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Photograph Wood, Plastic & Metal

Updated on June 3, 2013

Wood, Plastic & Metal are three different materials, yet they share a common purpose; each is somehow used by us. This is a nice and simple project which involves recording images of articles made from wood, plastic and from metals as well as articles combining all three.

The emphasis is to capture the different textures and details associated with each item or from each raw material. Macro shots are useful for capturing details and intricacies of each but some of the shots should also be captured in a regular format to show the subject in its entirety.

Since wood is the richer textured material out of the three, its images work better if its patterns are recorded. Metal and plastic tend to be smoother surfaces so colorful samples should be chosen whenever possible as well as to record any intricate detailed aspects of each.

For metals, iron that has been exposed to the elements makes better and more interesting images, especially if rust is present. Photograph samples in close up mode. Plastics, on the other hand, also pose an issue since it tends to be reflective. Using filtered light is the best alternative with it. Good overall subjects would be those that have all three materials but you will usually find items with two, such as a door with a metal handle.

You can lean towards capturing images of weathered surfaces but you can also limit your photos to new surfaces. It's totally up to your style and what appeals to you in particular.

Aim to record at least three samples of each; close up, medium and full. Also try to photograph at least three color variations or shades of each material and make an effort to repeat the color patterns in all of the other shots; a red door, a red plastic pail and a red metal subject. You can also slightly vary the theme by capturing all wood subjects in one color, all plastic in another with metal also in a different shade.

Presentation formats can also be alternated with a presentation of all wood, all plastic and all metal or mix images together. Arrange different combinations until you achieve one which appeals to you. Use different perspectives and different angles for each subject matter to render them in unusual circumstances and views.

Since this project does not have a specific motif in mind other than to practice the art, most of the photographs obtained with it may be sold as art prints to individual clients. Although some good samples, especially if they are rich with detail can be offered to wood, plastic or metal product manufacturing companies.

There is no especial equipment other than your camera and some lenses needed to undertake this photo project, but you should still have a plan of where most or some of your subjects can be located as well as a general idea of the type of subject matter that is made from each material. Always being mindful that most subjects that can be photograph have already been, therefore you personal style will be the deciding factor of whether your images stand out from the rest or are just more of the same.

CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0)  Public Domain Dedication
CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication | Source


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    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      randomcreative: Thank you

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      I love the notion of searching for different textures and colors!

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Loquacious: Thank you, have fun

    • profile image

      Loquacious Laura 6 years ago

      I like the idea of grouping by color! Thanks. Going out to get some fall shots before they are gone.

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 6 years ago from Miami, Florida

      Lynn; And play you shall...anyway playing is always fun.

    • profile image

      Lynn S. Murphy 6 years ago

      UP and interesting Luis. Still working on the personal style. I neeeeeed to play more.