Monday, October 24, 2011

WORKING ON MY GAME

I have always loved photographing shiny things. I credit one of my mentors, Ernie Block, for my fascination with reflective objects. While shooting for him on a catalog he told me you don't light chrome, you light what chrome sees. That simple phrase has stuck with me for over fifteen years. On that particular job it seemed that I got to shoot all of the chrome items for a kitchen catalog he was producing. We are talking spoons, knives, ladles and the list goes on. Every so often he would walk by me on set and say, "Its a discipline builder" and how right he was. It really gave me a love for photographing chrome objects, however some might call it a sickness.

I have photographed quite a bit of chrome product in my career and in most cases we produce really clean chrome. I recently wanted to photograph a golf wedge, this had absolutely nothing to do with me wanting a new wedge. I found quite a few wedges with cavity backs and bronze or brushed nickel finishes that would have made great subject matter and been relatively easy to photograph, but I wanted something with a classic shape and reflective chrome. I ended up with a relatively inexpensive Callaway wedge from a local big box store. I started with a similar approach that I had used with other chrome product, large sources creating big fields of clean white reflections. The clean chrome was fine (unfinished version pictured below) but I wanted to do something sexier with lots thin edge highlights. So I changed up my angle and started from the beginning. After a couple of hours I got to what I had pictured in my head. A dark moody photograph with lots of razor thin edge highlights. I included the final capture as well as the retouched shot. As you can see most everything was done in camera and not a lot of retouching was needed. Thanks to Andrew Webb for straightening out the minor imperfections. Really happy with the outcome and the wedge was a long needed addition to my bag.



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