Winter storm Harper = Tabletop still life

Funny thing, living in Upstate New York, It gets cold and it snows in the winter. Everyone heads to the grocery store for milk and bread. I decided to brave the crowds and see what I could find for a weekend photo shoot while storm Harper dumped a couple of feet of snow outside. I decided on a couple of setups, one being fruits and the other vegetables. So the shoot could have been called here are your fruits and veggies.

My Plan today was to create window light from the left. After the last shoot where the window light was very blue today I set up 2 strobes behind a medium translum scrim, watch how a scrim is made here! . The lower strobe was set up with a 4 foot x 12 inch strip box positioned horizontal set about 1 inch above the table. The second strobe was position above the first and at first was bare bulbed after a few test photos I decided to place a 7 inch reflector and a black flag of cinefoil to control the spill of light on the background.

after the strobes were set and the window light effect was created, a tall white board was placed opposite the strobes to add a little fill light. The two speed lights were used with grids from MagMod the grids were used to add small areas of light to the setup as needed. Below is a slide show of a the set up and a few photos from the session.

Cold winter day personal project

Working with fluids and splashes can be a messy venture, yesterday was a very cold day in Upstate New York, and I decided to create some small splash photos. Using some toasted oats cereal, heavy cream, vegetable shortening and a can of compressed air along with some photo gear I was able to create a few keeper photos. The photo gear was 2 light stands an arm to hold the spoon with a super clamp 2 speedlights and a homemade scrim. I tethered my Nikon D750 into lightroom to start, but after 7 photos lightroom stopped importing the photos (This has been an issue since the last lightroom update). I switched to a third party program smart shooter 3, this program gives me full control over my Nikons and it has never failed me.

After practicing with water over the sink, I was able to get the timing down with creating splashes in the spoon. After getting everything in place my first couple of air shots missed the spoon making some of the cereal fly out of the bowl. After a few attempts I was able to get the set up working.

The slide show show a few of the behind the scene photos and a couple of the final resulting photos. All in all it was a fun little project for a cold winter days and I did it staying in the house not having to head out to the studio.

November 2018 projects

The gallery above is a sampling of photos from November of 2018 along with one left over from Halloween.  Each month I pick a new subject and look for new ways to photograph these subjects.  This month I was experimenting with low key lighting (Dark and moody). The photos were all taken in the studio.  Practice and keeping current is the best way I know to provide my clients with new and interesting photography for their projects.

Project 52 Collective, the one hour challenge

This week for Project 52 I took an hour and photographed a collection of nuts and bolts.  With the time limit of an hour shooting time, I used a 3 light set up with a soft-box overhead, a gridded strobe from the 1 pm position and the third strobe was a sidelight behind a 3-foot square scrim.  Using the Paul Buff Cyber commander system I was able to easily change power settings for all the lights as well as turn off and on strobes as needed. The backgrounds were layered on top of each other so I could quickly move from one background to the next saving on set-up time.  Shooting with a Nikon d750 and switching between 2 Sigma macro lenses, the 105mm macro and the 50mm macro (discontinued lens).

For stability when shooting close-ups with the 50mm macro lens I used my original Platypod in place of a tripod.  This allowed me to set my camera right on my surface and get the results I was looking for. The original Platypod can hold a full frame DSLR and a normal type lens without any camera shake and no fears of the rig tipping.  Platypod has options for larger DSLR and longer lenses.  The Platydpod MAX saved me in our past San Diego workshop when my bag and tripod decided to stay on the plane and go to Reno.  I had the MAX in my camera bag and I was able to instruct and shoot sunset and night cityscapes of San Diego. This is one piece of equipment I can highly recommend placing in your bag.

In an hour I was able to photograph a nice collection of photos, I have added a small sample of the images below.

Table top still-life session

This week I had the chance to photograph some still life work consisting of older books and other objects Cosentino Commercial Photography, New York, Still lifeThe client was looking for a warm toned photo to be used in web applications. I always find it a fun time taking objects and arranging them into a cohesive image.  They need space for ad copy and a peaceful looking desktop setting. A full set of images were delivered.

If you find yourself in the need for tabletop photography services give me a call at 315-768-3503 or drop me a note through the contact form