Sunday, March 27, 2011

More Glass

And my Lemon Drop shot revisited. I used the same setup as in the previous post, and tilted the camera to give more movement to the image. I don't like the splash as much as the last one, but I have several ideas how to make it even better next time...

Saturday, March 26, 2011


A little more experimenting with dark field lighting of glass. Greatly inspired by Light, Science and Magic - one of my favourite technical photography books.

I will post a setup shot for this image on my Flickr page.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Violet Jelly

I have been doing some photographs to illustrate a magazine article on violet jelly that Maggie is currently writing. I enjoy food photography, and this afternoon's session was most interesting and educational :)

The lighting for these images was a large north-facing window camera left, and a couple of reflectors camera right for fill.

Monday, March 14, 2011


I took this portrait at the fibre show on Saturday, just to finish off the roll of film :) I think it worked pretty well!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hotpot 2

[Part One]

In this installment, I'm going to show you the basic ingredients for hot pot, or at least some of the more "exotic" items that you'll have to get at your local Asian supermarket. Please feel free to download the pictures to use as a shopping list if you like.

First, the ingredients that go to make your sauce in your bowl:

Asian Barbecue Sauce. This is a fish-based mild BBQ sauce.

Black Bean Garlic Sauce. Another very mild sauce.

Ground Chili Paste. Be warned: this one is HOT!!

Soy Sauce. We got this brand because of the handy dispenser bottle, but there are better ones on the market.

Sesame Oil.

Here are some of the sauce fixin's with some ingredients that go into the broth. Eggs - the yolk goes into the sauce, the white can be cooked in the broth. Scallions (green onions), chopped up can go either in the  sauce or into the broth. Napa cabbage (on the right) gets popped into the broth.

The next items are cooked in the broth:

Fish Cake. There are several kinds available.

Shrimp Balls.

Cuttlefish Balls.

Noodles. Almost any type of noodle can be used - we like to use these yam noodles, which come in little bundles, and are very easy to pick up with chopsticks.

Shabu-shabu beef. This is very thinly-sliced tender beef that cooks in under a minute. Shabu-shabu (しゃぶしゃぶ) is the name given to a Japanese version of hotpot, it translates as "swish swish", replicating the sound made by the broth in the pot.

Shrimps. The larger the better, and the more the merrier!

These are just a few of the huge range of goodies that can go into hot pot. Regional and seasonal variations, and personal preferences can all decide what makes up this wonderful dish.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Water Play

I had a bit of fun this afternoon with my Stop Shot and IR gate. I need to practice a bit, but I'm fairly happy with these shots:

There's an annotated picture of my setup on Flickr, if you're interested :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Music on Vinyl, Pictures on Film

We had an analogue-fest yesterday, at the Des Moines Music Collectors' Show. We had great fun, got some nice records (including Abbey Road, The Dark Side of the Moon, and The Táin (probably my favoutitest album ever)). And I got a few nice photos with the Leica. Here are the scans, totally unretouched:

There was a huge selection of records of all genres for sale...

...though some preferred digital distractions.

Leica M6 / Leitz Summicron 50mm f/2 / Kodak Tri-X / D-76
f/2 @ 1/30 sec.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Well, I got all the pics done that I needed to do, so I took a few minutes to play with macro, or close-up photography. The chip in this picture is less than 3mm (a good bit under 1/8") across.

If you're interested in how I got this shot, there's an annotated setup picture here on my Flickr.

And here's a shot at 1:1 magnification (on the sensor), with a U.S. quarter coin for scale:

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Power Organization

There's a little bit of spring cleaning going on in the studio. One of the most annoying aspects of my Strobist activities is that there's always batteries needing to be charged for cameras, flash units, and everything else. I counted seven power adaptors on my desk, for computer, phone, hard drives, plus a load of battery chargers. This was taking up way too much valuable real estate in my already cramped quarters.

My solution to this problem was to commandeer one shelf of my equipment store and make it into a "charging station". I fixed a power strip, the Maha charger's adaptor, and all unnecessary lengths of wiring under the shelf, leaving the top free for the charging units and batteries. This is what the underside of the shelf looks like:

The power strip is mounted onto a board (to keep wires from projecting too far down into the lower shelf space), the excess lengths of wiring are tucked in the plastic conduit, and the Maha power adaptor is secured with a Velcro strap. The output leads are fed through holes drilled in the shelf.
And the top looks like this:

So it is all neat and tidy. This arrangement also has the advantage that if I go on a road trip, or off on a long day's shoot, I can bring the entire shelf - everything is strapped or Velcro-ed in place.
The plastic battery boxes keep the same sets together, and contain flags of card, green on one side and red on the other, which indicate whether the batteries are charged or not. The flags also go into the Nikon battery covers, and my CF card cases to let me know whether a card is blank or not.

Now, as to the rest of the spring cleaning... I'll leave that to another day :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Twisted Yarn

Maggie's handspun art yarn is so photogenic! It has amazing shapes, colours and textures. I do my best to do it justice when making photographs for her Etsy shop. Here are a few images of one of her latest projects - enjoy!