Saturday, 15 November 2008


Image 1; f7.1, 6", iso100, 105mm

I've been reading through "Photography, A concise history" and found a few images in there that really interest me. One was of an apple named, "untitled" or "Galaxy Apple" by Paul Caponigro 1972 (page 227, plate 125). Initially it looks like a really simple shot. When you look closer and then go and try it out, its a different story. His exposure is just spot on. The lighting and reflections are just enough to show you the apple is three dimensional and round and shiny, but still allows for the varying shades and bright spots to be in perfect balance. The spots have a really nice patter as they spread out over the skin from the cores centres. The background is lit either side to pick the apple out really nicely to, or maybe from behind?

So I decided to try this out. I really can't put into words how hard this has been. The end results are nowhere near as good as the ones Paul Caponigro produced but I had fun doing it and they let me play around with candles and a flash and other different lights to try and achieve the same sort of results as the original.

Image 2; f20, 25", iso400, 105mm

Image 3; f20, 25", iso400, 105mm

Image 4; f20, 30", iso400, 105mm

After looking at the images a little closer I wanted to play around with the image 4. It had a much smaller aperture and long exposure (f20, 30", iso400, 105mm) so the whole image is sharper and has more detail, this helped show more variation in the tones of the skin also. I did a little retouching to this, dropping a hair, dulling down the reflection and changing the levels to up the contrast.

Image 4; f20, 30", iso400, 105mm (retouched)

I felt this image is technically closer to the original, with the sharp edge to the apple, the background lit slightly to help bring the edges out. But the first image has a nice feel to it with the shallow DoF. it also looks a lot shinier. I'd taken time to block most of the light in the room so the highlights were less harsh in image 1 and I think it works well.

Also I found a 1:1 crop (square crop) worked best in my opinion, though my apple was very round rather than the oval one in the original by Paul Caponigro.

All in all I'm happy with the project! It also went very well with some cheese once I'd finished!


Anonymous said...

This is great! I'm impressed! I'm not sure I'd have the patience to try and reproduce this!

Chris said...

Interesting blog with great work! Thanks! Chris (CA fine arts - drawing 1 !)