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Old 06-15-2014   #1
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Default Western Gear

I had been contemplating creating a new image for my Facebook and Twitter pages. I wasn't sure what I wanted...

One evening about two weeks ago, I was sitting at my computer and an idea popped into my head.

To do this, I would need a horse blanket. The old one in the back of my Jeep would do.

I grabbed other accouterments, such as a 1892 Winchester, Remington revolver, case folding knife, one of my hats, gloves and my favorite range targets; playing cards.

I selected where to shoot the photo.... The living room sofa. The lighting in this room is very nice. I have eight nicely diffused white, very bright LED high hats on a dimmer. Shadows are minimized. I mounted my Canon on a tripod and arranged the objects.

So, after about 15 minutes of set-up, I took a series of shots. This one, I liked best.... Lighting is, perhaps, too bright, lacking softness. Yet, considering it was spur of the moment and I had virtually no equipment, I am not unhappy.


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Old 06-16-2014   #2
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Default Re: Western Gear

That's an interesting collection of Western gear and a good first still-life attempt. I don't think the overhead POV, arrangement or the lighting really does it justice.

I'd move in closer with a lower camera position and closer to horizontal angle and do a much tighter arrangement and composition. I'd either use my own more directional lighting from one side or shoot near a window with all overhead lights off. The lighting you have from your ceiling lights is straight on from behind the camera, as if you had used an on camera flash. That's rarely a good choice for still-life photography.

Might take more than 15 minutes to setup but it would be well worth it.
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Old 06-16-2014   #3
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Default Re: Western Gear

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooks View Post
That's an interesting collection of Western gear and a good first still-life attempt. I don't think the overhead POV, arrangement or the lighting really does it justice.

I'd move in closer with a lower camera position and closer to horizontal angle and do a much tighter arrangement and composition. I'd either use my own more directional lighting from one side or shoot near a window with all overhead lights off. The lighting you have from your ceiling lights is straight on from behind the camera, as if you had used an on camera flash. That's rarely a good choice for still-life photography.

Might take more than 15 minutes to setup but it would be well worth it.
Thanks much for the advice.... Always learning.
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Old 06-24-2014   #4
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Default Re: Western Gear

I like this, but I'm gonna agree with Brooks on this one. If this were my shot, I'd use this as a starting point and go from there. Lots of potential, but flat, boring (and yes, a tad too intense) light.

You have a tripod, so play around with the lighting some and don't be afraid of potentially slow shutter speeds. For me, and this is strictly an opinion on my part, really good still life photography is all about the interplay of light and shadow. Here you have no shadow at all and that causes me to lose interest somewhat. This would be fine as say, a documentary-type shot for insurance purposes or such, but without directional light/shadow it isn't as interesting as it could be.

Since you have a tripod, get rid of some of the lights. Try turning half of them off and leaving just the ones to one side on. If that doesn't do it, turn even more off and fire a small table-type lamp across from one side to give cast shadows. Experiment, and have fun. Good still life photography takes a lot of practice and a fair amount of patience.
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Old 07-16-2014   #5
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Default Re: Western Gear

Nice gear! Were it me, I thunk I'd also bring the POV down somewhat, and position the pieces so that the lines flow in a unifying direction; right now the boots are pointing up-center, the rifle up/right/out of frame, the (hidden) barrel of the gun lower right, and the hat down & left. The gloves kind of get lost behing the hat; my brain is saying "hat tall" and mentally kind of hides them. The playing cards are a nice touch, as is the blanket.


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