Monday, July 28, 2008

Ol' Wiley


Some of you, that have visited our studio might have met Wiley. He was a good dog. A great dog in my eyes. He left us last week. He had a great and long life. Australian Shepards live to about eleven years. Wiley was having so much fun living his life that he forgot about that and almost made it fifteen years. All but the last few weeks were full of good times.

He never was a problem. Never chewed things. Well, there was the straps to our spa that disappeared. He never dug holes. Well, there was the gopher infestation two years ago that he took quite personal. I think he thought they were coming from China. But all in all it was great to have him as a dog.

He got to go backpacking in the Sierras, hiking in the desert and visit all the neighbors trees. He chased cayotes out of our yard and he loved herding our neighbors wiener dogs when they would dig under the fence. He would corner them near the pool and they had a heck of a time getting back home.

Lots and lots of good memories. He will and already is missed. He had his own dog Dharma, who is suffering from his lost.

Wiley was named after my grandfather, Wiley McDonald. They had a lot in common.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Some Shell Collection

One of our more interesting clients is the San Diego Museum of Natural History, located in Balboa Park. This past week we had the opportunity to go into their research library and photograph pages from old book. The photos will be used to make note cards to sell in the Museum shop. The book was printed in 1790. It was commissioned by a Maria Theresia Augusta. She seems to be a person of importance or at least of great wealth from Austria.

The book was large, about 15x18. We were not allowed to touch the book. A museum curator, with white gloves, handled the book and turned the pages. It was in great condition. They keep these books in a climate controlled vault.

Here is the title page. I think the book was written in Latin.

The purpose of the book was to catalog Ms. Augusta's collection of shells. After each plate there were pages describing each shell. The book was about 2.5-3 inches thick.

Here are three of the se
ven plates that we photographed:

The book was published in black ink. Each shell was reproduced as a line drawing. I have no idea how many of these books were made, but each page of shells was individually hand painted in water colors. This would have been done on each book published!

Really fascinating shoot. And for the first time in my life I got to stand in my stocking feet on top of a table in a library. Now how many of you can say that!!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Interesting Shoot This Week

One of the fun things about being a photographer is the variety of clients that we have. One day we may be shooting a cell phone in the studio, the next day a shock absorber for a car and the next day a pretty model wearing sports clothes. Each assignment is different and requires different tools and methods to accomplish what the client would like.

This week was no different. We shot a steel 'gusher' mold that was about the size of a loaf of bread and weighed 50 pounds. Then we did a close up of a part on the mold that was no larger than 1/8 of an inch. We also had 18 views of a new cell phone, some gun leather products and a few items that I don't know what they were.

Then we had the big stuff:
Our client makes high end equipment for recording studios. The 'woofer' in the middle was three foot by three foot and weighed 300 pounds. So we started out this shoot wrestling this block. The fun and interesting part was the client wanted the lights to be illuminated on the front of the woofer and monitors. In order to do that we had to hook all of them up to a computer and send an audio signal. By the time we had enough lights illuminated the walls were vibrating in the studio. Pictures were rattling and I swear I loosened a filling in my back molar.

But we got the shot and I'm sure our new neighbors were wondering if anyone else felt the 'earthquake' they had felt.

And people think we are in this business for the money!