The Newtown Pentacle

Altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi

Archive for February 8th, 2016

thinking thus

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Something a little different, in today’s post.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Recent endeavor, committed in the dark of night, has seen a humble narrator hunched over the kitchen counter with an array of tripods, flashes, and lights. This week’s “project” has involved me using an older camera, which has a fairly decent macro lens function, to get up close and personal with a variety of foodstuffs. The joke I’ve shared with Our Lady of the Pentacle is that I’m trying to produce a series of images you might encounter framed on the wall of a juice bar.

It’s all terribly complicated – this sort of thing – and requires a bit of prep. The red onion pictured above had a pretty powerful flash gun firing at full power under a transluscent “stage” in a darkened room, with my goal being the visualization of the internal structure of the vegetable.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

I actually like Broccoli, if it’s prepared and cooked correctly, but I realize that this sub genus of the cabbage family is not to everyone’s taste. Raw Broccoli is nasty, but it photographs nicely from a few centimeters away. This one didn’t involve any fancy technique, just a bit of lighting. The hard part about photographing something like this is that fresh Broccoli is purple and green at the same time, and subtly iridescent.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A navel orange, cut into a quarter inch thick slice, deployed on the aforementioned transluscent stage with the flash gun beneath it and the lens placed about a centimeter from the focal plane. Again, the internal structure of the thing was what I was going for.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Hunting around in the refrigerator, I grabbed a jar of Smuckers Strawberry Jam and carefully threaded the lens into the neck of the jar, after placing it on the aforementioned setup. The blast of light traveling upwards towards the camera rendered the jam transparent, and you can see all the little shards of fruit in the syrupy goo. The light refracted into the glass of the jar, rendering out a trippy series of visual artifacts which pleased my eye.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Back to the Broccoli, this time with an orangish rim light applied. The orange light is something I’ve mentioned in the past, part of my “ghetto lighting” rig. A pill bottle gaff taped to a strong flashlight, it provides a soft warm fill light which contrasts nicely with the purples and greens, IMHO.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Another slice of that Navel Orange on the stage and “under flash” setup, this one was cut a bit thicker and transected several of the fruit’s internal sections. I also hit this one with a secondary “on camera flash,” set to its lowest power setting, in pursuance of getting just a bit of the surface texture in addition to the internal structure of the multitudinous juice sacks.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

February 8, 2016 at 11:00 am

Posted in Astoria, Photowalk, Pickman

Tagged with , ,

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