<<< o >>>Photo Friday: Plastic 25 comments + add yours

I haven't entered any of the recent Photo Friday challenges but thought I'd have a go with this one, the theme for which is Plastic. Technically this shot was relatively straightforward but was a bit of a problem to light. In the end I went for bouncing a low-watt desk lamp off the ceiling and a long exposure. There are still a few reflections that I would preferred weren't there, but I'm quite pleased with the overall result.

And for those of you who are too young to remember Bill and Ben, the characters depicted on this toy, it was a TV series in the UK that ran between 1952 and 1970 but recently made a small comeback (but now seems to have dissapeared again). Did it ever make it to the US or elsewhere?

Oh, and you must view this one with the black theme.

As for the shot I mentioned yesterday, the advert for the soft-porn, I decided not to use it as a main entry as it may well offend some visitors. If I thought it was a great shot, or significant for some other reason, I might well have put it up but as I mentioned, what was interesting for me was the way I approached the shot; i.e. I didn't consider the content until afterwards, treating it instead as nothing more than a photographic subject.

Anyway, after all the hype yesterday I don't imagine that anyone will be too impressed with it, either as a photograph or a shocking image, but if you do want to see it I've put it here:


Let me know what you think.

Oh, and brownie points to the first person to correctly identify the mystery Star Wars character that seems to be lurking in the shot ;-)

capture date
focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
9.35pm on 13/4/05
Canon 20D
EF 17-40 f/4L USM
36mm (58mm equiv.)
aperture priority
C1 Pro
3x2 + photo friday
comment by chrism at 11:00 PM (GMT) on 14 April, 2005

I've been trying to think of a good plastic shot all week - this is just perfect. Such a simple photo, but it works. Not sure why the space to the right helps, but it does. Any particular reason you set it up that way?

comment by m at 11:00 PM (GMT) on 14 April, 2005

Flobbbb a lobb

comment by djn1 at 11:07 PM (GMT) on 14 April, 2005

chrism: I shot it centrally - less distortion that way - then moved it, mostly because it seemed more balanced that way. No doubt it has something to do with the rule of thirds, which I consistently try to break but consistently seem to implement when I'm not thinking about it.

m: lol :-)

comment by m at 11:09 PM (GMT) on 14 April, 2005

In reply to the additional image I'd say that the description "porn" is over stated. You get these kind of adds in National Newspapers these days. I'm glad you went with plastic. The other image isn't as worthy.

comment by m at 11:11 PM (GMT) on 14 April, 2005


comment by nogger at 11:48 PM (GMT) on 14 April, 2005

They don't look like the Bill And Ben, and let's not forget the lovely Weed, as I remember them. They've gone all podgy. :-)

comment by djn1 at 11:54 PM (GMT) on 14 April, 2005

m: yep.

nogger: yep, they've definitely put on weight.

comment by stephen at 12:04 AM (GMT) on 15 April, 2005

what kind of backdrop did you shoot against?

comment by djn1 at 12:14 AM (GMT) on 15 April, 2005

stephen: I'm afraid to confess that it was all rather low-tech. The toy was balanced on a black T-shirt, on top of a pile of clean laundry, all of which is heaped on my office chair waiting to be put away. In the original the texture of the shirt is visible but mostly faded to black with a Curves adjustment. Any areas that still retained detail were darkened and/or deleted.

comment by lisa at 12:40 AM (GMT) on 15 April, 2005

by mystery SW character.. might you be referring to that odd little pink worm in the bottom right corner? I think he's cute. and he makes me think of the meteor worm thing that the millenium falcon goes into in Empire as Han and Leah try to outrun the storm troopers.... brb. must go watch it now. haha.

comment by Mandie at 12:44 AM (GMT) on 15 April, 2005

Yeah, I saw Chewie, too... too bad I got beat. :-) Great colors on the lunch box - how old is that lunchbox?

comment by mr b at 12:47 AM (GMT) on 15 April, 2005

yoda is casting a shadow on the back wall bottom left of the sunflower, however i think its more like E.T.

fantastic plastic

comment by Alec Long at 01:08 AM (GMT) on 15 April, 2005

Good plastic effect. I think, compositionally, that I'd have broken the rule of thirds on this one. The big black space on the right feels wasted, and the subject that far left feels forced. Maybe centering it with a slight bit of light spill onto the black T-shirt underneath? Eh. That's just being nitpicky. :)

comment by quasi at 01:57 AM (GMT) on 15 April, 2005

As for your second image, all I have to say is "Filthy!". ;)

comment by Fellow Eskimo at 02:00 AM (GMT) on 15 April, 2005

Its a good representation for plastic...however, not really original enough to stick out for photofriday. Though I do like how its completly black. As for the other pic, I've seen worse in public newspapers. Much worse. And I guessed Chewbaka (Im a bad speller), but someone beat me. In the end, its all in the eye of the beholder.

comment by ajp at 02:13 AM (GMT) on 15 April, 2005

Le Plastic reminds me of fall... I'm trying to think spring DJ! Good job of not capturing a discernable reflection in the upper left handle or upper left curve of the box itself. This thing a hoozie is in great shape. Maybe E-bay will get you a million bucks for it? ajp:AKA HuskyDSL.

comment by kate at 02:19 AM (GMT) on 15 April, 2005

it has a nostalgiac feel to it- even though i don't recall the 2 characters from TV here in the U.S. during that era. it's fun to hear how you "built" your set and lighting.

not familiar with black theme rules, but agree with Alec about just a bit too much black on the right, just a tiny smidge, but i really like the simplicity of not having anything else lit because the colors pop off the black so well.

i was almost afraid to click, but the soft porn looks quite like what we see in ads in the Chicago Reader for local strip clubs. the shot has humor to it. ;))))

comment by S at 09:49 AM (GMT) on 15 April, 2005

I love the vibrant colours in this image. I don't see why you didn't use the 'soft porn' shot for this Photo Friday Challenge. The women in it look pretty plastic to me.

comment by RainKing at 10:17 AM (GMT) on 15 April, 2005

With that background, the orange just pops up. Cool colors.

comment by David at 12:31 PM (GMT) on 15 April, 2005

Well done - I think taking the high road was a good choice as to your posting - I would like to see a full shot of Chewy though!

comment by Jesse Watkins at 01:31 PM (GMT) on 15 April, 2005

I like the vibrant colors of the lunch box. I think the contrast of it sitting on black looks magical. About the broken rule of thirds: I had the black theme on when I first saw it, so I didn't notice "wasted space", just an off-center picture. You may have broken a rule; nonetheless, I like the composition.

comment by chlamygirl at 04:02 PM (GMT) on 15 April, 2005

princess laya right?

comment by Robert at 08:34 PM (GMT) on 15 April, 2005

I think the negative space works, because it returns the balance to the center. The toy is obviously weighted on the right, so allowing for the black space really centers the image balance-wise. I think centering it would have been a mistake. As for the image, it's a little creepy even -- fairly perfectly fakish. I dunno. Surreal, in the same way clowns are scary. I like it, even though I don't.

comment by djn1 at 12:27 AM (GMT) on 16 April, 2005

Thanks everyone.

comment by Matt at 12:52 AM (GMT) on 16 April, 2005

This shot is wonderful. It really nails the "plastic" theme--you can almost smell that "new toy" scent. I love the way the light catches on the upper right side but doesn't highlight. As far as the toy--a bit frightening. Good work.