09.19/In the kitchen

Featured for September: Project for a winter day

It’s easy to explain the creative spark that resulted in the photos in this gallery.

It was boredom.

Snow and frigid cold had me stuck inside for a few days when I would have preferred hiking through area parks chasing wildlife photos. I decided to set up some lighting in the basement and do some macro (close-up) photography, but I was struggling to come up with a subject. During previous winters I had photographed a violin and completed a project on board games. But nothing grabbed my attention. So I gave up and grabbed some yogurt for lunch.

I opened a drawer to get a spoon and — eureka! — I had my subject: kitchen utensils.

I spent the remainder of the day photographing knifes and forks. 

Reflective objects like kitchen utensils are tricky to photograph. It’s like photographing odd-shaped mirrors. Lighting had to be positioned in a way to show details without glare. And I had to be careful with the camera position to avoid showing the camera — and the photographer — in the reflection.

But it made for a fun afternoon. 

I worked on high-key shots (light-toned objects against a bright white background) and low-key shots (backlit objects against a black background, emphasizing shadows). This forced me to spend time on lighting setups, positioning the combination of four lights and various reflectors in ways to create either shadowless high-key images or to cast interesting shadows in low-key images.

It’s a project that kept me busy for a day until the weather improved.

I add a new featured gallery the first of each month. Last month’s featured gallery, with photos of the Brooklyn Bridge, has been moved to my featured gallery archives

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