Photography and Radial GradientsPosted: July 20, 2011
There we were, cameras pressed to our faces, crouched over a clay pot of Impatients, and giggling like a couple of school girls. Hubby and I were across the lake visiting my friend and fellow artist/photographer and her family at their cabin for the evening. While the other grown-ups were doing what grown-ups do, we were experimenting with our various lenses and tele extenders. I’ve been looking for something that will give me the capability to photograph flowers and other small things for a fraction of the cost of a macro lens. We left the potted flowers and continued our informal photography session, searching the yard for a flower here, a bug there…. anything tiny that caught our attention. I laughed as I saw my friend prone on the ground, her green and white sundress camouflaging her into the surroundings, with her face pressed into the camera an inch above the ground. She had discovered minute wild flowers growing at the edge of the cabin’s foundation. As I chuckled to see this young woman exploring nature with the wonder of a child, I fully understood her appreciation for the beauty found in these tiny creations. I decided I must take the time to do this more often!
Photographing living things not only gives me beautiful photos to enjoy, it also inspires me to draw. Photography has taught me to really look at what I see, and this helps me when I am creating an illustration. One of the things that I have learned is how lighting affects color. Gradients are often used in drawing to illustrate this. I’ve been experimenting more with gradients in Inkscape after watching a great tutorial at the Little Web Hut. If you’d like to practice this, I have placed a tutorial here that will walk you through the use of radial gradients to draw an illustration of a camera lens like the one shown here.