November 2013

I’m really enjoying the challenge set by the Project 52 Pro Summer assignments. It’s amazing, we’ve just had our week 17 live critique and I feel that my photography and appreciation thereof has improved tenfold.  Even better, that means there are 35 weeks of the course still remaining!

This past week I’ve been developing an idea on the theme of “The Magic of Hands”.  My plan was to show the hands as the multi-functional tools they are, and what better way than to show how effective they are as a cup!

Cupping HandsCreating the right light proved quite difficult but putting my trust in our teacher’s words, I re-tried bouncing my flash onto a white foam-core board. Here’s a sketch of the set-up.



I was happy with the light, had my “safe” shot and some extra time on my hands (sorry, couldn’t help the pun). Now I wanted to try and jazz things up to add a little drama into the scene.

Cupping Hands

Guess what?  Splashing water is a lot of fun and it brought back childhood memories; a time when life was more carefree and simple. Must visit there more often.

Here’s the Flickr page showing some of the other participant’s shots: Assignment 17: Hands


Ken came to visit for Sunday Dinner this weekend and brought along his Nikon camera. I’d promised we would do a shoot using flash.  I’m not that good a teacher but it’s a great way to self-learn when you try to explain what and why you are doing something. Drinking too much Jack Daniel’s does not help!  Anyhow, before we opened the bottle of Jack Daniels’s, we did get numerous shots with all types of lighting arrangement.

After packing away the equipment and uploading the images to the computer it soon became apparent that we had missed a few elements of the image – Photoshop to the rescue again along with some new-found tips from the recent Creative Live broadcast How to Be a Commercial Photographer.  Here’s the final image.

jack daniel's - JM Does JD


We also had a little time for me to take a quick snap of one of my favourite aftershaves. A little over-processed but hey, so is the scent 🙂

Rough Diesel


Watching the Creative Live broadcast, How to Be a Commercial Photographer, last night. They used more lights than you can imagine to create an image of an expensive-looking bottle of liquor. Just the inspiration I needed, which presented an opportunity to try something similar with just a single light to get a bottle of liquor to sing. It’s harder than I expected – simply finding a suitable bottle can be a challenge but if I’m going to complete this week’s Project 52 assignment entitled “Being Exceptional” ( Discussion Page / Project 52) and, then I’m going to have to stretch my abilities a little further.

So six of liquor shots later….

with two white foam-boards, some help from my assistant, a ten second timer and by hand-holding a large softbox, here are the images before processing.

Liquor - BTS for Assignment 15: Becoming Exceptional

Once uploaded to the computer I was not too impressed; the lighting was not as I envisioned with a not-too-straight horizon and the camera had moved between shots. Nevertheless, let’s see what we can do to recover this as I do not have time to retake plus my assistant has left for the day.  There again, I do like the backlit image.

A few hours of Photoshop has helped me to almost reproduce my original vision.

Lighting the Liquor

I wonder if this type of lighting would even be achievable without Photoshop.