Clay Pot Still Life Photo

These pots live on a shelf above our fireplace and television. I’ve always liked them for their smooth shapes and thought it’d be fun to photograph them in some way. I decided simple was the way to go. Their smooth texture is contrasted nicely against the rough finish of a concrete wall and distressed plank. Shot on Efke 25 black and white film, developed in Kodak TMax developer.


Flowers are a common photography subject. Overdone, really. But that’s not going to stop me from shooting and sharing my shots of them. From a photographer’s perspective, they’re actually great subjects to shoot. They’re vibrant. They’ve got texture. Their petals, stems and leaves create challenging shadows, much like a human face.

Flowers make great practice in any kind of studio or available light situation.

I took this quite a number of months ago; I’ve just never shared it. I revved up the blacks to create mood and provide focus on the brilliant yellow sunflower, a flower that just might become my favorite.

Shot with Canon 40D, 17mm T/S lens (sweet!), off camera flash stuck in a shoot-through umbrella at camera left and a bit behind the flower.

An Opportunity

Ooooh. Tomatoes and peppers. Nice.

My wife and I made our first foray into vegetable gardening this summer. We’ve a few successes, some close failures and some unexpected guests. Last night, I picked a couple of peppers and some tomatoes that had ripened on the vine. We were excited, the boys ooohed and aaahed at what our garden had produced, and we immediately planned the next day’s meal around our little crop.

As I was showing them to our boys, I couldn’t help but think that they’d be fun to photograph. Bright, colorful and fun little stems that added a bit of jab to otherwise rotund shapes.

In our basement is what I call my man room/Manclave/man cave/relegated space. There, surrounded by foundation walls, paralaxed floor joists streaming over my head, exposed Romex and the hum of the air handler is Keith’s space. My computer is there, my books are there and my little piece mealed, mostly DIY studio is there comprised of pieces and parts I ingeniously threw together. It is where I go and experience my stuck-ed-ness, get stymied, throw massive fits of stubbornness. And where I waste time.

As mentioned in my previous post, I am working to rectify those issues. So last night, after everyone was tucked into bed, I headed down to the Manclave. With garden crop, Windex, water sprayer and paper towels in hand, I began to make some photographs of the peppers and tomatoes.

I did something. I decided not to be stuck. Not to get stymied. I got over my stubborn self and I didn’t waste time. Photographs of peppers and tomatoes…not the most unique of subjects, I freely admit. The point is that I have made the most massive of mistakes by not trying for far too long. Not making an effort. Not DOING anything. So I did something.

And I had a blast.

And I learned more than can be expressed here.

Thank you for the read and thank you for the look.

Below are a few of the photos from last night’s garden shoot, and here are what many might consider the boring details:

One Canon 420EX fired into white seamless (made from scraps of roll paper!), a 32” diffuser to help spread the backlit scene further and two pieces of scrap foam board. One, on the right, is a DIY silver reflector. It has aluminum foil adhered to one side and added a bit of sparkle, especially to the water droplets. Black foam core directly on the table with freshly-Windexed plexi on top for the reflections. The setup shot is included below.

Canon 40D, some with my 24-70mm f/2,8 and some with my 50mm f/1.8. All in Manual mode with various f-stops and shutter speeds for depth of field effects and light intensity control. The 420EX was triggered by on-camera 550EX, E-TTL, also with various flash compensation adjustments to control light intensity.