At lunch today I went out and shot a couple of wine bottles. Clean bottles show up at estate sales and they make for a good study in form and color/contrast. One of the reasons that most of my photography (the photography I do for enjoyment) is in b&w is that b&w gives me a contrast and texture that can’t be found in color. Not very often. But today, with some snow on the ground, the white background with colored bottles up close provided me the opportunity to shoot some color with nice contrast.

A lot of color photography leans toward the maxim that tells us to use “lots of soft light.” But that means reduced contrast.  Classic b&w portraiture, for example, will use either directional harsh light or directional soft light (with a beauty dish). Of course there is the fill so that the subject doesn’t look like a half-moon, either waxing or waning. Still the emphasis was on directional list. Directional light, whether harsh or soft, maintains contrast.

Today’s experiment was done with the sun diffused by some high clouds. The temperature was in the low 20s when I went out. A bit chilly but not too bad with some sunshine. And the diffused sunshine reduced glare off the bottles.

The camera used was a Pentax K5, the lens was the Pentax-F 50mm f/1.7 and the exposure was 1/400 at f/5. A shallower DOF might have made the bottles more pronounced.