Here at The Iconophile we don’t normally post on a Sunday. Hey, even God took a day off. Deal with it. Today is different though and I bring you an extra post for the week.
I bought an awesome new sugar skull (Day of the Dead) ring from The Great Frog Paterson last week. Paterson Riley was the founder of The Great Frog store on Carnaby Street London in 1972. Paterson’s rings tend to be more ‘aggressive’ and ‘gnarly’ than the more ‘cultured’ rings now sold by The Great Frog for whom he remains a director. His rings are the ‘original’ designs that made The Great Frog such an admired company, handcrafted in sterling silver by Paterson himself.
The final shot
Anyway, to the post. I love the ring so much I thought I’d shoot it in the studio and share the pic. I wanted to try something different so I built a small ‘stage’ upon which to play out the ring. First I took a sheet of slate to use as my backdrop. However I wanted an industrial edge to it to so I took some wire, cut it in to strips and wove the strips in to a mesh. I attached the mesh to the slate using black plasticine. I set the stage up on my shooting table with a black backdrop and then lined the edges of the stage with black plasticine to make it water resistant. Why? Because i wanted to create reflections and movement of light so I poured water over the slate until the level of the water was up with the thickness of the wire. Then I placed the ring upon the stage and used diffused side lighting and a strong diffused overhead light to illuminate the scene. Next I took a small LED light on a mini tripod and positioned it so that it shone directly in to the water highlighting the reflection.
LED lit to illuminate water
Then I used a ‘blower’ to blow air on to the water causing it to move and ripple and shot a series of pictures in this way.
Water movement and blower
Finally I took the finished shots in to Adobe Photoshop and adjusted contrast, removed the unwanted edges of the wire mesh, and applied filters to draw out the detail in the darker areas of the image.
I took a number of angles and have some with very interesting movement of the water so I will most likely revisit this shot and produce a few more that offer something different from the final image seen in this post. Experimentation is where great photography meets great inspiration. You never stop learning and you never stop finding new ways of doing things. Setting out to capture one shot invariably leads to the discovery of a more interesting shot. Don’t you just love photography.