Photo Friday: Throwing Out the Rules?

I’m still quite a novice photographer, but I enjoy learning as I go. Today, I just wanted to take a photo of some more memorabilia and decrease the clutter in my home. In my younger life, I competed in pageants and had to wear special shoes for the evening gown competition. I also had special shoes for the swimsuit competition but those shoes are long gone. In any case, I tried something ‘on the fly’ (i.e. not following any ‘rules’).

It was 4 in the afternoon. The usual window that I like to experiment with didn’t seem very bright at this time. I went to another window but was afraid the light was too bright. I had several options. Put my lightbox on the floor or move the box around in the room until the harsh light from the window was¬†diminished.

I put a black piece of cardboard inside my lightbox and put the lightbox directly on the floor. I have read a series of posts about having light directly from the top rather than the sides. So, I positioned my lightbox so the harsh light was coming through the top of the box. I’ll admit that this didn’t work as I hoped so I moved the box around until I thought I found something worthwhile.

I put the shoes in the box and fired away. I didn’t bother adjusting the white balance or any of the settings. I had recently done a practice session so I thought I’d let it be and deal with adjustments later. Here’s what I got straight out of the box.

Pageant Shoes
Not to bad straight out of the gate I must say. I tried several more angles and positions and kept coming back to this one. Then I started to worry that the shoes looked terrible because of the worn-out toe spaces and the liking flaps where the ball of the foot goes. Then I thought that I wore these shoes out! I really like the clear heel on these shoes but I just couldn’t get a good picture of them. Oh well. I’ll just have to note that they have clear heels.
Pageant Shoes
Cinderella Pageant Shoes
Now, these shoes are slightly different in that they have a beaded strand across the foot. They feel more like Cinderella shoes. I tried to mimic the positioning of the first pair of shoes and the lighting. Unfortunately, I had done so many adjustments to the first pair before I put in the second pair, that I couldn’t replicate the look. However, I really like the effect of not having the exact same positioning.
I did notice a white light reflecting in these shoes that wasn’t present in the first pair. I had to move the shoes and box position until that white shining blob stopped looking like a person. The photo above and the one below show the results of that effort.
Pageant Shoes

I was just so shocked at how well these photos turned out without a tripod and without trying to ‘line up’ the shot. Perhaps I’m getting better at photography. Perhaps the combination just ‘works’. Whatever the case, it was fun to ignore the rules I’ve been learning and just do a quick session without the stress. I just don’t know if I can do that again. I don’t know what I did right.

I really believe the two Cinderella shoe pictures look great but slightly different. Since the angles are so similar, I don’t wish to include both in any project regarding my pageant experience such as a digital scrapbook. The photos are too similar in that regards So, I need to decide which Cinderella style shoe is better. What do you think? The top Cinderella or the bottom?

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee is passionate about capturing and preserving family stories so no one alive today has to be researched, or forgotten, tomorrow. She has authored 6 how-to books, a memoir, two published family history biographies, and over 60 family scrapbooks. She's an enthusiastic speaker who energizes, encourages, and educates at the same time.

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