Into the light

My studio photography efforts have been disappointing me lately. I can’t seem to get the crisp, vibrant images I used to get, and it has been almost giving me a complex. I’m an experienced photographer and I know how to use my equipment, so why is every image coming out muddy and fuzzy?

Today was one of the nicest spring days we’ve had yet, so I hauled my tripod and photo cube out into the back yard and set them up under the mother of all studio lights, the sun. I grabbed a few things off my desk just for giggles, not intending to create any kind of art but rather just to see whether my camera and I are still capable of producing the kind of results of which I can feel proud.

Fortunately for my peace of mind, we can. The problem in my studio is simply inadequate lighting that necessitates really long (1-second or longer) exposures to compensate for the small aperture I need to achieve sufficient depth of field. In the sunlight, no worries—I could stop it all the way down and still shoot at 1/250th. So I fooled around a bit and came up with several shots that restore my faith in both my camera and my eye by achieving the objectives I wanted: clarity and vibrancy.

Click on any image to see a larger version.

First, a set of mini Sharpie markers.

I love the intensity of the colors.

I also shot several other small items that aren’t worth posting here, then decided to move on to see what I could find in my garden (such as it is).


A single tendril of this year’s edition of my unkillable clematis vine establishes a firm grip on the trellis.


I can’t stand the damned things, everywhere in my yard. But they are kind of pretty at this stage, I have to admit.

And last but not least, I had to take some close-ups of the dogs. Rudy was the star of the show today; Reggie just wouldn’t hold still long enough to get a great shot.





Next week, I’ll head out to the camera store to see what I can do to brighten up my studio, short of installing skylights.


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