On the penultimate day of our Out of Yosemite conference in Yosemite Valley, the Bridalveil Fall with Charlotte Gibb as instructor was on the agenda that Saturday morning at 6am. I hoped that by participating in her workshop I would gain a less technical or more creative approach to photography of waterfalls.
She gave us the topic of long time exposure in the preliminary discussion. The spot offers little freedom of movement. There was not much room for all of us, and on top that there were every now and then some people walking around in our compositions.
Bridalveil Fall shows a strong variability of location due to the influence of air movement. Especially at sunrise you can clearly feel the rising winds. So you don’t have much time for camera setup. An ensemble of stones in the waterfall can all of a sudden become dry and the composition becomes useless. In return, the neighbouring region becomes dripping wet and appears in a new light.
I know pictures from long time exposures with moving water. They’re interseting sometimes. I rarely find them really good. Often they exhibit a strong technical assessment and their message ist not really accessible to me.
I begann to study sections of the waterfall, which meant that the rock formations in the composition always showed a new character. That way many compositions can be made.
Probably an image that expresses changeability and constancy is best suited to make us think about the origin of the world. Planets orbiting their central star are a well known example for this. Or stars that orbit the black hole of our Milky Way in 11 years.
My last picture of Bridalveil Fall, with its interplay of light and dark, of flowing and solidification, steps and flow, forms and dissolution of forms, shows the coexistence of changeability and constancy. That’s what makes it so attractive to me.
I’ve never waited for snowdrops before. Inconspicuous and boring flowers. Strength of marsh mallows. The colors of a cold green and opaque white.
From my father-in-law’s garden we just dug up some freshly flowering specimen of snowdrops, at the roots the soil of his garden, which he can no longer cultivate.
My technician and I made a mammography of it, with low Voltage and lots of photons. The whole afternoon I could breathe in the scent of these flowers while working.
This Monday arrived my new oranges from Valencia, Spain. They are sweet, juicy and just delicious. I shared half of the delivery with my employees who had also been waiting for it for a long time. We eat or drink them. Some were x-rayed for artistic reasons.
There is already a routine in doing these X-rays with food. But sometimes an X-ray machine has a life of its own. The first images are taken to check the exposure before we venture into a composition. The aperture of the X-ray tube may become narrower and unwanted images like the following may be produced.
This image was created by playing with textures and colours:
You can easily imagine a stack of oranges with the fruit lying on top of each other. The perspective of this X-ray image is from above, so that the effect of translucency is created. Because of the triangular arrangement of the oranges, one would think that the apex of the triangle would indicate at the top. In fact, the center of the triangle is at the top.
New year, new ideas. A superbe bowl of fruits inspired me to do more X-ray fusion photography today. I got a bundle of bananas, lots of lychees, two pears, figs, an apple and a pomegranate.
I changed my technique a bit. There is no chance to get a transparent banana image using a photo. But mixing the colors of the photo with the X-ray is also a fusion image. To my opinion, the bananas came out lovely, especially the color of the trunk.
I like stills. They often come with a fruit bowl. My first attempt was a fruit bowl without lychees. The structure of an orange or a pomegranate is known to me from earlier X-ray studies. And I liked the grain of the wooden bowl.
The following fusion image is resulting:
This is the first time I tried to x-ray lychees. I piled them up in my wooden bowl. That way it was a bit less complicated to transport them for photography. They shouldn’t move at all between X-ray and photography session. I was lucky.
Combining lychees, bananas, a pear and two figs in a fusion image yields a color explosion in the fusion image.
Last but not least an X-ray fusion photo of all fruit. Color explosion by means of Lab color. The dark blue at the image edges is a good counterweight to the intense yellow of the pears and bananas.
Today was a day of dense work and many technical problems. The day before I had made some flower arrangements for Christmas from my preferred flower dealer. A technician took me some X-rays so I could study the exposure values when my wirk was finished.
The following two I liked most.
The vase on the right side seems to hover over the ground.
This X-ray fusion image is untrue. No time during working hours to take the photograph. So I made a photo this morning at home. There are so many snail shells glued on the sphere that it is basically not noticeable if the rotation does not match exactly.
Here is my result:
The underlying structure in an image of visible light looks like this:
Grapes as an object of X-raying have been inspiring me for a long time. Their structure remind the doctor of the azini of a gland or lung. The phycisist likes very much the partial and complete overlays alternating with free positions. As an artist I get an unbelievable freedom of image design.
My first X-ray imaging attempts with grapes were carried aout in October 2017. I’d forgotten !
Can something succesful be repeated ? Can it be deepened ? What is the power of the composition ?
Two days ago I tried toput my creativity into the composition. Two pictures were taken from grapes which differ only slightly. Their X-ray view on our monitor had a clearly different effect.
My colleague by chance showed up with a bouquet of small sunflowers with long stalks. Amazing opportunity !
Harold implanted the idea of X-rays with onions in me. Although more than covered with professional requirements, I tried my hand at vegetable x-ray photography.
I can say it’s fun. Although a defective screen had to be replaced at the beginning. And you need some patience. Not every shot shows its beauty from the beginning. Some have to be developed first.
Let’s start with a corncob. It has many outer leaf layers, which lie close to it. X-rays look through and show the layers at the edge of the bulb as fine lines.
Here is a comparison of X-ray on the left side versus Mammography on the right side. A Belgian endive and a lettuce show much more contrast and fine structure in a mammography whereas X-ray gives more the impression of softness. Which goes well for a salad.
Onions have a lot of liquid and are therefore radiopaque. I was curious to see which method would make it better to reveal the layerstructure of the onions. To my surprise mammography did a pretty good job.
Conventional X-ray offers more mystery, especially when you stack onions.
Some kind of layered structure also has fennel. I got two specimen that looked like mittens.
This year we had so many apples in our garden. They are red and look juicy. I had the chance to take two of them to my X-ray machine. With the help of two different orientations an interesting picture succeeds, because on of the apples still has a small branch.
May be there is some truth in the saying: an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But as the dentist would say: no teeth, no apple.
Long lasting blossoms, turning up every year: my purple clematis in our garden.
It was my third X-ray session with flowers this week. Third fusion imaging attempt. After blue cornflower and blue aquilegia now a purple clematis. Big data on my hard disk.
Today we did it with mammography at 30 kV and 50 mAs. Lower noise ! Here is the positive representation of a single clematis:
I processed the lightbox HighKey series with a mask. There was a shift of 2 or 3 pixels from the lightest to the darker images. So I processed everything a second time to compensate for the shift. The HDR image shows a cut stalk. Photoshop is made for this.
The stalk can be lengthened like in the preceding X-ray. The fusion image shows hidden leaves, the core of the blossom and stalks much better:
The flower looks pretty fragile now, close to its natural appearance.
First flowers in spring show up. With much support from my colleagues I’m able to do some fusion images. We all would like to have another calendar.
Preparing the lightbox, the X-ray machines, my camera and picking out the data is a bunch of hassle.
My personal favorite is the blue cornflower. It looks like a print of an old botanic book:
The next day I turned my attention to our white and blue Aquilegias. No chance to process the raw data yesterday. Eventually, there was a chance today, after quite a bit of tedious work at my desk: