Friday, May 21, 2010

Sunlight Photography

Last week I ordered new  photography background paper.  It came yesterday and I set it up and took a few photos.  The light setup I have is good in some ways, awful in others.  I have sunlight bulbs in the lamps, however, they shine something fierce on the pots and make them appear to have eyes (click here to see what I mean.)    I got some excellent advice from the Etsy Mud Team about what to do about that glare and this weekend I am going to try to find some frosted acrylic flexible sheets.  However, I thought I would take the paper and a few items outside and play with natural light. 

On my back porch there is quite a bit of shade, so I quickly set the paper out and weighed it down so it would not blow away and started taking photos.  I started out with some beads. I usually place these under plain white paper or on the cement itself, but I thought I would see how they look on top of the photo paper.

This is a pot I threw near the middle of the semester of ceramics.  Throwing bigger requires considerably more hand dexterity. I had trouble keeping my hands matched together on the inside and outside of the pot.  One hand invariably would travel a bit more horizontally past the other and create this lopsided look.

Also this semester, I experimented with a variety of dips.  This has three dips on it.  First I dipped a third of it into a High Iron Shino, next I dipped another third into Ginny's Rutile, and the last third I dipped into a glaze our studio calls Rob's Green.  It makes for six different glazes combinations, over and under.  Of course, with all shinos, it is best to always put them under everything else.  I have learned this the hard way.

When I looked at this last photo of this pot, I was a bit taken aback at the side shadow that appeared.  I did not use a flash.  I suppose the sun must have peeked out of the clouds and caused this side shadow.  These two photos were snapped no more than a minute apart  under the same exact light conditions.  I suppose even outside poses its own set of problems.

This particular pot was glazed with an Iron Shino glaze for the first dip, and then I dipped the top into a red Peach Bloom glaze and let it run.

One of the long time potters in my ceramics class has been after me to work on my rims when I am throwing them on the wheel.  She knows that by the time I get to the top of the pot I am tired and just want to be done with it.  So this is the pot I decided to really work on the rim a bit more.  It is easy to see the difference between this pot and the pot directly above. Thank you, Linda!!! :)

I could work on the pots at home, by myself, alone, in my studio and perhaps eventually muddle my way through entire processes.  It is wonderful, however, to work in a ceramics studio near other potters who will force me to take a good hard look at what I'm doing and who push me to not get lazy with the clay.   I can't say enough nice things about the folks I have met in pottery class. They're the best!   I learned a lot this semester! I hope to take again in the fall.

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