Monday, January 24, 2011

Tricky Photo

So sometimes I get an idea that comes with an unexpected problem. I had one of those this week with a new sculpted tin that I made and needed to photograph. I decided to make a deep sea themed mini-tin (covered an altoid smalls tin) with bioluminescent squid and jellyfish. That part was easy, I have some glow in the dark polymer clay that I mixed with translucent clay and a little bit of blue. I also layered some pure glow int eh dark clay under the transluscent mix so it would glow even more intensely. It all worked beautifully and I absolutely love hoe the tin turned out.

This is where the problem then turned up. How do I photograph something that glows in the dark? I first took the regular lighting photos then turned off the lights and started experimenting with different exposure times after making sure the clay was glowing as strongly as possible. I was able to pick up the glow okay but with the glowing pieces floating in blackness it didn't quite look right. I needed just a little bit of light to make the whole tin visible but being a long exposure (5 seconds) it had to be a really small amount of light or the image was going to be lighted too much.

My eventual solution was a small LED headlamp that I have placed on the far edge of my desk pointing at a 90 degree angle from the light tent. This tiny amount of light was just enough to make the edges of the tin and blue backdrop visible.

Deep Sea Life Tin
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