Fine Art Photography
Copyright ©1968-2002 by Dick Pierce
All Rights Reserved
This section conatins a collection of special projects. Done for either a specific client or, sometimes, as a whim, this section will change fairly frequently as things move on and off my desk.
These two images are of a collection of sunflowers that arrived along with some party guests one Sunday. I shot these to illustrate the issues of depth of field, lighting and exposure, leaving the composition somewhat (but not entirely) to chance. To ensure as great a depth of field, I used a very small aperture, f/22 or smaller. And because the illumination was principally from sunlight reflected off clouds to the north, the light, while superbly soft, was not very bright. This resulted in quite long exposures, on the order of 2-6 seconds. And because they were shot outside, motion due to wind was an issue. In such cases, patience is required. A plain white background was used: nothing more complicated than a sheet of foamcore, with more foamcore panels used to provide small amounts of fill lighting for what few shadows remained.
The resulting pictures, precisely because of the very broad and soft light source, derive their sense of depth not from the contrast due to lighting direction and shadow, but from the intrinsic texture and color of the subject itself. This was the point of the excercise: to capture the essence of the subject for use later in rendering the subject. The fact that the photograph itself is pleasing is a plus, to be sure.
Nikon N90, Micro-Nikkor 55mm f3.5, Agfa Vista 200
This is a found image, the remnants of some as-yet-identified garden flower. The size is only on the order of about 35 mm across at its widest. Again, lit by early evening cloudlight, the lighting is very diffuse and even. A small aperture to ensure a large depth of field was again employed. The even sparser lighting required exposuers exceeding 10 seconds in some cases. A little steadying hand was added in the form of an alligator clip on the end of a stick that was stuck in the ground to control wind-shake.
Nikon N90, Micro-Nikkor 55 mm, Agfa Vista 200
In Medford, not a half-mile from the campus of Tufts University, stands the Isaac Royal house. Royal, alledgedly, was the richest man in the British Colonies in the middle of the 18th century, and his house remains as strong evidence of that claim. In the center is the main house, to the right are found the slave's quarters, while a modern neighborhood in Medford is seen encroaching upon the ramparts to the left. A friend, Jon Detwiler of Buttonwood Renovations, was commisioned to do a major restoration and conservation of the structure, and the results are seen here. This is a nearly 180° panorama of the site, stitched together from 7 carefully composed images.
Nikon N90, Nikkor 24 mm, Agfa Vista 200
The Boston Classical Guitar Society sponsored a concert in the Old Ship Church in Hingham, MA. Built not long after the Pilgrims landed at Plimoth Rock, it is the oldest continuously-occupied church in the country. Built by a shipwright who, as legend has it, knew little about the construction of churches. The exposed beams in the ceiling are reminiscent of the hull of a great old sailing ship. The BCGS sponsors many concerts throughout the year, featuring talented artists and a wide variety of music, here ranging from Bach to contemorary composers like Dyens. These pictures were taken entirely by available light, a mixture of halogen, ordinary tungsten and diffuse skylight.
Nikon N90, various, Agfa 800
At about 4:30 on a very cold November morning, I opened the shutter on my Nikon F3 point for 30 seconds. The camera was pointed south and slightly west. Meteors were sreaming through the sky aometimes at the rate of once every 10 seconds or so, but this was the only shot to have captured 4 distinct meteors in it. All other had only 1 or maybe 2. Indeed, this image is just the rightmost 50% of the total frame
Nikon F3, Nikon 17mm, Ilford XP-2 Super