Failing a New Portraiture Challenge: Reflective Pottery
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desktop background image of pottery by Koji Kamata (鎌田幸二)  --  Pot a very, very valuable pot by Koji Kamada (鎌田幸二)  --  Kamada workshop (鎌田幸二の作業場)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/4, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos
Pot
a very, very valuable pot by Koji Kamada (鎌田幸二)
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Kyoto friend Zak Braverman was asked by his friend, pottery artisan Koji Kamada, to take photos of some recent pieces. Knowing I'm into photography, and of late trying to up my game on artificial lighting, Zak kindly invited me along.

Zak, Making Do framing tests before we break out the tripod  --  Kamada workshop (鎌田幸二の作業場)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/1000 sec, f/4, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos
Zak, Making Do
framing tests before we break out the tripod

I prepared everything I imagined I would need for, well, what I imagined I would be shooting, but upon arrival I quickly realized that my imagination differed significantly from reality, and we were totally unprepared. Specifically, I was unprepared for 1) the need for dark backgrounds instead of white, and 2) pottery that had direct reflections, like a mirror.

We ended up cobbling together the most incredible kludges to try to get some kind of reasonable lighting, all the while I could feel the authors of “Light — Science and Magic” rolling in their graves (which is all the worse because they're not even dead).

We (or, at least, I) failed miserably for the kind of shots that they were looking for, but I'll be much better prepared if I ever get a chance to do it again.

Still, some of the shots are nice enough for the lower standards here at Blog Chez Jeff, so here are a few from today, starting with a basketball-sized pot that costs more than my camera...

desktop background image of pottery by Koji Kamata (鎌田幸二)  --  Kamada workshop (鎌田幸二の作業場)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/2500 sec, f/1.4, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos
Vertical Desktop-Background Versions
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desktop background image of pottery by Koji Kamata (鎌田幸二)  --  Kamada workshop (鎌田幸二の作業場)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/100 sec, f/5.6, ISO 4000 — map & image datanearby photos
Desktop-Background Versions
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desktop background image of pottery by Koji Kamata (鎌田幸二)  --  Pot  --  Kamada workshop (鎌田幸二の作業場)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/10 sec, f/8, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Pot
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Now we move to a kouro, an incense burner (香炉)....

Incense Burner by Koji Kamada (鎌田幸二)  --  Kamada workshop (鎌田幸二の作業場)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 0.4 sec, f/11, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Incense Burner
by Koji Kamada (鎌田幸二)
Kamada workshop (鎌田幸二の作業場)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/250 sec, f/4, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos

The finish on Kamada-san's pots are incredibly detailed with artifacts of the production process (artifacts that are apparently the whole point of the production process). Photos don't do it justice, but here's some detail...

desktop background image of pottery by Koji Kamata (鎌田幸二)  --  Ever So Slightly Purple  --  Kamada workshop (鎌田幸二の作業場)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/30 sec, f/2.5, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Ever So Slightly Purple
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desktop background image of pottery by Koji Kamata (鎌田幸二)  --  Kamada workshop (鎌田幸二の作業場)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/500 sec, f/2.5, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Desktop-Background Versions
1280×800  ·  1680×1050  ·  1920×1200  ·  2560×1600  ·  2880×1800
Kamada workshop (鎌田幸二の作業場)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 @ 24mm — 1/60 sec, f/11, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos

Then we had two tea bowls, one for winter and a wider, more shallow bowl (that allows its liquid to cool more quickly) for summer. First summer...

Tea Bowl by Koji Kamada (鎌田幸二)  --  Kamada workshop (鎌田幸二の作業場)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/320 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Tea Bowl
by Koji Kamada (鎌田幸二)
desktop background image of pottery by Koji Kamata (鎌田幸二)  --  Kamada workshop (鎌田幸二の作業場)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/80 sec, f/11, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Desktop-Background Versions
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Showing Results to Mrs. Kamada  --  Kamada workshop (鎌田幸二の作業場)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/1000 sec, f/1.4, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Showing Results to Mrs. Kamada
Winter Tea Bowl  --  Kamada workshop (鎌田幸二の作業場)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/250 sec, f/2.5, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Winter Tea Bowl
Exquisite Detail  --  Kamada workshop (鎌田幸二の作業場)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/200 sec, f/4, ISO 4000 — map & image datanearby photos
Exquisite Detail
Soft @ f/2.5  --  Kamada workshop (鎌田幸二の作業場)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/250 sec, f/2.5, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Soft
@ f/2.5
Same Thing but @ f/22  --  Kamada workshop (鎌田幸二の作業場)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/4 sec, f/22, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Same Thing
but @ f/22
Hyper Detail for this macro, put the light directly to the side  --  Kamada workshop (鎌田幸二の作業場)  --  Kyoto, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 0.4 sec, f/11, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Hyper Detail
for this macro, put the light directly to the side

Update: Here are some of Zak's photos from the session.


All 5 comments so far, oldest first...

Wow! Very very nice pottery (and photos)! If I didn’t have a baby on the way and no job prospect in a few months, I would probably consider buying one 🙂

— comment by Nicolas on October 26th, 2012 at 9:27am JST (5 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Failure…. Hardly.

— comment by Dan on October 26th, 2012 at 11:38am JST (5 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Very cool photos!

Just a quick question- are you using the 10-24 wide angle in DX mode or are you cropping afterwards?
it
That’s in FX mode, uncropped. When you’re at 10mm, you can see the image circle (which makes, in this case, for quite an interesting shot, I think), but it fills the full FX frame at 24mm. This was Zak’s lens that I borrowed for lack of having my own wide-angle lens with me. —Jeffrey

— comment by Alvin on October 28th, 2012 at 11:07am JST (5 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Very nice all the way around. Thanks.

— comment by Ronald R Deaver on December 14th, 2012 at 7:34pm JST (5 years ago) comment permalink

Beautiful burnishing — is that what it’s called?

Most of his stuff is Tenmoku (天目) —Jeffrey

— comment by Sarah on February 21st, 2013 at 1:26am JST (4 years, 10 months ago) comment permalink
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