INSPIRATION: Inanimate Objects

I am primarily an outdoor photographer. I find inspiration in nature every single day of my life. This is not to say that I never shoot indoors or find inspiration from inanimate objects that are not part of an outdoor landscape. Because I often do.

Case in point: last year I was shopping for my wife’s birthday. She has an affinity for hand-made glass. Any kind of glass: art glass, vases, bowls, and pitchers. And every year on her birthday I like to give her a new piece to add to her collection.

While on my quest for that special piece of glass, I walked past a storefront a small shop. Displayed in their window was a shallow Italian glass bowl, with colors so vibrant they refused to be ignored. I had to have it. And I knew right where my wife would want to display it.

And I couldn’t help thinking what a unusual object it would be to photograph. The patterns in the glass are abstract. By photographing just part of the bowl, it could make for an interesting study in color and shapes.

So, almost a year later, I decided to finally take the photograph. I set up the bowl on a table with the camera and 35mm lens mounted on a tripod. The close-focusing feature of the 35mm 1.8 lens was the right choice to get all areas of the bowl in sharp focus. Indoor photos were taken using a remote flash mounted on a small stand. A reflector was used to balance out the highlights, and to lighten up the shadows, in the outdoor photos.

I played around with various flash and camera settings. The results were varied and in some cases, surprising. Overall, I was very pleased with the results.

Here is the only kicker: my wife keeps teasing me that the only reason I gave her the bowl was because I wanted to photograph it. Stashed in some hidden part of my brain, I would have to admit…she is probably right.

  1. September 26, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Gorgeous! Teach me, Obi Wan!!!

    • September 28, 2011 at 8:34 am

      Yoda’s famous words…”try, there is no try, do or do not.” Just start playing around…tons o’ fun!!

  2. September 27, 2011 at 3:32 am

    Beautiful vibrant abstract!

    • September 28, 2011 at 8:31 am

      Thanks, I love photographing objects in a different way to change the way they appear. This one was begging to be photographed!!

  3. tedgriffith
    September 27, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Great abstract image!

    • September 28, 2011 at 8:28 am

      Thanks Ted, I’ve been wanting to photograph this for a long time.

  4. September 28, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Beautiful – color and design! Fun to experiment with subjects other than nature occasionally!

    • September 28, 2011 at 1:56 pm

      Yes it sure is…this was begging to be photographed.

  5. September 28, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Gorgeous shot!!!

    • September 29, 2011 at 9:12 am

      Thanks Katie, That bowl is just alive with color!! Come to think of it…my wife has some other contenders…hmmmm

  6. September 30, 2011 at 6:47 am

    Beautiful! A gift is so much better if you both like it 😉

  7. October 2, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Lovely vibrant photo. I love it when someone takes the time to find something they know I will like instead of the handy gift card. Beautiful choice you both can appreciate.

    • October 3, 2011 at 8:30 am

      It’s my opinion that part of gift giving is the thought behind the quest for just the right gift. I have always done that and she never knows what to expect. She loved it!!

  8. October 5, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Wonderful shot. I love the vibrance of the colors.

    I’m in the same boat as you. I prefer outdoor photography as well, and rarely shoot indoors. Glad you found your indoor inspiration!

  9. October 5, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Glad you like it…and the bowl is vibrant to say the least. Sometimes when it is cold and rainy like it has been lately (most of September it seems) and I don’t feel like going outside, I snoop around the house for cool objects to photograph and just play. Sometimes it works and sometimes not. But at I learn from the experience.

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