Tuesday, February 14, 2012

TEAlight Valentine experiment

Today I'll be joining Kimmie and all my Tea Tuesday friends by celebrating Valentine's day with a photography experiment. I've made no secret of the fact I have a lousy camera, and now I also must save my photos at very low resolution in order to save space on this blog (since Blogger no longer recognizes my photos from an off site storage location).

If you dropped by yesterday, you saw I showed a similar image using 21 tea lights. That setting was actually created over a week ago. After I took the photos, I stuck the tea lights in candle holders all over the house and, almost like magic, the rooms took on a warm glow. It wasn't until after they had burned out and I went looking for replacement tea lights, that I found

this Valentine inspired tea cup candle I bought sometime last year. I tried to photograph it on my dining room table under nothing more than the four forty-watt bulbs attached to my fan/light. Even lightening the photo in Photoshop didn't help.

That's when I headed to my kitchen table, trying to get a good photo with the two 100-watt light bulbs that sit directly over my kitchen table.

That lighting is so bright, it gives the appearance of a flash, but I assure you, I try NEVER to use a flash when photographing my art, or other items on either of my tables. So after taking over 60 photos of the candle in the kitchen, I became hopeful I had at least ONE that would pass for acceptable on my blog.

Further, it never occurred to me to use that same heart photos from before, because I wasn't thinking Valentine Tea (light) when I was burning the other tea lights down to their metal containers; containers I can now use in my art and altered books.

So, last night I laid out more tea lights, this time 15. I attempted to make the heart look more like the one on the cup candle, thus the reason for less tea lights. I then took nearly two dozen photos using nothing more than the lighting from the tea lights. I liked the warmth this photo gave off , but I was hoping the candles in front would have been in better focus.

I turned on the lights in the dining room (remember there is a total of 160 watts spread out over 4 bulbs all pointed in different directions) for this shot. No better clarity, and a bit less "warmth."

Finally, I turned on the camera flash and took one that way. This time, none of the candles in front look lit, but there is also no halo around the flames, and the cup is clear and bright.

They (who "they" are, I'm not entirely sure) say practice makes perfect, so I will continue to experiment and practice until I get a better camera.

Now let's enjoy our favorite drink, maybe even photograph it, and celebrate Valentine's Day, while visiting Kimmie for the links to today's Tea Tuesday posts.

18 thoughtful remarks:

Stephanie Mealor Corder said...

I LOVE experimenting with photography and these are great fun! Not only does practice make perfect, it's a good for of entertainment (for you AND us ;))
Happy Valentine's Day sweet friend,

ooglebloops said...

Playing with the camera always brings interesting results!!! Happy Tea Tuesday and Vaentine's Day to you!!! Drop by if you get a chance!

fairyrocks said...

Ah the things we do for love....of that perfect photo.
Some of the best pictures are accidental.
Keep smiling and creating, Have a great Valentines Day!!

Caterina Giglio said...

just lovely! happy heart day! xo

Yvonne said...

Sometimes it takes me a while to get a good photo of something. My camera is wearing out and it's about time for a new one....one day. Happy Valentines Day to you.

Donna: said...

Beautiful photos Elizabeth. Love the warm glow you were searching for.

Jill said...

I like the second to the last one! Warm. Lighting is everything and we all struggle with it. So, you use the metal tea light holders in your art? That is one piece of garbage that I throw, ugh! Now, I'll probably have to keep those too!

T's Daily Treasures said...

Brenda at Cozy Little House takes great candle photos. I for one thinking that taking pictures of candles or anything the color red is very difficult. I like that first golden glow of the tealights best. :) Happy day to you ! Tammy

elle said...

Elizabeth, you are always a surprise! great experiment. I think I like that first one but you will never be able to please all of us! You light my fire! LOL

*jean* said...

i like the very warm one...i have a hard time on inside photos even with my nice camera...i like to think it like the fresh air...lol...there is a great photo site called light stalking and he gives really good advice in an email every weekend, if you are interested...happy love day, e!

Sue said...

Hi hun
nothing like a good play with candles & a camera, must get mine out not had a play for ages, sue,x

kimmie said...

your candlelight photos without the lightbulbs are wonderful
I much prefer the soft glow - it's more realistic

what kind of camera do you have?
I'm just curious if you have a setting for closeup photos - like a "flower" setting or something like that?

Happy Valentine's Day!

Nancy said...

I love your photos :) especially the last one! What fun with the camera you had!
Hope you had a lovely Valentines Day :)

Oh, the purse took me a couple of days, but I finished it this afternoon, I'm happy to say!

Barbara Moore said...

You are definitely not alone in your quest to get a really good photo with a camera that you've had for awhile. lol Hopefully we'll get a new one soon. Love the pics though. Happy Valentines Day!

Marilyn Rock said...

Your photos are terrific! I love that tea cup candle, too! Thanks for sharing the warmth. xxoo

voodoo vixen said...

I know professional photographers hate it when you say they have a fabulous camera... sort of inferring that the wonderful photos they produce have nothing to do with their skill but it is quite true that with a fabby doozy camera the quality is heaps better than the average point and shoot. I am kind of disappointed with the results from my Sony cyber-shot... as I thought they would be pretty good but close-ups are always just out of focus... which annoys the heck out of me. (I actually think that Chris is now eyeing me up a Canon Rebel so fingers crossed my problems may be short-lived... or longer depending on how long it takes me to figure it out)!!! ;)

Sian Evans said...

Hey, Just a thought.. hope you don't mind - seeing your post about trying to take photos and get the lighting right, it is a task I fail at not matter how hard i try but ............ my other half is a photographer his website is here www.ncphoto.biz perhaps if you contact him through his website and ask a few questions he may be able to advise you on how to get the most out of the camera you have with lighting etc?? Otherwise there are lots of forums for photography someone may be able to help? Good luck with your photography journey! Sian @ one and only

Mrs A. said...

I would have given up after the first five photos so well done for persevering with the experiment. I'maway from home at present but as soon as I get back home I will upload pictures of the altered book that I made for Sherry. Hugs Mrs A.