Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Graduated Backdrop

I'm learning how to use the graduated backdrop I recently splurged on. I ordered it from Photo Tech Inc. and it was $39.60 for the 31" x 43" size, which included the mailing cost. I decided on the lighter gray one. I can see I have to be careful so I don't get a crease in the backdrop. For now I'm storing it rolled up in the tube it came in. It's not convenient to keep taking it in and out of the tube, but I can't think of another way to store it. I can't leave it out with three cats in our household.

I'm wondering how to photograph plates and hanging pieces. Do you have any advice on how I can keep them propped up while I take the photo? Usually I'm alone when I take the photos and I would hate for the piece to fall on the floor and break. I think the amount of gray for the vase above is about right, but I think the bowl needs more gray. That's something I'll have to keep an eye on as I'm taking photos. I also photographed the barrel fired pinch bowl to the right with the new backdrop.

I was putting the sprinkler under the sycamore tree the other day and I noticed hundreds of bumble bees resting on the leaves of the tree. I guess they know where the cool spots are during the hottest part of the day.

Boy am I lucky. I've been thinking about making a PVC light box for some time and the other day another blogger posted about one. Soon I'll be posting about their PVC light box and mine and I'll take more photos of the same pieces using the light box to make a comparison. If you have any digital photography hints or ideas, please let me know.


  1. Hi Linda. That first image looks really good. Have you been setting the white balance on your camera? Jeff Campana has a great post about taking pictures of pots:

    Can't wait to see YOUR light box! ;-)

  2. I like the backdrop, I am thinking of getting something similar myself but will have to wait until I get to England as buying it here could take literally weeks. The Jeff Campana post is brilliant on the whole topic of shooting pots.

    Thanks for putting my plate forward for the Plate a day thing and I am sp pleased that Mignon used one of Morag’s plates for her posting yesterday.

    Kiln is on and I've got a week to go and at least four firings to complete!

  3. Hi Miri, thanks, I have to figure out how to set the white balance on my camera. Unfortunately I lost the operating manual and these digital contraptions often have me stumped. I will check Jeff's post. thanks so much.

    Hi Gary, thanks so much. I think these are much better than the others, we'll see what happens after using the light box.

    Hi Kitty, your welcome about your plate. I don't suppose a non-fired one will win, but if it did I would have picked the one you did too. I must have missed Morag's plate, I'll have to go back and check. Good luck with your firings - sounds like you'll be waiting by the kiln much of the time. Once I move I will probably have two kilns so I can be firing one while the other cools down. I'll just keep the one I have now and then add an automatice one. This backdrop came very shortly after I ordered it, no delay at all. I'm sorry I waited to long to get one.

  4. Nice, love the pics more professional look.

  5. The pictures look great! We need to get on the wagon and do some ourselves!
    Love the bees- but I am fond of them and the good work they do for us all.

  6. Hi Mary, thanks, these are taken with only natural light and no flash but still show shadows hopefully the light box will minimize some of this.

    Hi Meredith, thanks so much, as I said I am sorry I didn't get one of these sooner. The bees are definitely wonderful. They looked so peaceful resting on the leaves I was tempted to pet them, but realized they might not appreciate that. Every day I marvel at the mysteries of nature surrounding me, even with the smallest of creatures such as these.

  7. Backdrop looks good, Linda! I also keep mine rolled up in the original tube. Be careful because the backdrop scratches.

    I'm on the photo team at the Colorado Potters Guild and the gentleman who rigged our setup has covered posts and bricks with padded shelf liner to keep from scratching the backdrop and they're also heavy enough to support large platters. They're invisible so that all you see is the pot and not a plate stand.

  8. Hi Cynthia, I wondered about that since it says it is vinyl, thanks about the info about the covered bricks. I am also wondering about the plate sliding in front, perhaps I can cover the brick with some sticky material to keep it from sliding down, maybe I am over thinking this too, I'll have to give it a try. Thanks again.


I love suggestions, questions, critiques, thanks for your comment