A new glaze firing means lots of new pots to photograph. Out came my trusty PVC light box and off I went to take my photos. Despite the general wonderfulness of my light box design, I was having a hard time getting enough light on my pieces. Maybe it was the Kmart sheets, maybe the box is a tad too big. Anyhow, with a lot of noodling, I managed to get a few good photos but a bunch of the glazes were being difficult. In particular, Licorice Black, being a highly reflective surface (think a black mirror and you’ve got it), was having lots of fun tossing light around and messing with my best efforts at playing amateur photographer. Here was my best take at a Licorice Black bowl:
I managed to diffuse the lights but the resulting reflections makes me a bit dizzy. So I wrote my blog bud Gary, who recently discovered the lovely Licorice Black, and asked him how he manages to take such great photos of the highly reflective glaze. He told me that he made a light box out of a cardboard box, using tracing paper to diffuse a light on each side and the top. Ah hah! Tracing paper! “I got tracing paper!” I thought, but, I also thought “I really need to get a third light…maybe that will help some!”.
I figured I’d give it a go with what I had at hand. Instead of a box, I used Medalla Light crates (surprisingly, we’ve got plenty of those lying around…). Nick’s PVC frame came in mighty hand for attaching the clamp lights.
Note the inventive use of pottery to support the boxes… When I get a third light, I’ll likely clip the crates together. However, the nice thing about using the carton crates is the ability to independently adjust the angles on the lights. Well, in case you’re wondering, the Licorice Black is still giving me a hard time:
But, Gary’s paper idea is indeed giving me much better lighting for my other glazes. Here’s a photo I think came out quite well (my white background almost looks graduated!):
Thanks for the tip Gary! I guess I’ll continue to experiment with light angles and such. And, next trip to Home Depot I’ll be getting another shop lamp. But for now, I need to wait for our two camera batteries to recharge….boy do I want a new camera!