"Colour has always had something secretive about it that is difficult to grasp. This mysterious quality penetrates the mind. The colours are the most irrational elements in painting." Paul Klee

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


OK, here is what had to happen to make yesterday's image.
I wanted the background to be wood maybe like a barn or a shed. Fortunately a neighbor took apart what looks like an old dresser and put the boards on the curbside for trash pickup. I grabbed several planks. This was about a month ago. I cut the planks to a working size, cut some 1 bys and nailed those together.
Vintage wooden background resting on shooting table held in place with a c-stand.

The night before I worked out the arrangement on paper. It never comes out
exactly but it's a great way to create a path to follow. 
Here's the set-up. There's just one light, the 300watt fresnel on the left side. Because of the low ISO the light coming from the blinds is neglible. There's a sheet of Lee 250 diffusion hanging on another c-stand. This is spreading the light over the entire set. There's a small piece of tape on
the fourth plank down left - this marks center frame.

              I've highlighted the fresnel here. The barn doors are squared off to prevent spillage.

On the right side is a 24"x36" white foamcore sprayed with several stripes of gold paint to
add just a hint of warmth. There's a 10x36 reflector with Rosco silver to give it a front pop. 
The only issue I had with exposure is the egg beater being silver was overexposing so
I gave it a healthy spraying of Aqua-Net hair spray to cut the reflection. If you look
closely there's a red push pin at the top plank with twine running across to the left side.
This marks the top of the frame.  

And viola!! ----

Camera: Nikon D7000 with the 50mm lens filter removed. Camera on a tripod set to Mirror-Up. Shutter tripped with cable release. Camera in manual - I played around with settings and came up with ISO 250 @ f5, ss 1/13th. Picture mode was neutral  in order to open up shadows. Post production - image was desaturaed in Alien Skin and then color restored with Vibrance all the way to the right 100%. By desaturating I preserved a lot of detail in the shadows. I also burned in a little local vignetting. White balance was set to auto.

An aside for cinephiles- the red glass jar in the bottom left of frame is a nod to the Japanese
film director Ozu. If you're familiar with his work you'll recognize the tribute.

The actual set up and shoot took about two hours. And the organic carrots made a great snack.

Thanks for stopping by.

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