Project 52, week 5 “Utilization of the Abstraction”

As always, for a recap of just what the heck this whole “project 52” thing is all about, check out this post.

This week’s /r/picturechallenge theme was a bit of a puzzler at first: “Utilization of the Abstraction”. Luckily, the previous winner who chose the theme (who won the “long exposure” contest with this stunning shot of Chicago at night) added a bit of a description saying that his thought was to take something mundane and ordinary and find a unique, abstract way of looking at it.

I like this theme idea, so I jumped on it right away, and after a few test shots exploring other possibilities, I ended up with this one:

salt and pepper, round 2-1


That’s what table salt and regular ground black pepper look like. Who knew, eh?

Since I’m still quite in the throes my obsession with my new macro adapter, it’s probably not surprising that my chosen method of abstract..izing… the ordinary ended up being to get a really close look at it.

I used the kitchen table as my working surface, and lit the scene with my smartphone flashlight to add some nifty shadows here and there.

It took a little bit of experimenting to get the pile to look the way I wanted it to, and have everything sorted out with the shadows and (ludicrously shallow) depth of field, but in the end I was/am pretty happy with the way it turned out.

Technical Details

Gear: Nikon d800e + Tamron 18-200mm lens + Ranox DCR-250 + Samsung Galaxy s3 (flashlight)

The shot: 125mm | f/6.0 | 1/200 sec. | ISO 640


The runner-up:

My initial idea for a new view on an ordinary thing was to stick the camera under a heating vent, on a timer, and hooked up to a remote flash trigger to get this shot of heat being delivered upon request by the thermostat, which I’m adjusting. I ended up not really liking it as much as the final one because I felt it fell down a little on the “abstract” side of things, but here it is anyway:

turning the heat on-1

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