Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON
With this week's Photo Hunt theme being "Narrow", I thought I'd have a huge selection of choices. There was a narrow slippery slide, a narrow pathway, and a great shot of the narrowest lane in beautiful Quebec City. But I wanted to shoot something specially for the theme. I walked into our lounge to open the window on a hot afternoon this week - and there was my theme.
Allow me to present the narrow opening on top of a candlestand. They're interestingly crafted, whether they're in wood, metal, alloy or crystal. You see, they have to fit a universal candle size and they have to fit absolutely snug, so that each candle is held exactly perpendicular to the ground. If the opening is slightly wider than it should be (even by a millimetre) the candle will lean over, dripping wax untidily. That's precisely why you'll notice something that is common to most candlestands - the actual opening that holds the candle is generally a little wider up the top than it is at the bottom, so that the candle is held tightly in place.
You've probably noticed that the first three shots in this sequence have a lot of interesting inter-reflection within the angular segments of the crystal surface. It's also intriguing that there is a lovely pastel blue tinge to the background. This comes from a lace curtain about a metre and a half (not quite five feet) away from the candle stand. This window looks out onto a wide south-east aspect, so the light was really soft at the time. As it was late afternoon, the harsh light was on the other side of the house.
If you're wondering whether I moved the candlestand to get the best light or the best reflection, the answer is no. I shoot objects where I see them. It's not my style to move them to a different spot or even a different room to get a better effect or to make use of better light. I didn't use a special filter and as you probably know by now, I never digitally enhance my shots.
This last shot was taken completely on a whim, to get a different angle and a different background. The candlestands are placed on a glass-topped mahogany table. By shooting the object from above and to the side, I was able to get an unusual aspect, with some reflection in the bottom left-hand quadrant and the dark brown background of the beautiful, smooth mahogany.
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