The photographic explorations of a former film student.

Posts tagged “decorations

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.


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.


Merry Christmas!


Christmas Decorations and Experimental Lighting

All the decorations went up the first of December, so its high time for some Christmas photos. I selected a diverse group of Christmas decorations and decided to light all of them with the string of LED Christmas lights I purchased this year, just to see how it would work out. I was going for more of a warm, soft look in all the photos, but I still wanted some light/dark contrast.




Merry Christmas everyone!

Next Time: New Year’s / Year in Review

The Big Project Begins: White on White

My last semester of college, I took a class in commercial photography. Our projects for the class included white on white, black on black, transparent, reflective, textiles, and a pour shot. The teacher suggested we do the projects again on our own at a later date. I thought “Yes, that would be good for me, but I don’t have the equipment.” He’d made some suggestions of less expensive lighting substitutes and so forth, but I was unemployed for some time and could not afford to buy anything. Now, I can buy some things, but I’ve continued to make excuses. I don’t have enough room, I don’t have enough time, I don’t have the right equipment . . . Well, if I keep up like that, I’ll never do it. So this winter, I’m re-shooting all those projects and posting them on this blog.

White on White

I started with this dove figure that belongs to my mother. It’s not shiny, and it has lots of texture. The challenge was keeping it white while keeping the texture.


Next, I moved on to these cute little angels. (Also my mom’s. Apparently, white ceramic figurines were popular in the 1970’s when she set up housekeeping.) They weren’t exactly shiny either, but they didn’t have as much texture. The details and shapes are lovely though. I ended up putting a white reflector board with a hole in it around my lens just to give them some good light on the front. This helped keep them brighter.


Next Time: Black on Black or Snow Shots

Christmas Colors

Everybody knows the old traditional Christmas colors: red and green. But increasingly, stores are offering decor in any color you fancy. Although I prefer the traditional, I followed the counter-culture this year and included a little pink in my decorating pallet. This was more of a “Man, where am I gonna store those pink vases?” moment than a brash throwing off of tradition. I bought some silver and white artificial flowers to accommodate my storage plans. While I was at it, I decided I may as well leave out this darling beaded angel. She’s probably a craft made by some housewife decades ago. I found her in a small town thriftshop a few years back and thought she was pretty.
Another slightly more traditional approach is the cream and gold color scheme. It’s rich and warm, but not very colorful. I’m in favor of having a little of it here and there.
So yes, I favor the traditional. Christmas comes at a dark, bleak, and often snowy time of the year in my corner of the world. Red is warm and bright, while green reminds us of life and vegetation. It’s what we need right now. Warmth, brightness, life, and beauty.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Next Time: 2012 Year in Review