One Two One Two. Must be exercise day or January 2, 2012. I suppose you could exercise if you feel so inclined. After that, you can refer back this really lame tutorial on how to shoot random small crap and make it look all artsy and fartsy.
First, you must have a plan. It does not have to be a good or great plan so, this plan will do…
I wanted to try to make some images of small weird looking stuff and do it as dumbed down as possible. Most cameras these days have features and functions that will actually work when trying to do this – and keep in mind that there’s no real right or wrong and using the traditional S.W.A.G. method is completely approved. Trial and error are your pals here.
Some things to keep in mind: If you have a shutter release… cool. If not, use your timer function. Your camera OR your lens may have a macro setting. You will probably want to use it. Most of these shots were taken at something like ISO 100/125/f20-22. I wanted to black out as much of the black as possible so I used a black garbage bag on the table top. Just throw it on the table. Maybe prop the back edge of it up with something. Your stuff is shot just above the surface and there’s enough distance between the back of your crap and the propped up garbage bag that it will be out of view and out of focus. Mostly black and out of view. The paper towel is taped to a yard stick and draped down from two cans of spray paint. Anything will do… two things the same height. You will shine your light through the paper towel. You could also use a white cloth or tissue paper. We are simply diffusing and softening the light. For a light, I used a strobe. You can use a speed light or a really bright work light. If using a work light, be careful that it is not too hot for that paper. Watch it.
Set up your subject. Position your camera on a tripod… or if you don’t have a tripod use something else to prop it up. I manually focused on the subject and then used the shutter release. You can also use your timer. Your subject can be anything you want. I looked in the junk drawer for a few items. The wire, I bent that up with a needle nosed pliers and other random things to coil it… like pens and markers.
That’s about it. Good luck and have fun.
I almost forgot to mention why I do this. Well, it keeps me out of trouble for one thing. Other than that, setting up something and shooting it like this helps me to discover interesting lighting angles when shooting other things… like people. It is a practice and repetition kind of thing for me and perhaps it will make some of my other pictures better down the road.