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These old boots, this old hat
These old boots, this old hat

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Black and White Still Life (Advanced Editing VII)
Collection: 2010
Camera: Canon EOS-50D
Lens: Tamron SP AF 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 Di II LD for Canon
Location: My dining room table
Date: Aug 14, 2010
Aperture: F8.0
ISO: 200
Shutter: 1/5 Sec.
Galleries: Still Life
Date Uploaded: Aug 15, 2010

Trying to convey a bit of local culture with this. I couldn't bear to do fruit, flowers or wine glasses.

My dad bought the boots in the Fort Worth Stockyards when he visited a few years ago. He never wore them and eventually gave them to me. They're a size too big, but I do wear them on occasion.

My wife's hat.

The vest belonged to my late father in law, who loved western culture. He had his law office decorated with all sorts of western themed items.

The rusted steel bull is an item that I picked up at Deridder Antiques during a Flicker meetup about a year ago. One of the horns had broken off and been replaced with a wood screw. That unique imperfection is what appealed to me about it. My wife says this bull is the kind of thing that would have appealed to her dad as well.

Anticipated critiques:
-Multiple shadows on front brim of hat. (Agreed, I'm a lighting newb.)
-Boring black background, could have added some more interest in that area.
-Button between the boots should have been tilted toward the camera. (Boy, I'm really getting nitpicky about my own stuff!)
-The "prosthetic horn" may get a comment or two.
-I also expect someone to not care for the modest tonemapped appearance.

Post-challenge notes:
I'm very pleased at how well this was received for a genre I don't consider myself good at. As I anticipated, several members mentioned the screw that is serving as a prosthetic horn. This was intentionally composed to display the screw/horn. Something that is an appealing quirk to one person can be a major flaw to others.

In spite of how well this did, one thing is clear (which I already knew), I need to figure out how to do more interesting, but appropriate backgrounds.

Lighting info:

I wanted the primary lighting to be coming from the right, but still needed a bit of fill on the left, otherwise the shadows would be too deep and not show any detail at all. Initially, I tried it with just the strobes on the right and reflector on the left, but had to add another strobe for some more fill. Here's what I ended up with:

-2 Vivitar 2800's to the right, behind a shoot-through umbrella.
-Handheld Vivitar 2800, with a small softbox on it, pointing at a 32" reflector on the left.
-Optical peanut triggers on all the 2800's.
-Canon 430ex on the hotshoe, snooted, pointed to the right, and set to the lowest power. Just enough to trigger the optical slaves, but not enough to affect the image.
-Manual mode exposure, since optical slaves are not exactly TTL-aware devices. It usually takes me a handful of test shots to get the exposure correct.

Place: 24 out of 151
Avg (all users): 6.0840
Avg (commenters): 6.0000
Avg (participants): 5.9231
Avg (non-participants): 6.2778
Views since voting: 1184
Views during voting: 234
Votes: 119
Comments: 7
Favorites: 0

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08/23/2010 06:56:02 AM
didn't notice the prostetic horn until I read the description - i like it a lot and i think it gives the whole composition a humorous twist. I would like it to be more visible! very nice details in the photo, but I miss the background - this way it looks suspended in the thin air of the night.

Message edited by author 2010-08-23 06:56:19.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
08/22/2010 09:25:00 PM
Nice contrast.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/22/2010 12:53:12 PM
spot on sharpness, the textures of the garments, shoes and display is well transcended.. not a big fan of the all black background
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/21/2010 12:44:09 PM
Nice setup but the background is too black......it gives the items a cut and paste feel. But still not a bad photo.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/20/2010 02:16:38 AM
Well executed photo that is ruined by the screw. Couldn't you have found a way to turn the bull around so that side wasn't showing?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/16/2010 03:28:04 PM
I like the clarity of this... but for me the subject just doesn't wow me...sorry
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/16/2010 11:10:50 AM
nice different props used i like it whats with the screw in the bull's eye? 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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