Helen Sweet  

Kitchen Table Geometry by Helen Sweet

February 2021 - Kitchen Table Geometry

About the Image(s)

This could have been done anywhere, but it was for my final project, White on White, at a workshop with Freeman Patterson and Andre Gallant in New Brunswick, August, 2019. I was having trouble with my new camera. Fortunately a friend loaned me his extra, a Sony NEX.6. This was shot at 45mm, F/14, 1/1600. I modified it in NIX Silver Efex Pro 2.

11 comments posted

Don York   Don York
This image is a bit too grainy for me. Also the plate and table in left foreground are very bright, obscuring details, especially in wood of the table.   Posted: 02/04/2021 09:06:49

Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
(Groups 83 & 87)
Helen! Really enjoying this piece! The play on light & shadow is terrific! I love the grainy aesthetic.

I researched your camera and the smaller sensor likely helps induce Noise at higher ISO settings, thus the Grainy aesthetic: my question is, it still seems a lot of Noise for ISO-1600. Thank you.   Posted: 02/04/2021 09:34:56
Helen Sweet   Helen Sweet
Thank you both. Lance, I was unfamiliar with the camera so didn't control the settings, but I like the graininess on this particular image, too.   Posted: 02/04/2021 12:19:01
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
(Groups 83 & 87)
Well, you can enjoy a wide range of aesthetic effects using the NEX-6 camera by adjusting the ISO Manually going forward.

By using the traditional technique of "bracketing" where you take 1,2,3 and maybe 4 shots of the exact same composition, but changing one or more camera variables (i.e. aperture, shutter speed, ISO setting....) between shots will help in the creative process. Review results (only) after images are DL'ed to the computer (or developed in the darkroom). The increase in control over your work is extremely satisfying, indeed.

I look forward to seeing more dynamic compositions form this series of work, you have a great eye.

  Posted: 02/06/2021 04:38:52
Helen Sweet   Helen Sweet
Thank you, Lance. I am even more appreciative of your comment when I learn that you are PSA's B & W Mentor. Still, ever since my darkroom days, monochromes are my favorites. Not much more worthwhile from that project. But I appreciate your encouragement and will likely continue to explore white on white.   Posted: 02/11/2021 13:25:45

Jerry Snyder   Jerry Snyder
The shapes created by the tonal contrasts are very interesting. This image reminds me of the images published in Camera Work. My personal preference, however, is for less grain.   Posted: 02/06/2021 11:19:09

Stuart Ord   Stuart Ord
Divided opinion! I like the grain, but not the loss of detail in the table top. I'm unsure of the value of the vertical shadow, although it is revealing detail in the egg's reflection (as is also done in the egg's shadow). Perhaps that can be exploited, as the interplay of egg, its shadow and the reflection is fascinating.   Posted: 02/09/2021 17:27:08
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
(Groups 83 & 87)
That's a good question: I feel the vertical shadow is a balance for the straight lines in the Shadowed window frame and the vertical Shadow again, balances the window frame Shadow. ??   Posted: 02/10/2021 06:19:31

John Roach   John Roach
This is a fascinating study, Helen. I'd rather see less grain, but that is a matter of taste and you as the creator preference for tonal effect. I like the contrasting geometric lines created with direct angularity at the upper right and the circle of the plate and the oval of the egg and how all that is accentuated or perhaps better said punctuated by the shadow lines and elliptical effect that the egg exaggerates. You have created a very nice image worth real studying. Now this is said after much thought, for honestly, when I first saw the image I was not particularly taken by it, but with revisits, I have gotten more and more interested with how the image effects me. Frankly, I think it is truly a wonderful piece of art and it can only manifest itself so clearly and beautifully as a monochrome piece!   Posted: 02/15/2021 09:27:02

Jerry Funk   Jerry Funk
I think this is a great composition. Fine art. Something I search for but have never created from scratch. Yes, I too prefer less grain, but it's not a problem for me here.

Personally, I would add colors to make an abstract artwork. It would be an interesting project for me.   Posted: 02/18/2021 02:47:51

Stan Bormann   Stan Bormann
I feel this is an excellent composition. The diagonal lines, curves and shapes are perfect for a monochrome. There is a lot of near white, but I don't think any that is blown out. The normal "requirement" for a "true black" isn't there and doesn't need to be. This is a white on white composition. I would like to see the egg sharper and at this f-stop and shutter speed, I am surprised it is not. Perhaps it is really just the grain of the high ISO with a small sensor that makes it look this way. An excellent composition of things that are readily put together. I would experiment some more with the concept you chose for this image. I am not a grain fan, but I know that a lot of photographers love it.   Posted: 02/19/2021 21:00:34


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