Winter Serendipity / by Graham Dew

Golden Seedheads, 2010

I should think that there will be many photographs over the next few days that will exhibit the shiny head syndrome. This is what my daughters call flash lit photographs, often taken on small compact cameras. Light from the flash flies across the room, is bounced of a sweaty forehead and straight back into the lens of the camera. Instant glowing head (if you are lucky you might get red glowing alien eyes too). Probably not quite most people want and one of the main reasons why photographers use flashguns with tilting heads.

Even though direct flash can be very unflattering for people, it can work amazing well for inanimate objects such as these seedheads, taken three years ago in one of the nearby allotments. Here the slight damp of the seedheads and the directness of the flash have conspired to give a golden sheen that was pure serendipity. I expected the flash to make the plant look more attractive, but really had not expected this magic gilding to appear. I’ve since found that direct flash on-camera usually works better for plants and grasses than more considered off-camera lighting setups, and I’ll write about that in a future post. 

But for now I’d like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and hope that you have a good break.