot after I looked up religious icons on Google. Most of the images were painted pictures of some saint or person from the past. There were also a lot of symbols in the pictures so I decided to do something different. I figured the contest would have a lot of stained glass and architectural shots of church interiors and I didn’t know of any good places nearby to  check out as candidates for a shot.

First I looked around the house for things that would work in the shot I had in mind. I found five or six crosses in my wife’s jewelry and finally settled on one of them. Then I went to work and set the shot up in my basement “studio”. I started out as minimal as possible with one light, the bible, and the cross. I tried a couple of arrangements but they just didn’t work for what I had thought about doing. I added the glasses and did a set up with the cross and glasses sitting on an open bible similar to a shot I had done in the past and used on my About page.  I thought the shot was too busy because the cross just got lost in all the text. Then I decided to try it with the bible closed and the  items sitting on the cover. I thought the silver would stand out better against the black background and the texture of the leather cover would work well with the smooth finish and curves in the glasses and the cross. Once I decided on the setup I went to work on the lighting. I ended up with one light to the left of the set up with a piece of cardboard with a slit cut in it to control the amount of light and to simulate window light. Then I put a second light in front of the setup slightly off of left center to add some fill light to the front edge of the bible.

This is the shot I came up with. I did some cropping and some contrast adjustments to enhance the feel of the shot.



I noticed the little starlight points on the cross as I was cropping the shot and did a bit of exposure adjustment on them so they would stand out a little more. I think it turned out to be contest worthy so this will be my entry for the challenge.

Until next time –

This entry was published on April 29, 2013 at 8:08 am. It’s filed under Macro, Monthly Challenge, Still Life and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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