Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Slotted Spoon

For some time now I've been thinking of a new photographic series. I take these on every now and then -- sometimes they work out, most often not. I tend to try and learn something along the way ... pick a concept, figure out a unique approach to it, then take a weakness of mine and apply it in the mix. This time it's selective lighting -- something I really want to learn more about and experiment with. My floral macro series was all about large volumes of light and shape and form. This one will be about selective light, colored light, still abstracting though. The photo above is a common kitchen slotted spoon -- blue gelled light from below shooting through the slots, a piece of foam core above reflecting the light passing through back down on the stainless steel. Final specs were: 1/180 sec at f/22, ISO 200, 85mm. Not sure how this project will turn out, but on a rainy day it's been a fun exercise. More to come.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Macro Flowers

I've been shooting images similar to the one above for several years now. As a graphics person, these types of images appeal to me -- getting in close, abstracting color and form, soft focus. The photographer who really got me into this type of work is Mark Johnson and his book Botanical Dreaming. Mark is from Boulder, Colorado, and if you watch the news you know what's going on in Boulder. I share with you now an excerpt from his email to followers of his blog. I think many of us can relate.

Hello my friends, 
In the wake of the major floods here in Northern Colorado, many of you have sent notes asking how my family is doing. Thank you. Like so many others, we’re bailing out from multiple levels of water and sewer damage right now, but given the extent of the disaster, we feel very fortunate to be alive. My heart goes out to those who have lost more than their homes and possessions. 
Although I will do my best to continue producing the Photoshop Workbench and corresponding in the coming weeks/months, it’s hard to know what lies ahead. I appreciate your patience while I regroup. If you would like to offer assistance, what would help most at this time is having you stop by my Store to make a purchase. To provide assistance to others in desperate need in Colorado, please consider donating to the Red Cross. 
I truly appreciate your concern, patience, and prayers!  

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Schuenke Family Portrait -- Original

Doug asked about seeing the original of the family portrait I posted last week, and here it is. As you can see, elminiating light from the capture really helped with the oxidized areas in the shadows. In postprocessing I retouched out all flaws and scratches and darkened down the areas that had the grey-ish colors in the shadows. Considering the age of the photo, I thought the overall quality of the image was very good. This is a large print, probably 11x14, mounted on some sort of dark grey board. Finals of the reproduction shot were: 1 sec, f/11, 85mm, with a tripod.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Schuenke Family Portrait

Disclaimer: I did not take the photo above.
But I've seen it my entire life. When I was a little boy it hung in my grandmother's house in Wisconsin. As a young man it hung in my mother's house in Galveston. I would guess the photo was taken between 1900 and 1910. And seeing as it's been through some rough times, I figured it would be a good idea to get it out of its frame and digitize it to preserve this Schuenke family portrait. I love looking at old photos. And this one is particularly interesting -- not too many smiles 100+ years ago. They are a pretty stoic bunch. My first thought was to put it on a flatbed scanner and make a really good high res scan. But the silver oxidation was bad enough that the light from the scanner created massive problems -- a retouching nightmare. My next idea was to photograph the print with a digital camera using a tripod in a dimly lit room -- no lights, no reflections. And that seemed to work pretty well. There were still some reflections and some silver residue here and there, but not nearly as bad as a traditional scan ... and pretty easy to clean up with Photoshop. Thought I'd share this on my blog. Interesting to see how photography and especially portrait photography has changed in the last 100 years.