Assignment 5: Still Life


Elliott Slaughter: Oil and Vinegar


I found the combination of the colors from the red wine vinegar and the olive oil to be compelling in this shot. Since the liquids I used were fairly dark, I had to position the light directly behind the subject to make the caustics visible, which also had the side effect of saturating the background.

I used three sheets of heavy watercolor paper for the background; if you look closely, you can see the texture of the paper toward the bottom of the image. Since the papers weren't very wide relative to the subject, I chose to use a telephoto lens to compress the perspective as much as possible.

I was using a tripod, so I didn't have to worry too much about the exposure time. I chose aperture to give a good amount of depth of field, and let the metering system suggest a shutter speed.

For this shot, since the light was so close to the subject, I had to wrap the light in a paper towel to try to avoid excessive direct reflections. The technique worked ok but not great; in a later shot, I tried using a diffusion screen with more success (see "Pumpkin").

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