Feather and water drop on plexiglass with gel lights

For me winter is a chance to shoot in the studio. I have a large woodworking shop and every December I like to do a complete cleaning of the shop (a good idea once a year on general principles). This is long effort spread over three days since every time I make a cleaning pass I need to let the dust settle for eight hours or so before the next pass. I don’t want to leave any wood dust around to get into my camera body when I change lenses.

Since my studio work is all  what would be called table top work I set a full sheet of plywood on my table saw to act as a shooting table. Next I bring all my studio gear into the wood shop. I don’t have the kind of gear that a portrait studio photographer would use. Instead I have a lot of small stands, clamps, table top tripods and the like. I do have three normal sized mono lights but most of what I do is done with Nikon’s macro light system.

Scotch bottle and glass

Stop motion water drops

Bowl and plate with marbles on plexiglass

Wine bottle and glass










Soft focus Alstroemeria

I am interested in shooting a wide range of small objects with different lighting set-ups. A lot of what I do is very high contrast or back lit images with fully saturated colors. I like the bokeh of my primary Sigma 150mm macro lens so I shoot quite a few shallow DOF images as well. I also really love to shoot flowers although the selection available in the winter in Albuquerque is a bit limited. I am a member of the local photography club, the Enchanted Lens Camera Club, in Albuquerque. I am also in one of the portfolio groups in the club and my project for this year is “Ethereal Flowers”. I’ll try and write a post about it when I finish the portfolio.



Another of my favorite subjects is reflected and refracted light. Over the years I have done a lot of experiments with this from water drops to soap bubbles. Just last year I tried doing refractographs for the first time and found that fascinating. I am planning on doing some more of them next winter and I may choose that as a portfolio project for next year.




I just packed up all the studio gear for this year so I can tackle some woodworking projects. So unless I get really motivated I won’t be doing any more studio work until next winter.