Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Smile for the camera, you mugs!

Unloaded my kiln and now I need to photograph the pieces. I have a set-up in my basement 'way back in the corner where I can exclude all light except a tungsten bulb in a clamp-on lamp. It's usually hanging from a floor joist.

Years ago I swallowed hard and bought an entire roll of neutral grey from a photo supply company which I 'temporarily' hung using a rope threaded through the core so that it would roll out easily. Ceramics is murder on dark paper surfaces, so if it gets scuffed, I can just cut off a slab of it and roll out more. The roll rests on an antique table we bought for a song from an auction in the UK. The thing was stripped and all the grain risen, but after of years of curing in various basements, it's almost ready to refinish. heh

I rigged up two hurking big sheets of foamcore on either side of the table. I have another two smaller pieces of the stuff taped together like a book cover. I can place it anywhere in order to bounce light back to the underside of a piece if it needs it. Once upon a time, I got a bunch of roses in a shiny, gold foil box. And packrat, I, now use in the same way as the foamcore pieces to bounce a warmer light if needed.

For years I used an SLR on a tripod with an extended trigger shutter to take shots, but now have a great digital camera that I love to use. Believe it or not, we have a little portable tripod that has knocked around in our various houses for years that fits it perfectly. Today I'm going to locate that autoshutter trigger and see if it fits too. (I told you I was a packrat. Ya never know.)

Photos to come.


I promise.

1 comment:

StudioElan said...

Hi Jeanette,

I've been reading your blog with interest for a while. I too am a potter and have tried to set up a semi permanent photo area to ease the pain of recording my work. I hung an entire roll of grey paper on a piece of pipe hung from the ceiling. It was too high for me to reach easily and my rerolling was often a little sloppy. Over time the roll got loose and as it hung there it developed ripples as it drooped to oval. These ripples show badly in the background of my photos. I asked a photographer friend about how to fix it. He thinks that I might be able to salvage some of it by leaving it to hang straight for a long while. No luck yet -I fear I may have ruined this roll permanently and I can ill afford to replace it! He recommended storing the paper on the roll standing on end (my new studio doesn't have high enough ceilings for the 10' roll I bought!) or purchasing a piece of rolling equipment that works on a spring like the screens that are used with projectors have. This is a pretty pricey option -so if you want to leave the roll up permanently be sure to roll it tightly around its core each time you use it. I make these suggestions to save someone else from learning the hard way -as I so often do!

If you have a water softener ask me an easy way to save on a $100 service call -another lesson learned the hard way!

Good luck -and I'll be looking for shots of those mugs ;-)