The photographic explorations of a former film student.

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Exploring the Book Forest

This is an idea I’ve had for awhile, but I wasn’t sure how to pull it off. So here is my attempt at making a little forest out of books.

BookForest

Valentine Flowers

A bit of a late Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you. This is the time of year I really start wanting it to be Spring. It is also the time of year you can easily purchase a floral bouquet. Last week, I purchased a single rose and some “pompoms” at a local supermarket. I’m pretty sure “pompom” is just florist for big showy mum. Anyway, I set up the light and some backgrounds and pulled out the macro lens.

This was my pinkish rose. Lovely while she lasted.

BacklitRose

Twirly in the center and a beautiful hue.

ECURose

I stuck one of my old rings in it in honor of Valentine’s Day. There is nothing like a macro lens to show you how cheep your costume jewelry is. I spent some time retouching this one, and I’m about to swear I will never shoot it again. Nonetheless, it does look kind of romantic.

RingInRose

A little less seasonal, here is the “pompom”. This was more fun with the macro lens than the rose. I loved the long, spiky petals in the center.

LgPurpleMum

Kind of off topic, but I wanted to say I know this can be a tough day for single people. Personally, I think our culture is a little overboard when it comes to celebrating romantic love. There are other kinds of love and relationships in most people’s lives that are worth remembering and celebrating on this day. So if you can this weekend, take a few minutes to call or message a friend or relative and let them know you love them. And remember, the chocolate goes on sale tomorrow.

 

 

More Nail Polish Necklaces

I’ve decided to photograph some more of my old craft project necklaces and list them for sale on Etsy. At first, I shot them with the 500 watt bulb and no diffusion, but I decided that was a bit harsh for most of them. I’ve kept one shot from that shoot.

PinkGlitterSquare

After looking around a bit to see how others photographed similar necklaces for sale. I decided to use window light, reflectors, and the scrim as I felt I needed it. I also changed the backgrounds.

DarkPurpleAndGlitterCrackle

GreenAndGlitterCrackle

GreenGlitterSquare

As before, very little retouch was done on these for truth in advertising.

And yes, the shameless commerce division (as they say on Car Talk): https://www.etsy.com/shop/NecklaceArtAndCraft?ref=hdr_shop_menu

Next Time: Snow or Valentine’s Day

Back to Still Life – Mini Trees and Mirror Lake

I was going for something that looked like an imaginary world with this. The idea had been bouncing around in my head for several months. Fortunately, the Christmas season intervened and the right tree props became available. The snow is quilt batting, the mirror is from the dollar store, and the “rocks” are flat marbles for flower arranging with nail polish painted on the bottom (like the necklaces I did last year). I decided to put a silver-grey poster board behind it all fearing white would be too blank. It’s supposed to look unreal/otherworldly anyway. In post, I did some cloning on the “rocks”, cleaned up the mirror, fussed with the color, and added some glow filter.

SingleTreeLS

TwoTreesReflection

Next Time: More Still Life

I haven’t exactly decided what it’s going to be yet. Maybe more like this or maybe more mugs.

A Look Back at 2014 – On to 2015

Overall, 2014 was a good year of photographic explorations and blogging. I did some archive posts because of other things I was involved with, and I didn’t finish my video essay (yet). However, I did have some memorable explorations: two new cities, a new park, and some foggy conditions. That and a new camera for higher resolution and video capabilities. I explored and learned a lot. Below are some highlights from 2014:

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2015:

As usual, I plan to keep blogging every other week and spend a lot of time in nature – all four season are beautiful. I also want to get back into more table top (it’s a skill I need to work at and winter isn’t just beautiful, it’s cold!). Hopefully, I will finish the video, shoot macro, post more good cat photos, and have a few adventures. Only time will tell.

Kitty Under the Christmas Tree

Yes, that’s right under, not in. Being owners of an artificial Christmas tree, my family is fortunate enough to have a tree whose branches bend to the floor under the weight of a typical household feline. The cats are both resigned to this, but they do enjoy sitting beneath the branches and admiring the beauty. It’s quiet back there too.

This year, I thought I’d try to get a photo. Flash simply would not do, and dear Jen is a dark cat, so I turned on the brighter lights in the room and pulled out my tripod. Jen was a little bothered by the autofocus in the first shot. I also thought it wasn’t close enough.

JenVertical

I moved in, switched to horizontal, and used live view to focus. Fortunately, Jen was pretty still. It was brighter than I wanted the final shot to be, but I decided to take it down in post rather than risk getting Jen noisy or loosing detail in her fur.

JenHorizontal

Merry Christmas!

Returning Indoors: Mugs

It’s cold outside, so I’ve turned my attention back to indoor photography. Mugs were a subject I’ve been thinking to shoot again, so I chose a couple and began dusting off my tabletop skills.

This is a recent mug I bought for my father after I knocked another mug out of the cupboard on top of his old one and cracked it badly on the rim. Incase you think me extra clumsy, I was not the only person in the household to make that blunder. Someone else did it to my mug. Anyway, I owed Dad a new mug. It is sturdy and manly and not made in China, so he is satisfied.

DadMugMorning

This is my mug. The very same one that was chipped just as I chipped my father’s former mug. I can’t fix it in real life, but I can Photoshop the chip. For this shot, I decided to leave the teabag in and use the base of an old lamp and a book for props. I am much more likely to blog or otherwise work on the computer while drinking tea than I would be to read a book, but the old book looks way better in a photo than my computer would.

MyMugAndTea

Next Time: Christmas

I’ll be photographing decorations or some other Christmas related items in honor of the season.

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