Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1 sec, f/2.5, ISO 100 — image data
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1.3 sec, f/4, ISO 100 — image data
just look at all that candy
Today's post combines a couple of things I've written about recently, Läkerol candy and Japanese pottery, as seen in “Cornucopia of Tasty Läkerol Licorice” and “Failing a New Portraiture Challenge: Reflective Pottery”.
The latter post detailed the tough time Zak Braverman and I had photographing some reflective tenmoku pottery by Koji Kamada (鎌田幸二). In the end we were able to rescue enough shots in Photoshop that he could use them to create the invitation cards for a show, and in thanks he gave us each a bowl that he had made but couldn't sell due to some (apparently minor, because I don't see it) flaw.
I've recently been redoing my home office, installing a wall of cabinets that include some display areas, so I dedicated one such area to the bowl. And to show it proper respect, I filled it with something I really like, the Läkerol candies I wrote about before. (I have a large variety of flavors, and found that I enjoy them best when I get two random flavors at a time... the 121 possible flavor combinations keeps things interesting.)
I wanted to show how it looks in my room while I normally use it, which is with the lights pretty low, but the dynamic range (the darkness of the shadows vs. the brightness of the lights) is just too much for the Nikon D4. So I turned on the big bright fluorescent room light just to snap a shot:
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/10 sec, f/8, ISO 1000 — image data
as it stands at the moment
This is a different room from when I showed my office in 2012; it seems that we re-rearrange rooms every few years. I'm still in the process of getting settled in to this new layout.
I do most of my photo/plugin/blog work on my laptop while sitting in the La-Z-Boy partially seen in the lower left; for the most part, the two monitors on my desktop machine just cycle through desktop-background photos that I've posted on my blog, one vertical background and one landscape-mode background.
For what it's worth, the two shots that happen to be up at the moment are from “Photographer’s Low-Hanging Fruit: a Pretty Flower” (April 2012) and “Some Desktop Backgrounds from Kyoto’s Koumyou-in Temple” (June 2012).
Anyway, I like it fairly dark while I work, with only a small incandescent light reflecting above the desk, and a small LED puck downlight directly above the pottery....
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 0.5 sec, f/8, ISO 1000 — image data
I'm really happy with how the presentation highlights the bowl. It's remarkably tasteful, I think, especially for a geek like me to have come up with.
(The pun with “tasteful” and the tasty candy was not intended, but now that I notice it, I'll intend it. )
The photo of the presentation, though leaves much to be desired. I probably just don't know how to take a photo, because it took a lot of work in Lightroom to get even this much balance between the shadows and the brights. I didn't want to bother with a full-on HDR set, but I did try the camera's HDR mode to decidedly unsatisfactory results, but the result above is after a lot of Lightroom work on the in-camera HDR effort..
The colors were really hard to balance among the three light sources (incandescent, LED, and the pair of monitors), so maybe it looks better in B&W?
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1 sec, f/8, ISO 400 — image data
My wife doesn't care for the dark dungeon look... this is probably how it looks to her:
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/15 sec, f/8, ISO 400 — image data
is in the eye of the beholder
Anyway, back to the bowl of candies, the LED spotlight directly above the bowl creates very strong shadows, and the parts of the bowl in shadow appear essentially black, but while processing these photos I decided that I wanted to show a bit more of the bowl, so tried to bring out some detail from the shadows. Not sure it was worth it, but here it is:
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 0.3 sec, f/2.5, ISO 400 — image data
While I was actually taking the shots, the local Co-Op stopped by to deliver this week's groceries, which includes some dry ice to help keep the frozen items frozen in transit, so I thought I'd try to incorporate the “smoke” into the shots...
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1.3 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1000 — image data
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 0.5 sec, f/5.6, ISO 1000 — image data
I was hoping for something more dramatic, but there you are.
While on the subject of Koji Kamada and his pottery, I'll include a few photos from his show in January at the Hankyu Umeda Department Store (阪急百 貨店、梅田) in Osaka, 45 minutes south of Kyoto. They have a little museum area walled off in the middle of the sales floor, and on display was the big piece that lead my blog post, along with a photo of Kamada-san at work taken by Zak...
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/500 sec, f/5, ISO 1600 — map & image data — nearby photos
at the Hankyu Umeda Department Store (阪急百貨店、梅田)
It's a really amazing environmental portrait that I hope Zak will post on his blog. (In this case, “environmental” means not in a studio; it was taken in Kamada-san's pottery workshop, exactly where we'd done the pottery photos earlier.)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/500 sec, f/5, ISO 6400 — map & image data — nearby photos
Kamada-san, Zak, and Aeron
Kamada-san had many different kinds of pottery on display. Here's a bowl similar to the one he kindly gave me, though presumably without the imperceptible flaw...
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/500 sec, f/5, ISO 2000 — map & image data — nearby photos
tenmoku pottery by Koji Kamada (鎌田幸二、天目)
Nikon D4 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 13 sec, f/22, ISO 400 — image data
a personal gift, tasty candies, and a nice presentation combine very well
That last shot is identical to the second photo of this article, except at f/22, this one shows most of the candy in focus.
To really appreciate the bowl, though, be sure to check out Zak's incredible macros of the tenmoku glaze.