Tuesday, September 9

Maybe I'm so cold today because my reflections are POLARized-get it?

I don't think I've put these up yet-if I have, then you get to see them twice. This handled pot is one of the only ones that came out okay.

I am reading a book my father Dennis sent me. It is called Light, Science and Magic and is by Fil Hunter, Steven Biver and Paul Fuqua. It's a great book, and if you are interested in learning to photograph your own pots, then this book will likely improve your photos and the ease with which you can make them happen; I know it has already helped me a lot and I have much more still to read.

I learned an interesting thing this morning. I have been having a really difficult time photographing my black pots, like the one above. They look washed out and really difficult to control the reflections on them. Well, I think I now know why, and what I can do about it. I can't possibly explain what I have read thus far, but enough to say that there are several different kinds of light, and, interestingly enough, different types of reflections, and different ways to control them. I think the reflection I am getting off my black glaze is a polarized reflection-which is why I can't make it go away. Now, a far better photographer than myself might be able to deal with this differently-or they might do the same. What I might have to do is to put a polarizing filter over my lens and if it is indeed the type of reflection I am getting, it should solve the problem. It won't help if I am wrong-it will only solve polarized reflection issues . . . but . . . this next thing is fascinating.

You can create polarized reflections by polarizing your lightsource. For example, if I have a direct reflection on a pot, a polarized filter will not change it. However, if I were to put a polarized film over my light, the reflections the light created would then be polarized, and would then be able to be controlled by a polarized filter over my camera lens. I don't know why I would ever do that, but it is cool to know and understand. Knowledge is power!


Michael Kline said...

I know a photographer who does the polarizing thing. It's pretty cool. You can look through the view finder, turn the filter on the camera until the glare is minimized. Another thing I find as I use a black to white graduated vinyl sheet is the reflection off of the white end on the pots and how that grays ot the glaze surface. I'll have to check out the book, and get a new camera. What do you use?

Linda Starr said...

Hi Deborah, your photos and your pots look great. Reading the title to the book makes me think it's complicated and right now I am in a mood where I wish everything was uncomplicated - perhaps because it's late in the evening. I love book referrals so I'm going to check it out. What kind of camera do you have? I just have a sony digital - didn't even know I could get a filter for it - perhaps I can. I used to use a 35 mm, but it broke and I went to digital.

Deborah Woods said...

I used to have a 35 mm film SLR, and I do remember turning the filter until you got what you wanted. I know what you mean about the reflection from the white, which by the way from what I am learning, might be called a diffuse reflection. My issue with that, is not the reflection on the pots, but with how bright it can look towards the bottom of the photo. I solve this currently by dropping my backdrop down low and placing my pot as high up towards the back as I can. Once I understand light placement really well I bet that won't be neccessary though.

I just use a Cannon Elp digital. I wouldn't be able to attach a filter directly to the camera, I would have to either tape it in place, or rig something up to hold it in front of the camera. I'm the queen of rigging-my lights are shop lights duck-taped to camera stands. You can buy polarizing filter by the foot on-line, so I can get some and cut a piece for my camera, and some for my lights if I want.

Judy Shreve said...

I'm awake this morning I just put comments on the wrong blog entry. Oh well.