I’ve wanted to play around with shooting still life again. However, I’ve had a couple of problems. First, I needed a place to shoot. Setting up and tearing down a make shift studio in the living room gets old. My second problem was trying to see the small image on my camera in order to best determine what adjustments I needed to make.
I corrected the first problem by clearing a space downstairs where I can now have a more permanent space to shoot. I pulled out my old drafting table that I use in college over a quarter of a century ago as the bases for my little studio. Then I covered the top of my table with a black carpet mat from Wal-Mart. I use a couple pieces of poster board that I had for backgrounds or to block or reflect light. To hold these in place I purchased clamps at Home Depot for a dollar each.
I found an old work light stand that worked great to mount my lights on. For this secession I used a couple of clamp on lights. One I had purchased for another project. The second was actually a re-purposed heat lamp for a turtle that we use to have.
The space is located next my computer which almost solved my second problem. By tethering my camera to Lightroom 3, I can see the image almost immediately after taking the shot. In fact if I hadn’t had to drop the strawberries into the glass, I could’ve taken the picture right from my desktop.
However, I now had a third problem. My USB cable (C) wasn’t long enough. I have a D5000 which takes a special USB connector. This connector must be unique to Nikon because I couldn’t find one anywhere. Then I found a (B) 10′ USB 2.0 A to A Male to Female Extension Cable for $6.88 at Wal-Mart. For another 97 cents they shipped right to my home. I used my (A) Nikon MC-DC2 remote shutter release to operate my camera while dropping the strawberry.
I filled a glass about half way with Diet 7Up. The carbonated water is suppose to add more fizz, and the diet doesn’t have sugar. No sugar, no sticky mess! Then I began dropping a strawberry into the glass. It took a little “getting-used-to” to get the timing down. However, being able to view the image almost immediately after taking it is amazing.
I thought that the low shutter speed gave these images and interesting appearance. However, if I’m going to continue to shoot strawberries dropping into a glass, which I guess aren’t really “still” life, then I going to need to use some little brighter lights in order to stop the action.