If you watched the video from a couple of days ago, you know the story already: how my darling, adorable wife went fabric shopping and came home with this big red plastic bag; and how I saw it lying on the floor, and instead of taking it to the recycle bin, I crawled around on the floor with the D7000, 28-105D in Macro mode, and the old Vivitar Auto 200 flash on a cactus trigger, and shot it for awhile; and how, when I got the pictures into the computer and started adjusting the levels things went a bit wonky somehow.

Well, here are the pics.

When I started shooting, I had an idea that I’d get something that looked like this:



or maybe like this…


live at red rocks

or, if I got lucky, something like this:


Really, to be honest, I had no idea what I’d get, but hoped for something like one of my #lunchbreak pictures. I had no idea that I’d end up with strange skins and specimens, alien landscapes, and multilayered abstractions that appeared just as soon as I started adjusting the RGB levels in Capture One Pro. The first image from the shoot was that bright one above, and I was feeling pretty confident, but then this was the second one…

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What the?

There wasn’t much rhyme or reason to it, really. There might be 10 pictures of a red bag, and then one of a crumpled piece of wax paper.

(not) red plastic bag

And then a couple completely blown out by the flash, and then one of a sandstone canyon with light streaming down.


Some had really wild color shifts, like some detail from a John Chamberlain sculpture or something.

20160123-1612-red plastic bag-©JamesECockroft-3076

Some got even crazier.


And some stayed within the red palate, but took on purple and fuchsia from somewhere.

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But the piece de resistance had a bit of everything. Something aligned somewhere and the red plastic bag morphed into something else entirely, something completely foreign.

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I was really pleased with the outcome of these, and so I spent several evening shooting other plastic bags with interesting, if not so completely mind boggling. I can’t for the life of me figure out why the color shifted so much in these from just popping a simple flash and adjusting the RBG levels in post.

If you have any clues, please let me know!

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