Tuesday, August 19, 2008

What's Hot

Sometimes a simple object can inspire a shot. As photographers many of us have an object that we have been eyeing, we pass it everyday or we see it sitting on our basement shelf, waiting for the moment when inspiration hits and the idea becomes solid. For me that object at one time was this big piece of coal. 
While on assignment at a large coal mine in Wyoming with David Tejada, we spirited away this big chunk of coal with the idea of doing a still shot for the client. The client ended up with a collection of beautiful photos from our visit to the mine and a  still shot of the coal never came to fruition. 
So the coal sat on a shelf in the studio, big as a football, and it sat. For nearly 2 years I would see it as we loaded gear for location or while shooting product stills for clients. Ideas would briefly bounce around in my head about how to shoot it,  and the more we encountered it in uncontrollable situations, the more I wanted to shoot it in the studio as a "stand alone object", just a piece of coal as a canvas for light.
The growing controversy over this resource makes it a great subject for a marketable power shot... no pun intended, and with it's obvious two sided nature it made sense to show a dark side and a light side. 
The inspiration was made final when I got the idea to shoot it on my old stand-by sheet of brushed steel, using incident light to surround the coal with a glow.

Before I even set the coal on the steel, I set-up my incident light, a medium soft-box with a bunch of CTOs and some Golden Amber gels at the back of the set. Once I had total coverage on the surface from the reflection of the soft-box, I set the coal in and hit it with a single gridded light. My Nikon D70s  with my 35-70/2.8 @ F22 finished the job. The rest is pixels.

No comments: