Jan 152010

Well, a potter anyway.  She’s been throwing pots (on the wheel, not at me) for several years now and she’s remarkably talented.  She originally started taking classes to provide a creative outlet while I was away at my nightly gigs but her work is good enough to sustain her ongoing passion for it.  I was tethered to the house today and decided to make the most of it by working out a lighting idea that’s been rattling around my noggin for a while, using her some of her less popular work as subjects.

I’ve had this concept of “playing with dark” in mind and decided to gather up some of Tracy’s “misfit” work as a subject.  I’m a fan of minimalism, both in composition and lighting, so I shot each of these photos with a single light source only.  This K.I.S.S. theory is part of my general problem-solving approach to photography.

The light source in all of these was a Nikon SB-800 triggered via CLS by my camera’s on-board flash.

This first shot was done with an 18×30 softbox placed high camera right, slightly behind the pots.

The intention was to highlight the rims of the items against the black background but still have a bit of wraparound to give a little shape to the pots.

I wanted to give just a hint of what they are and invite a closer look.

Here I placed the same softbox directly above the pots firing straight down at them with the goal of presenting the color and texture of the pots from a more common angle.

I wanted to highlight the variety of shapes, sizes and textures of Tracy’s work, even if these are her supposed “rejects”.

They’re a damn sight better than anything I could make out of clay.  I’d probably just end up with it in my ears or something.

The final shot of the day actually involved two lights (I lied above) but only one lights the subject.  I was playing with very low settings on the flash and really liked the way the softbox lit the curves of this caved-in vase without revealing its entire form.

The softbox is just to the right of the subject, firing down at approximately a 45 degree angle.

In order to separate the vase from the background slightly, I placed a Nikon SB-600 under the shooting table and aimed it at the background through a Honl spot grid.

While I don’t think these are Earth-shatteringly artistic shots, they do demonstrate the lighting ideas I had in my head.  Now that I’ve gotten the results I wanted from inanimate objects I hope to duplicate them on a band shoot this weekend.

Stay tuned.

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