Seeing these cups I immediately thought of my students working on their final portfolios which include a couples portrait. Morning dew on the tops indicated the cups had been out all night and I wondered about the pair who sat here gazing out on the Connecticut River in Turners Falls, MA.
I chose this angle to backlight the items and include the misty morning river, but only wanted just the cups in focus.
So I removed the lens and held it close in front of camera, creating a make-shift, tilt-shift lens, but could not get what I wanted.
However, I love the unpredictable imagery that can emerge from using this technique:
Like a photojournalist that gives aid after documenting his subject's plight, I cleaned up the litter. I felt self-conscious as a man reading a newspaper in his pickup truck took note of my activities.
I later realized that I could have simply moved the cups to create the effect I wanted. My phojournalistic mindset is deep and I wanted to capture the integrity of the scene. The authentic story.
Yesterday I saw the man in the pickup truck again. I explained to him what I do and asked him what he thought of me taking pictures of litter. As I talked, he kept his gaze as fixed on his crossword puzzle as the cigar clamped in the corner of his mouth. I was disturbing his riverside peace.
"I figured it was a hobby," he replied.
Tech Tips: Nikon D700, 60mm 2.8 Micro Nikkor, ISO 200. Try removing your lens (best is a fixed focal length), set the aperture to wide open, hold close to the camera, experiment with angling the lens slightly and use shutter speed for proper exposure. ©2010 John Nordell