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| Re: Texture comps. Are you lichen any of these? |
Bob Jarman wrote:
When I think of texture, I see powdery snow, sugar, sand, a soft fabric, etc. - something fine and granular. Obviously these do not fit that mental image - too coarse and rough - although certainly a texture is in play.
Of course textures come in smooth and rough. But it's far more difficult to convey the message "texture" if all that is seen in an image is smooth or fine textured stuff. As you say the point of the exercise is creating that "mental image" i.e., some conscious tactile-like emotional reaction. Theme based set-up your brain to look for whatever the theme is. It you took 10 random shots and asked a viewer to say which best delivered the message of "texture" which do you think they'd pick, the pile of talcum powder or the pile of broken glass? Ask 100 viewer and you'd have some that said the talcum and others the glass but the distribution would probably be skewed strongly towards the rougher one.
With "rough" objects the message "texture" translates better photographically because clues to 3D shape and texture come from the contrast the lighting creates and why low angle cross light works best to reveal it. But like the chalk example it only works if there are personal experiences in memory to connect the visual depiction to. Personal experience is subjective so to get the desired reaction in as many different people as possible I'd want to use a object they would have touched in person, or create a visual contrast of smooth and rough in the image as part of the message.
How would you react to a shot of a teacher at a blackboard writing but breaking the chalk? If you ever sat in a classroom and heard the screeching noise that creates you might cringe when you see that image. The visual in that case creates an association with an auditory memory and the reaction it causes. If you had never experienced chalk making that awful sound you'd ask what's so interesting about a teacher breaking chalk and not get the intended message.
The pretzel image did that the best of any I've seen so far at delivering the message of texture by way of contrasting smooth and rough texture in the same image. But the "creative" way it's rendered just showing part of a stick and adding the visually confusing "reflection" that's not a reflection would distracts conscious thought about the texture if not captioned as a texture competition entry.
The reason something like 40 grit sandpaper comes to mind is like the pretzel that the widely spaced grit on the paper creates both a tactile associate and visual contrast between it's rough and smooth areas visually even if you've never held a piece of it in your hands. Broken glass is similar in that respect; normally very smooth, but made rough by breaking into small sharp edged pieces visually and more likely to have been experienced in person. Both create a contrast of smooth vs. rough in the image but the broken glass is more likely to trigger the next level tactile reaction once the clues about shape and texture are processed.
It's really more of an exercise in the psychology of perception than a purely photographic one as I see it.