When I was in my early teens, an organization in a city near me finished an ambitious project: they restored an old theater. To celebrate, they held an open house and many people from the surrounding area came to tour the newly restored theater. My parents took my sister and I to go see it. I remember my fascination at the ornate detail of the theater.
After college, I became interested in abandon places. Not that I would visit one alone, but I loved looking at photos of once-grand buildings as nature and the environment reclaimed them. However, the photos of abandoned libraries and theaters always made me a little sad. Maybe it’s the decline of civilization, or maybe it’s because I’ve seen an old library and an old theater in preserved or restored condition. I often thought it was a shame more couldn’t be saved.
Several months ago, my father informed me that the local photo club had arranged to visit the theater we had toured all those years ago and visited a few times since. The club had purchased a tour and several hours of time to wander the building with cameras. I had the opportunity to photograph the very same ornate building that had fascinated me years before – and it is still in restored condition.
Since I ran out of retouch time (dynamic range is a big concern in this building!), here are the photos from the entryway and upper mezzanine:
Next time, I will continue with the inside of the theater. In a world with so much entropy and decay, it’s always a ray of hope that some things can be saved.
I decided to get back to indoor tabletop photography this time. Also, I’d recently revisited my old hobby of painting glass with nail polish, and I had several new nail polish pendants sitting around. Oval ones, which are particularly tough because of the way they reflect light. These were all window light shots later in the day with white poster boards as reflectors. Still, I’ve got to get the camera lens in there somewhere. I decided I wasn’t going to list these to sell, and that I would do a little more retouching on them. I’ve not sold any yet. Besides, I think I will keep most of these. They are mostly new polishes I’ve not done any glass with before.
Next Time: More Table Top – Camera?
I’m hoping to actually photograph a camera next week. A big old lovely lady of a folding Polaroid. Maybe some video for my little unfinished project as well.
Here are a couple of archive photos from January’s photo club table top night. I brought my own light source and reflectors as well as some subject matter, but it is kind of a free for all, so I ended up photographing mostly items the other members brought. Mine ended up being mostly floral items and a vintage green glass dish.
Next Time: Sand Dunes
I went to Michigan and checked out a National Lakeshore area.
It’s been awhile since I did a jewelry post, so I thought I could use some practice photographing jewelry about now. In my estimation, it’s still a bit early for a Christmas post. However, the holidays are upon us, so I stuck with warmer colors and included some red and green.
Next Time: Christmas
The end is finally here! My pour shot is done, and it went a little better than I thought it would. Equipment was one of my biggest concerns going into this one, but shooting my flash through the scrim seemed to work pretty well. My furry four-legged assistant was watching me, but she can’t pour liquids, so thankfully, my mother agreed to help with this one. It took us a few tries to get the timing down, but the result was well worth any inconvenience or spilled red pop. Here are a couple different shots:
Next Time: Nature or Vintage Objects
Back to the Big Project. Last week, I tackled the transparent shots. Experience told me I needed a scrim for this shoot. A photographic type scrim, not a cinema scrim (made of wire and goes on a light) or a stage scrim (a sort of transparent projector sheet). One highly recommended material for making a photographic scrim is Translum, which only comes in large rolls. If you don’t want to buy a huge roll, some other kind of sturdy diffusion material will do. Because I was in a hurry, I bought a 20″ X 24″ sheet of diffusion and stapled it to a 16″ X 20″ used but sturdy picture frame (I removed the glass, ect.). It’s better to make a wooden frame that stands on its own. Anyway, I have my scrim. Now I can shoot light through it instead of bouncing light off boards or tilting my lamps so the less direct edge light falls on the subject. Quite marvelous.
For my first shot, I used this small glass container in the shape of a heart. Since I was a bit tired of shooting on plain backgrounds, I chose wood furniture to suggest a place the item could be displayed, such as a dresser or table top.
Next, I wanted to photograph a vase with a design. The black background shows off the frosted roses nicely. This was a bear to retouch. It was dusty and had a few scratches and imperfections. I did clean it, but the cloth left some lint and didn’t get quite all the dust. Lots of fine Photoshop work to clean it up in post.
Next Time: Reflective Objects