Some brasses are a challenge.
I can see there is something in there that needs coxing out.
An image forms in my head, usually a landscape or star scape.
The problem is perspective; there is nothing the eye can identify as one particular thing.
To bring out hidden depths I have to go to the limits of the camera.
I reduce the light so I can just see an image with the fastest I.S.O, film speed and the largest aperture.
At this point I can start to have some fun because any faint reflection or direct light will be picked up.
When a led reflects off the brass the angle is crucial. It has taken many hours to learn.
Many brasses are lit from behind the camera so the camera casts a shadow on the brass.
I work round the shadow and sometimes it adds to the mystery, a dark spot.
For focus it is ideal to have the lens plainer to the object parallel in 2 axis of rotation up down and side to side.
This is easy to do with jigs or trolleys like a rail way.
It is needed because using 100mm Macro lens you cannot zoom using the lens you have to physically move the camera forward or backwards to get a close up at one to one.
I found that the light would flash brightest by tilting the object in the two plains mentioned above.
So now the light is illuminating the object but the piece is tilted relative to the lens.
The focal length of the camera is only a few millimetres so some part is out of focus, another variable to play with but it does get round the problem of the cameras shadow.
Having developed over 200 brass sheets in streams we are experts in noticing good contenders for WBA’s rogues’ gallery.
At these low light levels the camera will pick up the reflection of one led light off my hand. I hold my hand a few feet away from the brass and light my hand with the colour led I want. Meantime my other hand is holding the automatic shutter release and another light; I have even used clothes pegs to hang lights off the curtains to pull out details that briefly flash.
So this is extreme photography.
If direct light is used such as a flash the surface reflection is flat, no depth and it is the depth that adds the interest and where my imagination can go to work.
The journeys I have been on, to other worlds and cosmoses to pull out stellar clouds and nebula, or is it a cave, forest or a photo bomb of the water spirits?
The combinations of light water brasses a vivid imagination long patient work have made these images.
Thanks to Goethe and his theory of light.
I have spent about 3,000 hours on these. 10,000 hours is a master.