Friday, April 22, 2005

I'm not a scientist, but I play one on tv...

I just gave a talk to the Charleston Camera Club. I gave a demonstration on how I might go into a laboratory setting and "pull a rabbit out of my hat". Often a laboratory might be a rather boring looking, flourescent-lit facility. I can scrounge some glassware or equipment, a person and with some interesting lighting create a cool photo. This photo for instance...

...wasn't taken anywhere near a lab. The club meeting was in the Dunbar Public Library. I surveyed the club members and pulled a nice lady out of the crowd who I thought might look like a scientist. I put a white lab coat on her (which, in this photo is barely visible) and arranged some glassware (sitting on a cardboard box) into an interesting pattern. I set up a large white softbox for the main light... I lit the background wall and clock with a blue-gelled light... and I put a small softbox with a red gel on it on the right to the rear of the model. I thought it turned out rather well. Better than some shots I've done in real labs, for sure.


Earth Girl said...

I've been trying to get some business from a forensic lab and I sent my contact (also my sister) this picture to show why a professional photographer was needed (and worth the extra cost. I had to laugh at her response:

Got your second email, I haven't heard anything more about the brochure either. We had a good laugh at the lab photo. It is very pretty; but my first thought was "Why on earth are there solids in those volumetric flasks?"

Rick Lee said...

"Why on earth are there solids in those volumetric flasks?"

Yeah, that was an excellent question. Ha! I had shot some photos for a non-profit group that promotes the polymer plastics industry in this area. They had these polymer bits displayed in those flasks which they loaned me to shoot. I just happened to have them around the studio when I went to that camera club meeting. I through them together with some lab coats and stuff to take with me. I actually DID take some food coloring with me which I thought I'd use to make some pretty liquids to put in those flasks. But time was very short and I decided to just go ahead and shoot the picture with the solid bits in the flasks. It's a little strange but visually, it works.

When I'm on location in a real lab, I'm always asking people to do weird things they aren't used to doing but I tell the participants that they need to let me know if what I'm asking them to do will look too strange to people who are "in the know" about such things.

Speaking of forensic labs... take a look at this page.. .
I'm currently redesigning my photography web site and this is not currently linked to from the site.