So I thought that it would be a nice to show the ghetto setup in my room for day two of the shoot.
I thought about doing this in the same post as the main photoshoot, but that just disrupted the flow of everything so here it is, two posts later.
I had a couple of crafts given to my from my grandfather as well so I just had to shoot them as well
Knowing that the sunlight shining through my window would be strongest around 0900, I woke up at about 0800 to set everything up, making most effective use of natural light.
In hindsight, I should have waited until about 1030 to start my shoot because the light just too harsh earlier in the day.
Of course, I adjusted everything and it turned out looking much better. In a perfect world, I would have all the time in the world in a studio with proper lighting, but sometimes all you can do is make lemonade.
I went over to my grandparents’ house over the weekend t0 take pictures of the crafts that he has done. I arrived at Lengkong tiga to some famous beach road nasi briyani; which my grandparents queued 1/2 hour for.
It was the best.
Looking around his house, you could see all sorts of ornaments. Mostly figurines and a whole array of tea sets. I have fond memories as a kid of playing with all the different things that my grandfather had made- and also watching Space Jam on LaserDisc. It’s been a long time since I’d been at his house alone. It seemed much smaller now. Strangely though, there are still crafts in his house that I had never seen before; like the cobra in the featured image above.
When I was young boy, I had always assumed that the things that he owned were bought, but only when he started making coconut zodiac animals for us did I realise that his home was quite homemade.
Back when my parents were living with my grandparents, they owned a coat rack. My grandmother wanted one for their room so my grandfather made a similar one out of wood. Guava tree wood, specifically; his wood of choice for its strength.
He talked about how he collects coconuts whenever he finds them, much to the displeasure of my grandmother.
We proceeded with the set up of the shoot area, which was near his balcony. Natural light, best light. Also, Natural light, only light. And also, Natural light, time-sensitive light. So therefore I needed to work fast.
I taped white cloth on the ceiling and let it drape down. With a table on one side of the cloth and the objects on the other side, I created the following:
Getting the light to be consistent was a challenge. I had to use the camera flash (I know, I cringe too) with tissue as a diffuser.
When it got darker, I had to use a light and because I did not have a proper light stand, I became the light stand.
Timers are also great for reducing the shake when pressing the shutter button (because I had a subpar tripod).
Because the shoot was by the balcony, wind was inevitable so getting the photos without too many creases was a challenge. I had to wait for the right moment to snap each photo.
He sat on the sofa behind the white cloth, occasionally coming over to see how I’m doing and also to tell me more about the things he made.
After we were done, my grandmother heated up some pastries, peeled a bunch of rambutans and offered them to with along with mooncake and ginseng water.
I am loved.
I wished that I had taken a photo of them then and there, instead, here’s a photo of them dancing at my grandfather’s 80th birthday.
Failure. Lots of Failure. It started off trying to find the right kind of wood that could balance the SD. I settled for Basswood. Getting wood of the right size also proved equally challenging. I settled for ones with a similar surface area but shorter height. I would have to glue 2 pieces of wood together.
I sawed one piece of wood and glued the two together.
The quality was far from desirable. I had to file it down.
With that, the D was done.
Moving on to the SO. I bought a whole bunch of wire in hopes that I could fashion it into a spring- Don’t use wire to make springs. The material is just wrong for that purpose.
As a compromise, I bought pens so that I could use the springs to form the SO.
I foolishly tried using one piece as the SO, completely disregarding the fact that SD would be heavier. I soon realised my mistake.
I used multiple springs to create the above. This would have to embedded into the SD.
SD was supposed to be easy but proved to be the most challenging.
I used silicone putty to make a mould for epoxy to be the SD. After that, I had to fit the springs into the epoxy, but since the epoxy was still liquid, I needed to levitate the springs.
All was good until Wednesday when I realised that I had to start fitting all the pieces together on Thursday. The Epoxy was still liquid so I had to come up with a back-up. I used some resin that was recommended to me by the storeowner at the Hobby Shop (where I got Balsa wood for David). It would prove to be my saving grace. I made another putty mould for the resin to be fit in. Because the resin could only turn more malleable when put in hot water, I had to work fast to fit the springs inside before it hardened. It worked.
The epoxy did not dry in time so I used the resin instead. I might have messed up the proportions. I had to create a small hold in the basswood to fit the springs inside. I picked out the wood filing and carving tools for the first time.
It might have looked a little rough but I thought it was good enough. I jammed the springs in and used hot glue to bind it all together. The final product:
The resin could definitely look neater but I think that this was an enlightening experience overall.