Photography for the Bored – What’s lying around your house?

Skull project 1

Ok. Here it is. I promised you I’d post today my little project with a skull. My partner brought me a present earlier this year. It’s a raccoon skull found as road kill and sold by a company specialising in such things. I know, it’s not what you’d want for your birthday, but I was thrilled with it. I’ve always been fascinated by biology, and in fact it helps inform me for my photography. I didn’t want to get just plain snapshots of it, so the zoom macro lens came out again, and I played with the lighting. A close up shot above looks quite interesting, and shows off those formidable teeth. But I wasn’t really happy with it. Turned it a little, moved the lighting. Then in photoshop, I used curves to get a bit more definition into the light and shadows for a bit more drama. Lastly, I cropped the shot square to really get you in close to the skull.

Skull project 2

Those teeth are really something, aren’t they? I became fascinated with them. As I’ve done some work for an agency selling to horror books, it occurred to me these might look good on a book cover…would you buy it?

Skull project 3

Then I started playing with the lighting, and decided that backlit, the object would look even more sinister and creepy. (I know, I’m weird!)

Skull project 4

But now, with this lighting, I’m really getting that sinister, and at the same time, abstract look I wanted. Here are a couple more I’m really pleased with.

Skull project 5

Skull project 6

See the different effects? The light levels, exposure time and angle can alter the image quite substantially. So does that bit of photoshopping to either soften effects or define them by deepening the shadows.  So as ever, the best way to find something new and creative in your pictures is to PLAY. I do not believe in taking myself too seriously, even when it comes to my passion. If it’s not fun, life is too short to spend agonising over it!

So, what do you have lying around that would make for an unusual macro subject? Pot pourri, like in my last post? Sea shells? Stones from the river or beach? Tools in the shed? Get in close, play with lighting, and you’d be amazed what you can come up with that’s unique and special and very likely really interesting to look at. Have a play. Let me see your results. I’d love to see what others can come up with. The days are short, the nights are long and brrrr it’s sooo cold. So get that camera out and raid the cupboards and shelves for something new. Do say hi if you stop by. I’d love to hear from you.


11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. 47whitebuffalo
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 00:38:14

    Hello. So glad you visited and left comment tracks at my blogcasa so that could visit yours. Love your Macro images! I find the bones oddly compelling. Owl is goregous. Much luck with your exhibition.


  2. crazygoangirl
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 08:26:04

    I find your posts and the tips very helpful. Very easy to understand even for a rank amateur like me 🙂 Loved the second pic of the skull and am thinking it would look great with the light like you used in Pic 5…just my opinion!

    These days the first thing I do when I get up is grab my D 90 and go into my garden!


    • chriscaff
      Dec 04, 2010 @ 13:46:43

      Thanks! Glad to be of help. Yes, I do have a lot more shots of the skulls, but only put a few on here. I will be playing more with the lighting too, so thanks for the input.


  3. eremophila
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 20:43:10

    When the days are too hot to venture outside, I’ll have a play like this. I know where there’s the odd sheep skull too:-)


  4. chriscaff
    Dec 04, 2010 @ 21:41:45

    Brilliant. Glad to have spread some inspiration! Let me know if you end up with any spare skulls or bones. 😉


  5. Robin
    Dec 05, 2010 @ 00:44:43

    I’ve been enjoying your macro shots. The potpourri shots were pretty with lots of texture.

    I never realized a raccoon has such wicked looking teeth! The last three shots really are spooky.


    • chriscaff
      Dec 05, 2010 @ 00:51:56

      Thanks, robin. I’m glad you’re enjoying my stuff. It’s been good to get so much feedback and is very encouraging. As someone who is limited by poor health it’s a boost to have contact with like minds even if they are cyber!


  6. Kai Brockbank
    Dec 06, 2010 @ 18:16:45

    I agree! I love getting up right close to my subjects and shooting from as many weird angles as possible! I particularly like #2, #3 and #5. Great shots!


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