Mini Still Life

Side-lit, the decoration on a bobby pin takes on lots of shine

Side-lit, the decoration on a bobby pin takes on lots of shine

Here I am on a Tuesday night.  It’s Chinese take out night.  We’ve gotten our food, returned home, eaten (sans fortune cookies because I forgot to grab some on the way out and they never put them in the bag at this place), and it’s theoretically time to unwind and relax for the rest of the evening.

This, of course, translates to “time to write my blog” for me.  And, the realization that I have no pictures from the weekend causes me to scratch my head.  I ponder what I can possibly do for a photographic experiment tonight.  I decide to try something I’ve never tried before:  macro with flash.

But now, I need something to shoot.  Something small.  Really small.

The snoot produces less sparkle

The snoot produces less sparkle

My eyes fall on the fluffy area rug in the living room.  It has lots of great texture, but I want something shiny with the flash.

I end up digging a couple of bobby pins out of my jewelry box and positioning them with some black glass beads on the carpet.  I find a hand-shaped hair-dryer diffuser and decide it will add some background color.

Laid back view of the flower--not as sharp at this angle

Laid back view of the flower–not as sharp at this angle

I start with a snoot on the flash to see what happens when I use it to direct the light onto the subject (a snoot is like a narrow tube around the flash).  After shooting with a snoot for a while, I decide the light looks flat and I should try bouncing the flash off of something instead. The trouble is, what to bounce it off of?  I’m in the middle of a large room shooting something that’s about a half an inch wide.

Straight on with the snoot has the least sparkle

Straight on with the snoot has the least sparkle

I pull out my mini reflector and position my tripod in such a way that I can get it to stand up.  I’m so proud of myself, I have to take a picture of my setup.  This gives me the opportunity to practice iPhone photography in the same shoot!

I’m over-the-top-excited now.  I use the new app I downloaded yesterday, Camera+, and try to make use of the levels on the screen to get something reasonably straight.  I don’t know how to tell if I succeeded or not from all the angles in the image, however.

My setup for the side-lit image at the top

My setup for the side-lit image at the top

As you may be able to tell, my DSLR has 3 extension tubes on it in addition to the 100mm macro lens.  I’ve got the flash swiveled to the right to bounce off the reflector hanging on the tripod.  For those of you who don’t care about the setup, can you find the subject of the other images? Pretty small, huh?

I had a lot of fun with this.  I don’t know exactly why I find this fun, but I do.  However, Tisen wasn’t so amused by my shenanigans.  At one point, I had my tripod with the legs stretched out flat on the floor, he came over and laid on top of one of the legs.  Maybe he was just trying to help?

A blurry Tisen with a stuck lip--a sure sign he jerked his head up from a cat nap

A blurry Tisen with a stuck lip–a sure sign he jerked his head up from a cat nap

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2 responses to “Mini Still Life

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