Un professional photography

Adventures in photography. I have taken a few seminars in photographing your own work. I decided to take the plunge this week, and photograph the headpiece to submit to a fiber show who’s deadline is this Friday, the 20th.

Maybe I could have taken the piece in to my photographer, Paul, yesterday and gotten the images back today so I could get the submission in the mail this afternoon or tomorrow morning at the latest. Probably what I should have done.

Yesterday I went to Canoga Camera. I got some backdrop paper to create a sweep in my dining room. I got some tungsten lights and clamp-on fixtures.

That makes it sound so simple, it was quite a more complicated matter:

first I had to clear off the small table to the side of the dining room. I cleared my clutter to the big dining room table, which it covers. (I need to do a major studio clean up. Stay tuned, that’s next on my agenda.)

The small table is one of those old jobs from the 1950’s that unfolds and expands to seat 10. It has something like four leaves in the closet. It belonged to my in-laws when they were first married. When I went to pull the legs out and unfold the top, I noticed that the leg I fixed back in the old house (18 years ago) was loose again. So I went out to the garage to get the wood glue and pipe clamps. The hack saw fell off the shelf, the blade came out, and the saw frame split in two. So I picked up the saw and put it back together and put it back on the shelf; this only took a minute or two.

This photo has nothing to do with anything. I put it here to give you something to look at in the middle of the story.
I put newspaper under the little table, which was now upside down on the dining room floor. The cap of the wood glue was clogged with dried glue because someone left it open the last time they used it. Hmm, who might that have been?? It took a half hour to dig all the dried glue out of the cap. Then I glued and clamped the table.

So while the glue on the small table needed to dry, I moved my 24″ table loom off the card table and moved that to the dining room for my photography set up.

But I still needed to get the light fixtures. Canoga Camera had some for $30 each, but I thought I could get them cheaper at Home Depot. The Home Depot at Fallbrook didn’t have any fixtures that could take the high wattage lights. I went to Lowes. They had the right fixtures, but only one was undamaged. The aluminum reflectors were all dented. So I bought one light and headed to OSH. They didn’t have the right fixtures.

I went to the other Home Depot on Valerio. They had the right fixtures and they were all dented. There was an employee helping me. He was kind of asking “why do they have to be undented?” I said I just didn’t want to buy something that was already damaged when I bought it. I took the least dented one and started to head for the register, intending to ask for a discount. So the Home Depot guy says, “I’ll just give you this.” He was the manager, and he comped me the light. Pretty cool

By this time, it was almost 4:00. I stopped at Jim’s Fallbrook Market to get something to make for dinner. I had left the house at about 2:00 to get the fixtures. If I had just paid for the fixtures at Canoga Camera on Monday morning, I’m thinking by now, I would already have my photos done. How much time had it cost me trying to save $30?

Since the wood glue had so much time to set, I put the card table back in the living room, and made my set up on the small expandable table.

I’d like to say something about Paul, my photographer. I love Paul. He does a fabulous job. His photos are freaking fantastic. I really started getting into juried shows when he started doing my photos. I just want to be able to take my own photos for times when I need a very quick turn around. Like this week when I have a submission that needs to be in Camarillo by Friday. Camarillo is like a 20 minute drive. I coulda taken the piece in on Monday, and paid for four views.

Ok, so I got my backdrop set up, I got the cheap fixtures. And boy, are these fixtures cheap – downright flimsy. They don’t even have switches; you plug them in to turn them on. As I was setting things up on the backs of a ladder and a chair, I was thinking, this is why I pay Paul.

But, I got it all set up, I cleaned my cameral lens with my brand new lense cleaning kit, I screwed the camera onto the tripod, I covered my head form to hold the headpiece, I adjusted the camera, and shot my images.

And, well, this is why I pay Paul.






I guess tomorrow I’ll be on the back porch in the morning. Maybe I’ll get the submission in the mail by the afternoon. If not, Camarillo is still just a 20 minute drive.


1 comment so far

  1. Notes from Nicki on

    Just take that photo into Photoshop Elements…in a few minutes it will be beautiful!

    Is that the grey back drop that Daryl talked about? If it is, your lights are reflecting oddly -perhaps change the angle.

    Good luck!

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