Sunday, 14 December 2014

Moving On

My shooting box - outside

In the last few years, December has become one of those exceptionally hectic months for me, and this year is no exception.

Among other things, it's the time of year for parties, and as much as I enjoy my friends and good food, I quickly get "partied-out" and as last night was the last of the giant en masse gatherings, I'm grateful for the return of peace and quiet in my life.

It's also a time of deadlines for various art-related things (gallery submissions and residencies especially) and with doing more three-dimensional work, I have been in need of a special photography set-up to let me document the new works and send them off with the proposals.

My shooting box - inside

The solution was to build a shooting box (or studio box, as they are sometimes called): they can be expensive if you buy one at a high-end camera shop, but thanks to Jeff Rodier, whose talk I attended a few weeks ago as part of the Visual Arts Alberta-CARFAC professional development series, I discovered it isn't that difficult to build one of my own, which I finished the other day.

I started with a good solid box -- this one has double-walled corrugated cardboard -- cut the openings (they aren't perfectly square, but that's OK!), and reinforced the back, the top of the side openings, and the front side edges with some interior struts that came with the box. After that, I cut up a sheet of Plaskolite I salvaged from the garbage at work (it had corners knocked off and couldn't be sold), securing them over the windows to diffuse the light.

Final touch was to add the sheet of grey paper on the inside, curved to produce a seamless background.

The Future Through The Lens of The Past

Given I only hastily cobbled up the lighting for it -- a combination of natural daylight on the right, fluorescent (cool white) and warm incandescents on the top, and a warm white LED on the left, and tinkered a bit with the white balance on my camera, I'm very pleased with how the pictures turned out.

Neruda's Nest

The other thing December has become known for in my life lately has been as a time to move: it's much less stressful this year, as I'm not having to pack up everything, for a change, and instead of having Christmas somewhere unfamiliar, I'll be in a kitchen I know like the back of my hand, cooking a whole turkey, and having a day of quietude.

I can hardly wait.

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