Zach awry in Japan

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2 December 2012 Exhibition Photography

The other day my friend Jeffrey and I were enlisted by my friend Kouji Kamada, the potter, to take some photos of his work for fliers/invitations to an upcoming exhibit. He knows we are camera buffs (Jeffrey more so than I), so he figured we would enjoy the challenge. And boy, was it a challenge. Product photography is hard, especially when you don’t have a properly equipped studio.

Below are some of my favorite shots from the session. You’ll notice that the backgrounds we were using had quite a bit of dust etc. on them, but Jeffrey managed to remove that in post-processing.

This big pot was the hardest of all, both because it was large enough to require extra background, and because the glaze is so reflective. We had to move things on the far side of the room because they were visible in the reflections.

Calibration shot
full exif

The next few shots are of an incense burner. The little holes in the lid are for the incense to come out of. Come to think of it, shooting this with incense smoke wafting elegantly out of those holes would make for some awesome images. Too bad we can’t use the products before they’re sold.

Here’s our setup in his workshop. Notice the broom hanging from the ceiling on the left with traditional Japanese paper attached to it to diffuse the light. His potter’s wheel is right under the boards of where the incense burner it.

Here’s a tea ceremony bowl.

Another tea ceremony bowl…

After we shot it, this last bowl fell over and got a 2 mm or so chip in the lip. Very minor, but obviously it wasn’t showable or sellable any longer. So, Kamada-san gave it to me. Bad luck for K-san, good luck for meeee!

Previous shots of his work here, here, and here.