Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Photographing Metal Sculptures and Art Objects

I had the opportunity to photograph metal artwork for an artist friend who lives near Lynhurst Ontario. For those unfamiliar with this little village, it is about 45 km north of Kingston Ont. along Hwy 15.

Noah, the metal-sculpture artist, has a large manicured estate with a man-made pond that is just perfect to have his animal based artworks scattered all about. Almost like seeing a herd of deer in the fields. In fact I did mange to see one deer at the edge of his lawns. But having a couple of Noah’s dogs playing around me meant that I could not get close enough to the deer for a great shot.

The reflections on the screen worked to create great contrast with the darker pond water, which meant I didn’t have to do much to have the artwork stand out. Just moving about for greatest contrast. I cropped the right wind since it's a mirror of the other and including it would make it appear smaller.

Most of his sculptures are made out of scrap metal parts and therefore, for the most part, tend to have a dull rust color. Dark and mid-tone oranges do not usually stand out well against bright green fields.

Even the biker (bicycle and motorcycle) sculptures that have figures on them have muted tones in their clothing. To make them stand out better I desaturated the greens, as with the above example, to an almost grey tone to give the figures more prominence. There are 5 of these along the front near the road.

Some artworks, like the bug series below, are painted, but even here we still need to have darker background (hedge in shade) to give more punch to the colors.

Even in the above image with its strong yellow and reds, the green has been slightly muted.

Most of the bug pieces have long insect like legs but if you include the whole art piece then the main body parts become very small in the photo. Focus on the main sections but include just enough of other parts to give context to photo.

For some images I wanted the distortion created by a wide angle lens, where objects nearer are larger and distant objects becomes smaller than reality, to change the perspective in how we view the artwork.

I had to use HDR on the photos where I was looking up and a bright sky was behind the sculpture. In the above photo the rust is made more vibrant and the green and blue colors muted a bit.

I now know that I need to come back again when the sun is near the evening horizon so that for some sculptures the shadows will add to create a larger subject.

Who couldn't love this old Flintstones type car.

Some close-ups to focus on the texture of the artwork.

And finally a photo for the biker in all of us.

Many of his artworks can be seen on Noah's Metal Art and he also has a link with the Frontenac Arch Biosphere

And here's the photo of the deer in the field.

Niels Henriksen


Jessica Brown said...

Great pieces. Would love to go see this display. Thanks for the post.

large prints said...

Cool stuff, thanks alot.


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