The Magi of the Cucumber

For the Photography class taught by the illustrious Mr. Bruce Twitchell I was to create a piece which depicts something similar to this:

I attempted it on a cucumber.

 The Original Background Photo


I just took this basically with default camera settings.  It was decently dark in the room, which contributed to the digital noise that you should be able to see in the shot.

Lightroom Background Modifications


This, especially after correcting digital noise, turned out decently well, albeit messy.

The Original Subject Shot


This, again, has many of the same features as the original background shot, except with a cucumber instead of atmospheric molecules. Notice the focus.  Because I had it on one of priority modes rather than manual mode, it caused the depth of field to be different between shots.  The background has a comparatively large depth of field while the shot of the cucumber has a blurred background, giving a shallow focus.  Will this cause problems?

Touchups of the Cucumber Shot


Did the exact same adjustments as with the background shot, mostly just changing exposure and the amount of digital noise.

Final Photoshopped Piece


Final is actually quite a stretch because, although it is the final arrangement, it sucks.  Because of the competing depths of fields, it creates an improbably hard situation in which one must either retake, or spend so much time to mend it.  I chose to leave it how it is because I was not going to slave over something that could very easily suck no matter my toil.  Thus another shooting would be in order.

The Original Background of the Final Piece


There is not much that can be said about the status of this shot except for: has digital noise and is very mundane.

The Modified Background of the Final Piece


Same thing with this.  It is just spruced up with lowering the amount of digital noise (or rather, blurring an image which thus removes the noise) as well as changing the exposure.  It is still a very mundane piece in its essence.

The Subject Shot


This time I used manual mode to determine the fate of the shot, not bloody algorithms.  This time, as contrasted with the previous take, it still holds many of the same lighting values, but where it differs is in the focus, that is, being similar in value to the background shot.

The Final Cut for the Subject


Again, it is still a fairly boring shot.

The Close Cut


This export is just to show some semblance of a progression from stupid pictures of a countertop and a skewered cucumber to the immerging piece that will be at least somewhat satisfying.  As one may be able to see, near the blue glass their are reminisces of cup that was balancing the skewered cucumber.  One may also see that it is rather bright, which I will change for the final cut.

The Final Cut


I darkened it up some and removed the digital noise a little more.  I masked out the remaining pieces that ought not be in the piece.


Do I like this final arrangement?  No.  Why?  It just is too cluttered in the background of the piece.  That is something that I couldn’t easily fix, and thus some inherency hinders my shot.  It also does not tell a story of any kind.  This is what I think is necessary for a shot to be truly complete.  What would I do to make it better?  I would find some other place that would fit the piece better.  I would also make the cucumber angled in a way that would not be 180 degrees (pi radians).

Ta Da!

Again: published at 11:50 at night, not the 27th.


One thought on “The Magi of the Cucumber

  1. Good analysis of the process, and I like your final remarks (and agree). Watch the background, always be aware of the background of an image and the impact that it can have on the main subject.


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