Sunday, April 1, 2012

the cold, the bad, & the ugly...

Remember the last post about the magnolias? Yeah, well, they got their 2 days of blooming and then it was over... the cold front came in, so the thing is one "spectacular mess" now:
However, this week I finished a project I've been working on for a few weeks now, so in order to get some things set up I needed to take some photos of some of my creations... as it turns out, I have taken a lot of crappy product shots. And I have found that the easiest way to get photos that require the least effort and editing is to take them outside in atmospheric light. So, I put on my gloves...
And just because there's a formula or a routine for something doesn't mean they're all spectacular shots... As it turns out, I make things that are difficult to photograph...
 Yes, those are worms. Well, polymer clay worms. What? You're a little grossed out? Ah. Don't be.  That's nature's garbage disposal system right there.  Well, that and less than stellar photos.

Anyway, I make weird things. And you know, we've been to this well before. So, I was standing in Hobby Lobby a few weeks ago in the aisle with all the "wood" stuff, and I picked up these little plaques and laughed and thought "I could make something weird with these." So, I picked through them and bought the 8 that looked good and square.

I had to think about how I was going to execute this project, since I have a tendency to be a little messy.  So I decided the plaques needed to be stained first.  Now, I had also bought these wooden discs a couple weeks prior. They're basically the same thing I use for brooches, except round.  And I'm pretty sure I bought them to use for brooches, but this whole wormhole idea big-footed that.
 So, while my stain was setting, I made my worms.  And then, while finally watching "The Rum Diary" on my first new television in fifteen years - I spackled and primed my wood pieces and added the worms... of course, then I had to wait for that to dry — which is when a week's worth of watercolors began.
Once the spackle was dry, then I added the dirt — which is essentially a combination of acrylic paint with glue and tea grounds, a couple more layers of tea grounds, and an overcoat of a mixture of paint, glue, water, and gloss varnish... and then that has to dry.  And then I sanded the edges of my plaques and gave them another coat of stain... and then painted all the backs white... and then gave the plaques a coat of gloss varnish. So, I still need to take some pictures of them, but, essentially, they're finally done.

Anyway, this frigid weekend part of my photography plans were to change up the pictures for my "bad apples." This is an old shot... Yeah, so basically, I changed the background.
This bad apple is one of my favorites, since they look like they're having a little conversation.
So, the entire photo shoot usually takes place on the back porch.  Either I put a 13X19 inch print out of one of my photos down on the porch steps or I set up a drawing board with the print out across the arms of one of the chairs. Product photography is rarely glamorous.

Anyway, the magnolia is right there next to the porch, so when I was done shooting the worm-work, I took some shots of the magnolia and it's big mess of petals...

 Ironically, real live worms were hard at work.  Of course, since it was cold out, as soon as I picked up the thing they were hiding under, they squirmed their way back to shelter.  Nature is funny like that.

And then it rained. Rain & cold are real impediments to getting photos done and out of the way, so then the project had to move indoors, where between 2 camera let's just say there are less than stellar results...

So, maybe today it won't be too cold or rainy and I can get my shots done. Maybe.

1 comment:

Hilary said...

Had I not spent a fair bit of time fishing the past several summers, I'd be squirming - your worms look so real. As it is, I've been nudged into rescuing errant worms which appear along the park path so that they can safely find the earth again. Who'd a thunk it? Fine work, Sarah.