Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ordinary Made Extraordinary - Gear Photography

There is always something to shoot.   You don't have to have a perfect day or a perfect subject.  Sometimes ordinary items can become extraordinary subjects.  This is especially true in macro or close up photography.   Here's an example.

My son Tim ordered a new set of gears for his mountain bike.  When he opened the package and I saw the repeating pattern of silvery gears I said "I've got to shoot that!".   Fortunately for me, he was lacking a tool to replace the gears so I had an extra day to try out the gear photography.

The gears themselves were interesting under normal light, but I thought adding some color would add some interest and make them eye catching.   I used the on camera flash and a second off-camera slave flash to light the gears.  I then used colored tissue paper over the flashes to add the reds, blues, and yellows.  I also used a yellow envelope behind the gears to give a stronger yellow reflection.

I was shooting in manual mode on the camera and adjusted the on-camera flash output depending on the tissue paper and where the other flash was positioned.   I moved the off-camera flash around to produce different lighting effects.

I'm normally outside shooting landscapes or nature so it's a little out of the ordinary for me to shoot still life or abstract photos.  It was fun to try something new.  And I didn't need a fancy studio or a particularly special subject for this.  Just goes to show, you can find something to shoot anywhere.

These were all shot at ISO 640 using a Canon 100mm macro.  The aperture was between f/10 and f/16 and of course I was using a tripod.


  1. I love the website, go day to see him ever again post. Congratulations and published as yet.
    How about the article, is that other, very interesting.Maybe you'd let you comment on my site.
    Anyway, blog is great. Good luck!

  2. neat! very creative to think of that

  3. Travel Photography is not just about your holiday snaps. It is about capturing something of the feel, the emotion, the essence of a place. It is about telling the story of the people and the landscape; it captures the mood and the setting. But you don't need expensive foreign holidays; travel photography can be your record of the next town or city or even neighbourhood. image masking service