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Medium format objects


Well-known member
Small objects from everyday life I like to look at in detail. I look for shapes, colors, materials and interesting angles in connection with light. Very often I then see details in a completely different context.

In factual photography, objects must be described photographically factual well. In product photography there is a little more freedom, in particular I can include other things in the picture that support the main character. In still life, practically everything is allowed, I do not even have to depict the actual object in its entirety to put it in my picture in a big way. So then happened with a small coffee cup that I found on the street.

Real steam or smoke from liquids is very problematic because it contains water and "always" looks dirty when backlit. Therefore, it is a good idea to create it differently.

This kind of smoke knows everyone unconsciously. It arises exactly at the moment when a candle goes out and a plume rises from the wick. So it must not burn but only glow. In the past, we simply took some tobacco for something like that. But that was a start-stop-pity action as I had to find out. Tobacco seems to have additives today (just like cigarettes) so that it goes out if you don't pull on it. I then experimented for a while with different materials - the best were my paper tear-off rolls from the gastro area. With it a small bead twisted and brought to glow, went in the direction of my ideas.

Due to the position of the cup, the cup itself achieves a certain dynamic and what is even more important - the smoke can rise in the right place. In the cup itself you need a small chimney (eg a small twisted aluminum paper roll) which is then attached with adhesive paste in the cup.

...and of course I like (as always) very graphic images.

Gruß Gerd

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For sure a breath of fresh air as most images here are of the landscape variety - mine included! I have always wanted to take images like this but never learned the skills to do so. It certainly isn't too late but my learning capabilities are getting rusty. There is a fair amount of this type of imagery at FM where there are a lot of very talented photographers.

Great Image......

Victor B.


Well-known member
This is a classic pocket knife from Charly Bennica. It is an "art" knife, made to be beautiful as opposed to being something you would use to clean fish. This example is an interesting photographic exercise in that it presents both highly polished and rough-textured (meteorite) metal surfaces. Everything is specular, but in different ways.
IQ4, 138 HR, f16 (single plane)

The usual method to capture something like this is with diffuse light from all directions. That is efficient within a commercial work flow, and yields a consistent look that clients value. However, it does create a certain sameness in the images. So, having the dilettante's luxury of time, I do it differently. I use continuous light and mirrors which vary in hardness. These let the shiny metal present a highly variable set of reflections from black to near clipped. It takes time to get the dark and bright shiny bits where you want them, is very inefficient, and does not show the object better than diffuse lighting- probably worse. But it is intriguing to me.

BTW, I seem to be dominating this thread. Certainly not my intention. Please post.

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Well-known member
@MGrayson you got it - a McArthur portable microscope. This particular one was part of a kit supplied to US submarines in the cold war era. The entire kit fit into a small pelican case (about 8 x 10 x 4"). It included some additional attachments (clip on illuminator etc.) and slide evaluation tools. Everything the conscientious sub medic needs.

I find the shape interesting and will do a series of shots of it.


Well-known member
A lot of finagling with lights and grip can go into a simple image. If I succeed, the result is natural and visually interesting without any obvious photographic trickery. The thing is just there, and that can mean using the imperfections that are so contrary to the commercial goals of product photography.



Well-known member
Another shot of Charly Bennica's meteorite folder. I was embarrassed to count five continuous lights, three mirrors and three strobes all working to create the effect. Took a lot of time to get it right. I just know that a good pro would have shown me I only needed two lights and a half hour to do the same thing. Sigh.
IQ4, 138HR


Paul Spinnler

Well-known member
Cunim – are you on assignment with the knives (ie for a knife company) or is this your interest? Although not familiar with the knife world, some of them look really ace design-wise and as photographed by you with this lighting setup...!


Well-known member
Paul, I tend to make small collections of things because I like photographing them. i, also, am not part of the knife world. So, not an assigned job and just because I find specular surfaces interesting. Thank you for the comment.