How to Photograph Rusty Metal

Here you will find the basic essentials for success in photographing rusty metal with any camera.

Step 1: Step One: Light

Light is very important when photographing subjects with intricate detail. You want to be sure that the shadow is cast in just the right place, and that the highlight doesn't glare the entire picture. When shooting in an indoor facility, try using white poster board propped up facing your light source to try and focus more of the light toward your subject. If you are working outdoors, the take your time to pick the perfect spot for your photo, depending on the subjects size and shape. For the photo above, I chose a more natural background, so that the dark rust on the bent nail would really stand out. Also pay close attention to the orientation and angle of your subject.

Step 2: Step Two: Focus

Where you focus in your picture has a big role to play in the professionalism of your final product. One way of focusing is to have the same level of clarity distributed evenly throughout your entire photo. Another way, my personal favorite, is to focus on your main subject, and let the rest just fall in the background. For this method, try and position your subject in an area where and observer wouldn't think to look first. Let's say I focus on the eye of a cat. At first, you'll see a cat, but the gradually your eyes will be drawn to where you've focused. Pretty cool, right? Check out an example above.

Step 3: Step Three: Personalize

When working with an unusual subject, say, something rusty, I like to as a bit of my personality into my photos. I enjoy placing something out of place next to my subject, so it will really make the view think. So first you see something familiar, and than your like "What on earth is that doing there?" I understand it is not all photographers preference, but that's how I roll. Try adding your own spice to your photos! The picture above is a good example, apart from the fact that my camera lens-cap is hanging down in the bottom-left corner. Sorry!



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