Monday, March 2, 2009

Apple Preserved

You may recall last month that I was scouring the thrift stores looking for a wide mouth canning jar, or fruit jar as we called them in North Texas. My search was fruitjarless. Today I decided to purchase coffee beans rather than ground coffee and was looking for the coffee grinder that has not been used in some years. I thought it would be on the top shelf in the kitchen cabinet, but like my fruit jar search, the top shelf yielded no coffee grinder. However, it did yield two wide mouth fruit jars, either would have been suitable for the pear photo that I wanted to do last month. Having no pears and only one Granny Smith Apple left I decided to get my "three" with glass bottles.

I had a very difficult time getting this set up. Actually it required moving the lights several times and playing with combinations of white cloth, black cloth and a reflector. Not saying that I am happy as a lark, I am happy enough to stop here. The tent frame was covered with black cloth except for about a 9 inch slit on the camera right and about 18 inches in front to allow the camera and a reflector on camera left. This is not exactly what I was hoping for but it will work.

Jan, this is the full frame out of camera shot for comparison.


  1. Gary, I am very envious of your capability with lighting. You have produced some really gorgeous still life with beautiful lighting effects. I'm wondering if the darker and lighter areas were created from your lighting set up, or during processing after this shot was taken?

  2. Jan, thank you for the compliment on the lighting. I started with the lighting on top and worked over to the side before I liked what I was getting. I have posted the out of camera image because you ask about the lighting or processing. It was a little of both but mostly in processing just enhancing the lighting.

    At the top of the OOC you can see my PVC frame and the large paper clips that I use to attach the background and diffusing materials to the frame. Yes I know, I live in the cheap seats and can do things like this and leave it in place as long as I want. When finished the frame folds flat and goes in the closet. You can see that I have white nylon stretched across the top for a diffuser. I also had nylon stretched on the camera right side to diffuse the side lighting. The shadow on top is black cloth that I use on the frame as a gobo (go between, something to block light). Here I am using it draped over the side to keep light off of the background. There is only about a nine or ten inch slit on the right that the light is passing through. The shadow on the foreground is from a 9x12 manila envelope I had laying near by. I supported it with an alligator clamp to block the bright light on the foreground.

    As far as processing, it was mostly removing lint from the background material (dark green flannel) and dust specks on the glassware. I believe that I did darken much of the background and foreground in addition to the shadows that were already there and I did lighten the apple as a last step. There were a number of small reflection on the glassware, especially the canning jar that I did clone out in processing.

    Hope this answers the questions.

    And thanks for the Newletter. It looks like the lighting session is similar to what I mentioned to Debbie. I would really like to do that but I am not sure how many of the team members are interested in flash. It sounds like a great club but with the situation I do good to get to NWHPC once a month. It is really difficult to get Janet to behave through a full meeting and I have had to leave early a couple of times.