Sunday, April 21, 2013

Holographic ribbon

click photo to enlarge
I recently posted a photograph showing a macro shot of several lengths of the metallic holographic ribbons that I'm currently using as a bird scaring device to protect an area we've sown with grass seed. In the manner of all such material it displays rainbow colours when it catches the light. However, when you look at the ribbon in a casual rather than a concentrated way the word you would use to describe the essential colour of the ribbon would be "silver".

The other day I attempted to take a photograph of the ribbon to show its silver colour and the patterns that cover its surface. But I couldn't! No matter how I placed the ribbon, whether in light or shade, and regardless of the angle I chose when pointing the camera at it, I could not see through the viewfinder that which seems apparent when I watch it blowing in the wind in my garden. Initially I thought there might be something happening due to the combination of lens/viewfinder and the ribbon surface. But that really can't be. The conclusion I've come to is this: when I look at it casually with my naked eye the image my brain "sees" is a combination of all the dominant areas of silver and I ignore the other specks of colour. However, when I look at through my lens, within the confines of the viewfinder frame, my eye is drawn to each of the iridescent areas and these dominate my visual perception rather than the silver areas. I found that interesting, and another example of the adage that I've long held to be true - "the camera always lies".

So, having failed in my attempt to photograph the ribbon as it "really is", I took another shot showing off its beautiful colours and patterns. I like this photograph better than the one I posted the other day. A friend, on seeing the image on my screen, said, "Mmm, Bridget Riley".

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 100mm macro
F No: f6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/40 sec
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  0 EV
Image Stabilisation: Off