Posts Tagged ‘cheap’

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Food photography, or something like that…

August 23, 2009

Yet again, I am pushed to the limit.   My photo bud has beat me to the punch and he has again made an image ahead of me. On top of that, I have to watch a movie with my boy, which is mostly in Afghan language… in subtitles.  So if I  become incoherent… it is because of Kite Runner, so far it has been  quite good… but distracting to photography.

I had to scramble to do my assignment.  I had to make something simple.

Off to the fridge!

A lonely tomato.

I shot the tomato using a white plexiglass which I picked up in a signage workshop when I was still stationed in Thailand.  Got it for free and I still kept it and brought it with us here in Singapore as it is quite useful…

That plexiglass got me my Istock contributor status… it been really good.

I had cut the tomatoes and place them on top of the plexiglass put a Canon 550 ex underneath set at 1/4 power. The flash was triggered by a poorman’s wizard.

That’s pretty much it.

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the Generic Asian

p.s.  Here are his images and explanation

used available light (direct sun)

f7.1, 500s, iso100 (veg 016)
f7,1, 40s,  iso100 (veg 008)

these 2 are a staple in every refrigerator unit in the philippines.  its almost that a day will not pass that the simple onion and / or tomato will not be pulled out for use in the kitchen (in this case differently).  used most often as an ingredient to dishes, in the philippines, it extends its use as salsa or salad.  you see us pinoys can barely eat our food without having ewach and everyone’s side dish of salad (in our case its called “sawsawan”) which literally means to “dip”.

Jerico... my friend's image set upNice simple set-uplast one
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Spoon & Fork

August 16, 2009

Being Asian, by and large, you either eat with your hands or with chopsticks.

On the other hand, some come from a part of Asia which uses the spoon. I use it as part of my regular arsenal of dining artillery.   Yes I like my spoon as much as I like my fork.  Let’s say I am an equal opportunity diner.

In photography however, the spoon has been difficult to photograph side by side its beloved partner, the fork.

The shape and curves of the spoon and the fork are different.  Those westerners may have been onto something.

This is again part of a series of images we will be trying to make on a weekly basis.

I found that it was extremely difficult to include both in one image.  My agreement with my shooting buddies is that we will shoot both spoon and fork in one image.

Very challenging from a lighting and  composition point of view.

fork in chili

The thing with shiny objects is that they are a beast to light.  This was particularly difficult with the fork I used, as this was our normal everyday utensils.  They were scratched and abused and therefore not very photogenic.  I also could not polish it as my wife would probably kill me if she sees me using some form of chemical to polish them.

To overcome this, you would probably want to kill all the shadows.  I did this by using a extremely large light source, which is not so difficult if your photographing small objects.

The other thing I had to watch was the reflections.  To recall, light travels in a straight line.  Placement of the subject relative to the light and lens is critical.

I shot the above image with a Canon 550 EX on TTL, with exposure bias of + 2.  The Speedlight was fitted with a softbox.  I set the aperture at f 2.8 aperture priority.

See my setup here.

set up shot

I had to shoot at almost 90 degrees to the softbox to avoid glare and reflections.   I also used a white plate below which helped fill in some shadows.  I also brushed some oil to the chili so we can get the pickled fresh chili look.

I thought it was a pretty neat and simple setup.  No frills TTL lighting.

However, I was still spoonless!  SO in my lame attempt, here is a shot with the agreed spoon.  The chili was added to the scene to create tension.  I can here the fork whisper “Come on Ms. Spoon… spice me up!!!”

fork in chili 2I also added a yellow kicker to give the spoon some points for interest.

Anyhow, that’s it for now.  I am open to suggestions and comments so please drop me a note or two.

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the Generic Asian

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Generic Asian DIY Beauty Dish / Ring light flash

July 27, 2008

First things first… this will never, ever replace or outperform the professional made equipment, nor will I expect professionals to use cheap stuff like this…  But for poor bastards like me who just shoot for FUN!!!  This should be fineI was inspired by latest development in strobist lighting attachments…

I had heard of the Ray Flash ring light adapter and was seriously looking at it as a nice addition to my gadgets.

This was until I saw the price tag.  Hey, I am not a professional photographer and I do not plan to be one nor can I shoot like one, and most important of all… if I bring home a Ray Flash Ringlight adapter, I would be killed by the wife.

Here is the link on the Rayflash ring light adapter from the review of Strobist… http://strobist.blogspot.com/2008/03/full-review-ray-flash-ring-flash.html


I was in the mood for experimenting again and here is my attempt to make my homebrew ring light flash.

Basically, I used baking aluminium foils.

Mounted it on my 550 EX flash.. and tried on my usual model…  Basically, I got a beauty dish / ring light effect.. Nice accident…

The canon 550 ex was mounted on the camera… The effect was a nice even light with a nice simple round catchlight.

I still need to work on how I mount this on the flash… but overall I am very happy with the effect it makes and the simplicity of the design.

Looking forward to hearing from you and your ideas.

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the Generic Asian

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DIY Snoot or maybe we can call it Monster Honey Comb

July 24, 2008

NOt sure how to call it or what it is… I’ll let you guys decide.

I recently finished my DIY shooting table using PVC pipes and had some left over scrap pipes which I set aside.

So far so good…

The PVC is cut to about 3 inches long and tied together by using some of those plastic tie things….

I can only muster and gang a up 5 pipes from the left overs, but it proved to be enough.

I then wrap it on the tried and true tested Ikea kitchen cabinet liners…  These plastic liners are also my strip lights on some of my shoots.

Here are the initial results…..

Now back to making more experiments on this babies..  See you later!!!

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the Generic Asian

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Waiting yet again… but in total nerdgasm

July 18, 2008

I had recently come across a new set of barn doors.  http://www.nicephotomag.com/the-latest/the-10-no-mod-barn-door-for-your-flash

Immediately after following on the link to B&H and ADORAMA, I quickly realised that I may have been the last man on the planet to know about this as it is completely out of stock.

I am in Bangkok, the Land of Smiling faces, and for all its charm and beauty, it lacks many essentials (read – photo related equipments).

So I find myself improvising a heck of a whole lot here… from snoot to gobos to bardoors.  I also found myself improvising on how I approach photography.

And that is a good thing.  See my photo of the wine glass… it is basically shot using available lights.

But once in a while when I see nice stuff like these relatively ineqpensive barndoors, I go gaga and turn into geek heaven.  Geek or Gik in Thai street slang means mistress by the way.

So here I am, yet again waiting, but waiting in pure nerdgasm state.

And by the way, I am going on another business trip… gotta make sure I am packed properly and I pay attention to my flight details.

Until next time…

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the Generic Asian