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Semi-annual Art Gallery Shoot

Yesterday was the 5th time I’ve been privileged to photograph the art work on display at the Pastoral Center, the main office building for the Diocese of Austin. Every six months, the previous show comes down and a new one goes up. The very first shoot was a two day affair, shooting the exiting art work on the first day and the incoming on the next. Ever since, it’s been a one day affair involving just the incoming pieces.

At the beginning, I used four compact fluorescent bulbs in clamp work lights from Home Depot. Then I acquired four LED panels that are pretty bright but still required using a tripod. Yesterday, I used 45 Watt-second fixed power strobes with the four Interfit softboxes I bought a while back. I had to build brackets to hold the softboxes and strobes to the light stands. I found that PVC gutter adapters from Home Depot fit the bill very nicely. Yesterday, I was able to shoot without a tripod…

Shooting the flat pieces (paintings and photos) is fairly easy. I used a tripod/easel that was on clearance at Hobby Lobby to hold them and had the four softboxes on stands in front of the easel. Unfortunately, I did not think to take a BTS pic of that, but here is the pile of equipment I brought.

The four softboxes can be seen here along with the six light stands, two back drop stands, the tripod I did not use, and the Might Max cart I recently picked up to cart all the gear. The strobe/gutter brackets (above) just fit inside the hole in the back of the softboxes.

Photographing the 3D pieces has always been a challenge though, particularly the ones with plexiglass covers. Here is one such piece from the current show. Notice the reflections off the inside of the cover on both sides. Now imagine seeing a reflection of me on the front of the cover… Not so nice, huh?

To help with this, I brought two backdrop stand sets and a length of PVC pipe left over from DCYC. I also brought several white and black flat sheets. One black sheet made a background while white ones on the sides and in front made for large light diffusers. Here are two shots of the makeshift super softbox surrounding two different pieces. The bare strobe were aimed at the sheets. To remove the front reflection from the diorama above, the two strobes pointed at the tall sheet were aimed at the side sheets instead (not shown here).

Here are partially processed photos of the pieces above:

The final photos will have a completely black background. See the previous gallery slide shows here.

 

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Posted in Behind the Scenes and Specialties by david on August 20th, 2011 at 2:07 pm.

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