Metal Inspiration

It has been, once again, difficult to find a photographer who specializes or has shot metal (the hard, often shiny substance used to make a whole heap of stuff, not the style of music).  So, instead, I thought I would find some photos of metal, things that I think of when I think of metal.

The first thing I thought of was London (it’s on the brain big time right now).  In London, all the street lamps along the Thames (or at least one section of it) have these fishes at the base of the lights.  Something like this (I can’t find an exact picture, but these are close):

And, because I’m still thinking about London, here’s the Trafalgar Square lions.  🙂



Metal Technical Info

Our metal assignment was similar to the glass in that we had to deal thoughtfully with the reflections on our objects.  Several of my ideas were approved, and I chose to shoot metal measuring cups.

I started out wanting to try a dark background approach and create lighter edges.  I used a black sheet for the backdrop, a soft box on one side, and a reflector card on the other side of the cups.  This worked alright, but there were still a lot of reflections.  I borrowed a classmate’s cleverly created light box (made out of artist canvases held together with tape to form a box) and placed the measuring cups inside to help smooth out the reflections and create even softer light.  This helped a lot.

Tech Specs:

  • Camera and Lens: Nikon D300s with a 55-200 lens.  No film since this is a digital camera.
  • Exposure: F/11 @125, ISO 200, Daylight white balance.  The white balance came out more yellow than intended, so I fixed that in Lightroom.

Here are a few photos from the shoot…

One of my first tries…

After moving it into the light box…

A few others I liked…

And this is the one I’ll end up using…

Glass Photographer

To find a photographer who shoots glass, I once again began by consulting my friend Google.  Did Google know of anyone?  Did he know of any particularly striking pictures?

The first picture I found that struck me as really interesting was this one…

glass Photography - Explored 12/2/2011

I like the way he flipped the second glass behind the first.

There’s not a whole lot of information about this photographer.  His name is Patrick Iven and he lives in Belgium.  Here’s his site (It’s all written in another language, but still pretty easy to get around.  You can see some of his work).  He seems to shoot a variety of things, from nature to kids.  Here are some more of his glass objects he’s shot…

Westvleteren XII - the best beer in the world

B/W glasses

Wine Splash and Drop

If you’re interested in seeing more of his work, you can visit his blog, Flickr account, or his Facebook page.

Glass Technical Info

The glass assignment was the last one we had to do with the 4×5 camera.  I shot the Coca-Cola glasses, lined up and on a white background.  I was pretty pleased with how it came out.  I wish I had gotten a little higher to shoot, but then the reflections below the glasses were lost.  Anyway, here is the technical information about the shoot (for my teacher and anyone else interested enough):

Tech Specs:

  • Camera and Lens: Calumet 4×5 view camera, 8 inch/210 mm lens
  • Film: 4×5 Fujifilm Provia 100F, Daylight, ISO 100 (chrome film)
  • Exposure Factor: 2 (one stop over for normal exposure)
  • Exposure Info: ISO 100 (lightmeter and film), f/22 @125, 177 watt seconds for the light

Here’s a basic (terrible) picture of the basic setup:

This is my friend/classmate’s object.  We created a makeshift light table with a soft box and a thin piece of material.  To achieve the darker edges on our glass items, we used squares of black poster board and brought them close in to the objects.

Here’s my final image:


Metal Sketches

This week we all shot our glass objects, which was interesting.  I’ll be posting a follow-up post to that soon.  My film came out too, which is always a huge plus.  Now we move on to our final assignment in this class, metal.

Another idea I had was to do something with thumbtacks…

Here’s a couple of extra photos to help my not-so-great sketches get their ideas across:

I like the measuring cups best, and I think the thumb tacks could be cool, but I’m not sure if filling the camera frame with a zillion thumb tacks is a good enough picture.  I think it’d be neat to play around with some colored cards for some of the reflections, but I’ll see how that goes, I guess.

Glass Sketches

Our critique for our first two Commercial assignments has come and gone, and now we’re on to glass and metal objects.  This week is glass (as you’ve most likely gathered from the post title).

There’s two main ways of lighting glass: You can shoot on a light background and darken the edges, or you can shoot on a darker background and use cards and soft boxes to lighten the edges.  You want to avoid the edges disappearing altogether, because then you’re not really taking a picture of anything…especially if the glass is perfectly clear.

Sketches for this week:

Some extra photos…

I kind of like the V-formation idea.  I think it could be interesting, if done well.

The parfait glass…

The parfait glass

Also, I have these (below) that I think are kind of fun and cool.  I don’t think it would work well to use square jars with round, but Hobby Lobby has plenty more and they could be done in a group or individually.

Also, in regards to backgrounds, I’ve been waffling around a bit.  I think for the colored items, light/white would be best, but with the clear glass I rather like the dark background with light edges.  I’d also like to play around a bit with creating stripes with white/black cards and see how it looks.

Monochrome Technical Info

Onward we go, to the technical aspects of the monochrome assignment.

This one was tricky.  The idea of how we were meant to execute it somehow seemed to stick in the brain more than the previous assignment, probably because it was new and slightly trickier.  It took longer to figure out the theory behind it, and then there were questions to be asked whenever a teacher strolled through the room, things to wrap the brain around, getting the setup right, trying to get the angles of the lights “correct”, making sure everything was focused in camera, double checking everything.  I was the first person to shoot this assignment in my two-person group, and being first always takes a little longer, but it took quite a while longer this time.  I think it was that way for a lot of people.

But, in the end, all was well!  Hooray!  The time finally arrived, I pulled the slide, shot the picture (plus bracketed photos), put the slide back in, and then hauled the film off to be developed.  I was so relieved to pick it up and find pictures on my film.  This was not an assignment I wanted to reshoot.

Tech Specs:

  • Camera and Lens: 4×5 Calumet view camera, 8in/210mm lens
  • Film: 4×5 Fujifilm Provia 100F, Daylight, ISO 100 (chrome film)
  • Exposure Factor: 2 (1 stop over for normal exposure)
  • Exposure Info: ISO 100 (film and lightmeter), F/16 @ 1/125.  The yarn ball and background were right at a half stop in difference.

Here’s a picture of the general setup:

What my picture was supposed to look like:

And my beautiful, actual piece of film!  (again, sorry about the rubbish way of showing it to you…I’ll try and ask/figure a better way to show them off)

I just noticed how horribly yellow/green my picture is…oh well.  Anyway, that’s all for now.  Hope you guys enjoy.