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March 31, 2010 / Steve

Day 90 – Household Abstract

Wow, it’s the end of the first quarter of 2010 already! Can you believe it?

The creative juices were flowing tonight. My idea was to create abstract art from something around the house, and this is what I came up with.

We bought some blown glass art years ago when we moved to San Diego, and it’s been sitting in our formal living room all these years. The sculpture itself is abstract; looking something like a shell or a wave with very organic, earthy tones. I pointed a flash into a reflective umbrella near the horizontal axis to direct the light down into the fold of glass, and it yielded some cool effects.

The tech details:
Canon 5D Mk II | 1/160 sec. | f/1.8 | ISO 50 | 50mm
430EX into reflective photoflex umbrella (45″) @ 1/4 power

Here’s my set up shot. The sculpture subject is on the coffee table. I used a chair to block some of the light spilling onto the black poster board that serves as my dark background.

Only 275 pictures left in the project to do. It’s been a challenge but a rewarding one!

Here’s a few things I’ve learned from the project in Q1:

  • I love the feedback! I set out on this as a personal project with no expectations of a following or anything of the sort. Thanks to everyone for the feedback, whether it be praise, critique or otherwise. I really appreciate it. I find that I am often just as excited to see what people will say about what I’m doing in the project as I am about the images.
  • You can produce some pretty amazing stuff on the spot when you expect it of yourself. Casual picture-taking doesn’t challenge you like this sort of project does. It’s helping me be more creative, and I can hone in on my best shots quicker than I could before.
  • I enjoy blogging with the pictures more than just posting photo galleries. This was a surprise. Writing or blogging never really worked for me, but as it turns out, I love telling a story around pictures.
  • I’m not as outgoing as I thought I was. I’ve missed some amazing photo opportunities because I was too much of a chicken shit to approach a person and ask if I could take a photo of them or whatever it was they were doing. I’m working on this…


Leave a Comment
  1. Dave / Apr 1 2010 8:51 AM

    this is really neat….amazing lines and textures. You may consider cropping out the grey background. 21×9 maybe? Regardless, super cool.

    I can’t believe Q1 is over either. I would completely agree with you on what you’ve learned. It’s been a strange combination of very difficult and very easy. Congrats on Q1, you’ve produced some AMAZING images.

    • Steve / Apr 1 2010 8:58 AM

      Ditto on the congrats my friend! I’m impressed with your Q1 results as well. My favs of yours so far are days 13, 21, and 37.

  2. Julie Kanitz / Apr 2 2010 3:16 PM


    Your project has become a subject of many conversations with the family. “Did you see what Steve posted today? Wow, what a neat photo Steve posted on xxx. Why aren’t you looking at Steve’s website, his photos and comments are so enjoyable… ”

    Thanks for doing this project. I’m truly enjoying it and hopefully learning some tips too! Have a wonderful Easter weekend.

    • Steve / Apr 2 2010 3:20 PM

      Ha! That’s pretty cool. An unexpected benefit I suppose.

      You have a great Easter weekend too!

  3. Natalie / Apr 7 2010 6:44 AM

    This reminds me of the canyon shots in Utah… well done!

  4. Pia / Apr 7 2010 1:15 PM

    I like the “behind the scenes” photo. It’s neat to see the amount of work that actually goes into the setup.

    Oh, and Michael and I talk about your photos, too. The Kawanos are definitely fans of your work.

    • Steve / Apr 7 2010 1:57 PM

      Tell Mike Hi for me!!

      I’ve gotten lots of good feedback on the setup or comparison photos so I’ll probably be doing more of that in the future on the project.

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