Built Scrap

January 29, 2005

I know what you're thinking— how can he shoot the film and be sawing wood in the film at the same time? Or maybe a few of you are more puzzled by the unsupported piece of sawed lumber that seems to be leaping off the right side of the image. Logic would dictate that the saw is in one hand and the elevating bit of cut-off is in my other: which is true. Further proof that logic is quite logical. This leaves the camera to be manned by someone else. I'm guessing my wife, as it was her tabletop photography booth that I was constructing out of this found lumber.

By this time in 2005 Ebay had already become a huge entity and there were countless expensive products on offer to help you take nicely exposed photographs for your auctions.* Most of them consisted of a reflective base that you set your sale item on that was lit from both sides by two clamp lights diffused by translucent fire-retardant cloth. Some even used a tent like construction of diffusion cloth that wrapped around the whole stand so as to not only soften the clamp lights, but block out much of the ambient light as well. Having more time than money, I decided to build one out of junk wood in the garage.

Like most things I build it worked, but was somewhat cumbersome as a result of not investing in the correct weights and widths of lumber. It was designed to collapse down relatively flat with a few quick turns of some wing nuts, but its flat dimension was still seven inches. I think it weighed thirty of forty pounds and we were perpetually misplacing the clothespins and cloth needed to filter the lights. My wife used it for about ten months. I think some form of it still takes up precious real estate in our studio.

*For the record, my wife needed to photograph her artwork and accessory line, not precious family heirlooms to sell on Ebay.

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