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Photographing Marble

Updated on September 27, 2013
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Photographing marble in reality does not refer to some kind of new rocks but rather to the message that some statues mostly made from marble, although any material will do, can relay to its audience. The message is usually what the artist intends to portray when he or she built or rather created a work of art from simple stone.

There are two ways of approaching this photographic project. One is to record images of statutes that seem to convey various different messages and this is much easier than the second variation and that is recording images of various statues in a comparative display that appear to tell the same message or convey the same idea.

One of the first things that you should do before attempting to pursue this theme is to more or less decide on which variation to pursue and once that is done which message or which series of messages you want your photography project to capture keeping in mind that the subjects which you choose to relay this idea or message must do so clearly or you risk just having a bunch of images of statutes with nothing much more than that.

Research for the best sites to find suitable subjects that convey the message you intend to represent. Once you are ready to start your project then study the subject carefully and decide on which angles and perspectives will best display your intentions and begin photographing.

A prime lens and some sort of diffuser attached to the flash, if using one, is probably all that you will need. Flash use will depth on where your subjects are located, Remember to use or work with side lighting since this type of light shows texture and details better than full frontal light; too much light and your subject will be completely visible but not much detail will be present in your images.

Keep in mind that you do not always have to record the subject in its entirety, often just photographing parts is enough to convey what you intent to show. Be also aware that a majority of statues will be found in museums or art centers as well as on private venues. Obtain permission to photograph them form the owners or caretakers.

Museums may be the most difficult of locations since most have strict rules when it comes to photographing their exhibits. Often you can obtain a special permit that allows you to record their images and fees are not that high for such purposes but you will probably have to give a detailed explanation of what it is that you want to do and accomplish with your photos.

One good technique to use with these images and also with a majority of other subjects and projects is to use a wide aperture; the largest f-stop that your lens allows. This has the effect of blurring anything located in back of them and focuses all of the viewer's attention on the image's main element.

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One very good location to find suitable images are churches, with Roman Catholic churches being among the best. They often have many such statues not only in their interiors but often have a few in their gardens and most always you can photograph them by simply asking.

Be attentive not to convey a religious motif unless this is what you intent on doing in the first place. Try to focus on a peaceful, piety, tolerance or similar message instead.

Some garden statues have been placed there for a reason and it is worth paying attention to the surrounding area and including portions of it if it adds to the scene.

Just be careful not to include too much detail less it detracts from your main point of attention.

Not all of your subjects have to be made from marble. There are many good subjects that are made from other types of rocks or compositions such as cement. Your emphasis is in finding good effigies that represent the message or theme that you have chosen.

Busts can be used too since your images do not all have to be of complete figures and do not have to be of "human" forms. Abstracts and others can be applied to the project too so long as the message is clearly visible.


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    • spangen profile image

      spangen 5 years ago from Woodstock, Ontario

      Capturing - great ideas which I definately will try. Thanks Luis!

    • anndavis25 profile image

      anndavis25 5 years ago from Clearwater, Fl.

      I agree with you, that it is the art within the photographer that creates the picture.

      Again, good tips...