Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Morning of Table Top Photography...




I often talk about the 21st Century Photography Group that I formed almost six years ago.

I also belong to the Lowcountry Photo Club.

Today Doug DeLong, its founder, set up a series of props and devices so we could experiment with set-ups.

What a fun and interesting morning spent among fellow photographers.

And some lady photographers.

Doug brough small canisters of water-soluble paints and encouraged us to mix 'em, make them run, hit them with blasts of air and have as much fun as kids with finger paints. So, we did.

Andy Reilly set up wine glasses filled with water and hung colored poster board on the wall behind.

We saw how, optically, the red and blue was transposed when seen through the prism of the glasses.

(I'm an English major so my science and physics terminology may be jumbled but the colors switched sides.)

The Photo Club had done this exercise before but it was a first - and enthralling - time for me and my non-SLR camera.

Around the large room in the Community Center in North Charleston - a block off Park Circle - people were snapping pictures of water drops at 1/2000 of a second, being creative with Halloween and Christmas decorations and using a light table to illuminate objects from below.

I used the occasion to experiment with using a flash off my camera.

It was triggered by the built-in small flash on my Canon sx260.

By adjusting the settings, I could make my camera flash be the main (key) light or, making it weaker, use the unattached flash as the key light.

The extra flash has been used by me in the past and the results were not good. It overpowered and just washed out all details.

Today, I became more comfortable using it as the key or as a fill light.

It helped that 12 others could make suggestions, hold a light for me or attach it to some of the stands that were scattered around the room.

Yes, I used a skeleton hand as a prop for the shot of Andy, my patient friend from Scotland.

A large aquarium was being used to catch the splash as a plastic ice cube and other objects were dropped.

Many times the camera caught the cube just before it entered the water.

Or, a split second later, AFTER it had hit the surface and was headed to the bottom.

I suggested it be dropped slower.

Well, gravity won that exchange and more drops were tried.

A few minutes later, success was made by a fist being pounded down into the tank and the camera recorded the bubbles attached around the fist descending.

They were able to slow the hand because gravity did not control the speed now.

I kept wandering back to the holiday props provided for the Table Top morning.

A cooperative Jeff Duke gave an appropriate reaction to a spooky ghost hand hovering near him.

As I said, it was a repeat of a successful photo set-up day.

I applaud Doug who has a trailer to haul these props, tripods, background stands, strobe lights, soft boxes and even an IV bag.

It would dispense drips of water to be shot making forms when they splashed in a pan.

As I was leaving, I saw a North Charleston Fire Station was next door. It had a statue of a black & white Dalmatian out front so I stopped to take a picture.

A fireman happened to step out and waved.

I went over to thank them for having the iconic statue.

He smiled when I said "the only thing missing is the fire truck rolling out the door."

"We're leaving for a routine run in a minute or two if you have time to stick around."

 Well, yes, I did and they did and I like the shot.

It never hurts to ask, I have found.

You never know.

(Click on the photo for more details.)

The station is on Jenkins Street if you want to go see the fire crew doggy mascot.

Thanks for spending a Saturday with me.

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