My girlfriend, Emily, is very supportive of my desire to learn product photography. Whenever she buys anything new, she leaves it in the box for a couple days to give me first crack at photographing it before it gets used. She picked up a new stick of hydrating lip color this afternoon, and I jumped at the opportunity to practice my lighting skills. I was pleased with the finished result, and I was feeling pretty good about myself until I brought up the Origins website to get more information about the product. My heart sank a bit when I saw that my photo looked a lot like the one featured on the Origins website. I suppose it’s good that I’m creating work similar to the photographers I admire, but this is an excellent reminder that I need to push myself by being more imaginative. Finding my voice will be my biggest, and most fulfilling, challenge.
I loved playing with LEGOs during my childhood. I owned a small bucket containing pieces from various sets. I never built anything pictured on the packages. Instead, I let my imagination run wild and constructed hand guns, swords and space ships. It was a great surprise walking through the Walnut Creek Container Store a few days ago and finding an entire selection of LEGO-inspired storage boxes. I purchased a small one for a little more than $5. I think I’ll keep my elongated souvenir pennies inside.
I took another swing at photographing a pair of sunglasses. As I mentioned before, my prior attempts have been kind of crappy. Slowly, I am starting to improve, and I feel like I am incorporating more of my vision with each attempt. Accounting for unwanted reflections is one of the most challenging tasks while taking pictures of sunglasses. I have captured many frames where a reflection of my ceiling fan, television set or even me holding a camera appeared in the lenses. This morning, I was determined to eliminate all unwanted reflections. I transformed my kitchen dining area into a miniature photography studio complete with black Plexiglas, velvet and lots of particleboard. It resembled a makeshift fort from my childhood. I am not suggesting that this the best way to go, or that it’s even necessary, but it is a lot of fun trying to think my way through the challenge. Please let me know if you know of an easier way. I would be very interested to learn.
For as long as I can remember, I have always admired the beauty of wine. Not only does it have a magnificent visual quality, I also love the story of how it is made and its unique relationship with the Earth. I am looking forward to spending much of my free time learning to photograph this timeless beverage. I know it won’t be easy finding a unique way of capturing its character. I am excited about the challenge and I am looking forward to my many visits to Livermore and the Napa Valley. I should mention that the wine glass in this practice photograph contains cranberry juice. This bottle of wine was a Christmas gift from my boss and want to share it for a special occasion.
Happy Easter! I always look forward to this holiday because it brings my family a lot of joy. In addition to reflecting upon the true meaning of Easter, we have a tradition of giving each other the gift of sweets. This year was no exception. After today, we have enough chocolate to carry us though the rest of the year.
Wandering through downtown Berkeley is one of my favorite ways to pass a quiet weekend afternoon. While on Shattuck, I never miss an opportunity to visit Games of Berkeley. Not only does it offer all the games you could ever want, it is also filled with a variety of nicknacks and interesting toys – great stuff to photograph. Yesterday, I picked up two pink-colored miniature squirt guns. My idea was to fill them up with water, fire in opposing directions and hope that the streams collide in mid-air.
Photographing bubbles is not an original idea, but I enjoy every opportunity to create frames of these beautiful, evanescent objects. My past attempts have not been very successful. Not only was it challenging to focus on falling bubbles, but also I was unable to achieve a pleasing lighting balance until last night. I have always liked bubbles ever since I was a child. When blowing dozens of bubbles into the air, it appears at first as if they all look the same. One thing I learned through multiple attempts at photographing them is that every bubble is unique. Like a snowflake, or even a fingerprint, bubbles are one of a kind, and they disappear almost as quickly as they are formed.
I got to see Maria Sharapova play tennis last summer when she competed in the Bank of the West Classic in Palo Alto. I’ve been a fan of hers ever since. Her game is outstanding, and despite her sometimes icy demeanor, I have a lot of respect for her on-court determination and business acumen. Earlier this year, she launched her own candy brand, Sugarpova, which is gaining popularity and causing cavities across the world. The candy is a lot of fun, and I look forward to buying more bags in the future. Last Friday night, while walking through Fisherman’s Wharf, I saw these lemon-lime gumballs and couldn’t wait to photograph them. Maria, if you ever read this photo blog, great idea on the tennis ball-shaped candy, and smile more on the court.
Shopping for kitchen items and household goods was never an interest of mine, but that changed when I started learning about studio photography. Now, I spend much of my free time wandering through shops like Crate & Barrel or Sur La Table in search of shiny and colorful culinary accessories that might be interesting to photograph. Normal people envision how these items will make their lives easier in the kitchen. I, on the other hand, envision placing it on a piece of frosted plexiglass and taking pictures of it using a macro lens. Admittedly, I got a little carried away with my first few purchases. I have in my possession a stainless steel egg topper I never use and a sand timer that has not seen the light of day. I recently enacted a rule that I cannot buy anything that costs more than $5, and if it does, it has to be something I will use often in the future. On Friday, I found this colorful set of smoothie straws at Crate & Barrel and it was too pretty to pass. I have a problem.