Black Box — All That Glitters

Mikasa Vase

 Fenton Green “Vasoline” Glass Slipper

 Tashira Shoten Teapot

 Turtle Riding Imp

 Noritake Teacup

 “Nebula” Paperweight by Glass Eye Works of Seattle

 Lucite Paperweight With Gulls

 Obsideon Stone Earring


Victorian Amber Crystal Doorknob

 Handblown Inkwell

For some time now, I’ve enjoyed working with one lamp, usually with a “snoot” on it, and a black velvet pad inside what the industry calls a “light tent”.  A circular polarizing filter on the lens cuts and controls reflections, as does the geometrical relationship betweeen light source, object, and camera, and the rest involves a reasonable positioning of the object, choice of exposure, and judicious post-processing.

Lighting: Alien Bees B800 with 10-percent grid or snoot plus, here and there, a sheet of diffusion paper. 

Camera: Nikon D2x with either a 60mm f/2.8 Nikkor or an old 35-105mm f/3.3-4.5 AF Nikkor.  Both lenses feature strong “macro” capabilities.

Surfaces: black velvet mat and plexiglass.

The winter has brought me a neighbor who collects and trades through the local and national auction markets.  Some things he keeps and some he sells, but whether to the box or curio cabinet, one may appreciate both the artistry and craft involved in the creation of exquisite objects and observe–much harder to see–the love of the tangible that quietly sustains markets for them. 

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