Friday, March 13, 2015


I am constantly amazed at how differently an object can look depending on the type of camera, light source and filters that may be used, though I think the biggest unintentional differences spring from variations due to various light sources. I know when photographing the pottery I make the is a tremendous difference from florescent, tungsten and natural sunlight and I always tell customers, take the pot out doors and look at it, that light brings out all kinds of variations that 'studio" shots can only hint at. The digital camera I use has adjustments for eight light sources as well as filters which i use to try to create an image that looks like a pot does when I am looking at it in ambient lighting. My intent whether photographing my work or a pot by another potter is to try to stay as true as possible to what a person can expect when looking at the piece in hand. That is the very best I can try for.

Illustrated is an exceptional Aka-Shino chawan by Tamaoki Yasuo. This chawan is a classic, Momoyama inspired bowl with a rich surface and painterly variations which paint a vivid landscape, this is the beauty that is Shino. The wonderful thing about glazes is that depending on how they are photographed or displayed, that can take on a multitude of appearance and the illustration shows how the piece looks in just two varying light sources. In the catalogue photo, the red is vibrant and dominating and in my photo, taken using tungsten bulbs with a tungsten correcting filter, the color is less intense and closer to what the bowl looks like in person, though in reality, the truth is it is somewhere in between the two. It is easy to get the bowl more red, just adjust the lighting, but best to have the bowl appear as it does, just the way the potter made it.