Monday, January 14, 2013

Cary's Joseph's woodfired teabowls

Cary Joseph asked me to capture a few images of a few teabowls he recently made. After all this time, you would think that photographing pottery would be old hat. Nope! Still a very serious challenge. Every single potter I work with has different work, and different needs, which all means that I have to figure out different ways of lighting the subject and then photographing to bring out the very best in the work. It is a constant challenge... a moving target if you will.

One of my big peeves is when photographers have such extreme contrast in the image that the objects look like they are sinking into the black hole of a shadow below the belly of the form. To combat this "black hole" I have tried to bring the large light source closer to the subject, diffuse the daylights out of the light, and add additional light (just a touch) via a snoot, to lighten the underside of the pots, so that the foot is no longer hidden in that dark abyss.

My attitude is that Cary puts so much energy into these pots, then expends even more energy firing them for days on end in various woodfiring kilns, then has to clean them up, pack and haul them to shows.... so much work involved in creating even the smallest of his work.... so much work is involved, that it behooves me to expend a similar effort to trying to bring this work into the best light possible.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Men of the "When and If"

Captain Dennis Montgomery, of the Cayuga Wooden Boatworks 

Last week I went up to the Cayuga Wooden Boatworks in the town of Cayuga, to see what changes had been made on the "When and If" since the holidays. Apparently quite a few folks had taken ill over the holidays so work had slowed since the last time I had been up to shoot.

Taking advantage of having nearly everyone there, I figured it would be an ideal day to try to capture some portraits of everyone at work. Unfortunately, by the time we had everyone assembled, it was lunch time. These are the few portraits I was able to wring from my short visit last week. It gave me more ideas for both backgrounds and for potential positions to be ready for.... and it gave me a chance to work with ambient light exclusively. Certainly is a far cry from my work in the studio. After reading David Hobby and Joe McNally's blogs this week, I feel like I need to set down my lights for a bit, work on framing the shot with more interest, and then begin to create mood/light etc.