What to do when it's too windy to go out on the water to photograph? This weekend, I photographed indoors. Not having much experience with indoor photography, I thought I would experiment with the macro lens and lighting. And I had the perfect subject to practice with. Back in December, several pilot whales were discovered on Highland Beach in the Everglades. Heartbreaking to see, it was all over the news. About one month after several dead whales were left to rot on the sandy beach, we came there to spend a night during one of our paddling trips. By that time, the remains of the whale were primarily bones. I took a few teeth home with me and later, my friend Toby who had paddled to Highland Beach several times this past winter brought home a couple vertebrae, which he gave to me.
The vertebrae bones are exquisite in shape and I wanted to try my hand at photographing them. So I set up a "studio" in my house, gathered up a couple large black mats, a candle and couple miniature flash lights. And then I played. Never having done this before, my attempts at lighting were crude at best. But, some of the results were acceptable to me.
I studied the bones from several angle and went for some macro shots and some wider angle shots. The camera was on a tripod and I used the remote control. I closed the window blinds and kept the room dark. I experimented with a candle flame, which gave the bone a warm tone. I had a couple little flashlights that gave out a cool light. I had a fun time with my experimentation and have a higher appreciation for studio photographers.
Why the pilot whales did what they did is a mystery. All we can do is hope that one day we will know the answers to our questions. In the meantime, enjoy these images of the whale bones found on Highland Beach.