Painting with Sunlight
Come by chance. Accidents happen. They happen in sunlight. They happen in rainbows. An accident with shadow light play in a crystal sphere sun hued through with a rainbow. I was taking photos of a clear quartz sphere outside using the sunlight to create these light filled egg shaped shadows. I caught a rainbow effect in an unusual manner.
Experimentation time. I’m like a kid in a candy store with such discoveries. I don’t care if I have no clue what I’m doing. That’s the best part. I’ll figure it out and learn by doing as I go along. I started playing around with sunlight, all manner of objects, and shadows to see what would happen, what I could create.All photos have been shot outside on my balcony when the sun creates longer shadows. Objects I used to create the first two photos are dark glass bottles, one full bottle of liquid dishes soap, and a cd. How did I get that weird purple thing that looks like some kind of sea creature? That’s the bottle of purple dishes soap, partially positioned between the other bottles, which created the shadows. All other colour effects are from angling the cd in sunlight with one hand as I shot the photos with the other. Several attempts with a balancing act ensued to bring it all together.Go Green! Isn’t that the order of current times? Pretty trendy these days. Does that mean I was ahead of the curve, already in the green groove, before it became a preachy thing? Hard to wonder about that considering I grew up with a mother who lived through the Great Depression, or maybe I should say, survived it. I’ve been influenced from the get go not to waste anything; same as the current cute catch phrases of reduce, reuse, recycle, and upcycle.It’s unbelievable what people waste and throw away (new, barely used just about anything you can imagine). I’ve been encouraged to do the same for years. “Don’t repair it; throw it away and buy new, what is wrong with you?” ringing in my ears. How does that make sense in a world that’s pushing hard on a green agenda? It doesn’t.
I’m a fan of garbage hunting, dumpster diving, and picking up discards I find on the street. What does this have to do with these photos? Everything used to create these photos, minus the bottle of liquid dish soap, are all garbage, or what most consider to be trash. Other peoples’ trash is my pleasure hunt of treasure.
The previous two photos were shot using a couple pieces of textured broken green glass, a clear glass bottle, and a partially broken large magnification lens. Dark areas are shadows from both a large dark green glass bottle and some tree branches. The purple in the second is the plastic bottle of dish soap. Shadows make the colours pop due to the contrast.For the three previous photos, I used the large dark green glass bottle, a square shaped bottle half full of lemon yellow liquid, the partially broken large magnification lens, and a shard of red plastic, most likely from a car.
To create each image, I held the shard of red plastic in one hand, camera in the other. I changed the angle and position of the plastic, while shifting the camera angle. I hear it’s all in the angle of the dangle. Putting that into practice here.
The form near the bottom of the previous three caught my eye, so I macroed up closer to take the following shot.For the next two, I used a scrap of fabric with sequins in colours of blue, green, and purple positioned facing the sun and angled to reflect onto the white table I used for set up. The shadows and yellow colour are from two of the glass bottles, one olive green, one clear glass filled with yellow liquid, stacked so that the one with yellow liquid was lit by sunlight first.Additional objects used for the above photo are a transparent aqua coloured plastic bottle and the partially broken large magnification lens.
I used the same glass bottles in the same manner, different positioning and the magnification lens with the aqua plastic bottle to create the following two photos. Again, I took a closer macro shot for the second.Another garbage find were some small pieces of broken mirror that I scooped up off the ground. Some glass finds haven’t been workable. Didn’t know what or how I’d use them, but why not give it a go.Two bottles, side by each, with the pieces of mirror set face up on the table within the shadows. I angled the red plastic shard in one hand while I shot the photo.I went simple in this photo with one bottle and the mirror pieces, which caught a bit of the sky. Working with the mirror pieces, the slightest shift of camera angle alters the image.Decided I liked the way colours played on the mirror pieces, plus the reflection of sky and went in closer with the macro. In this one, I used two small glass bottles, one royal blue and one amber coloured.
The next three took a slight turn. For the first one, I used three bottles, the shard of red plastic, and the magnification lens, all set up on a piece of dark gray paper. The angle of the sun bleached it out to light gray.Changed the angle and went in a bit closer to shoot this one. All that hazy golden texture throughout is from another street find, a piece of paper covered in gold glitter. I angled it facing the sun and down towards the table.For the last one, I draped a piece of black plastic mesh bag over the magnification lens. It created contrasting line patterns in a part of the image.
Playing with sunlight this way has become a fascinating new direction for me to explore with photography. I just have a small garbage collection taking up residence explicitly for this purpose now though.All photos taken by Nine with a Pentax digital 35mm camera and 90mm Tamron macro lens. All garbage subject matter was handpicked and collected by Nine.