A bit of past and present

A bit of past and present

A work in progress…

This image is an element of a still life image I’m working on for university. I wanted to show a progression of change in photography with the introduction of digital imaging and social media. The large space above the main subjects is for some supporting information as part of an infographic that will be published in a few weeks.

The image was made using a light tent to reduce highlight blowouts and reflections. A single speedlight set to 1/16 power is on a stand, placed above the tent to provide the main light with some light bouncing off the tent walls. The flash and camera were on manual and the image was underexposed 1 stop to reduce detail in the black background and get a low key lighting effect.

At this point I have the lighting right, apart from the iPhone display. I had it switched on but it is a little darker than I would like. A slightly slower shutter speed should resolve this and save using a composite. What I really need to do is refine the composition. In this image the items are too close to one another and the size variance makes it challenging to place them well. There are also two limitations I can’t ignore. The background is a fixed width and there is not a lot of space to work with. Changing the order of appearance from left to right will disrupt the timeline. I also need to place each object on the same imaginary line to ensure they are all in focus due to the shallow depth-of-field from shooting wide open.

For the collectors out there the camera on the left is a Dixon Cadet 6x9cm that could make 8 images on a roll of 620 film. The roll sitting next to it is undeveloped. I have had this happen before. I used to get cameras given to me by older relatives and the last time I processed a film I found in one of them it contained what I think are images of Australian troops marching down the main street of a country town, probably taken shortly after the end of World War 2. That film had spent 50 years in the camera and this one may be older.

Processing it presents a problem. I gave my niece all my darkroom equipment although she recently mentioned wanting to give it back.  I would still have to get the chemicals and then try to work out what the best approach is for developing a film that is so old. I don’t even know what ISO/ASA it is so this would be a stab in the dark. I doubt commercial processing is possible except by hand. Either way it seems a lot of effort to go to for a film that could be ruined. Then again if there is anything on it could be a time capsule.