When Hobbies Collide

Pre-1904 Iver Johnson top-break revolver. I've proven I can take mug shots of my guns, guitars and hats. Can I learn to make beautiful portraits and still life compositions with them? I intend to find out.

I’m a man of multiple hobbies and interests. I like photography, fedoras, guitars, firearms, motorcycles, literature, and writing. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to see how well I can photograph my hats, guitars and firearms.  Regrettably, I am without a motorcycle at present – keep that in mind as gift-giving holidays near.

I expect many challenges, and I’m looking forward to all kinds of epiphanies. The photos in this post can be considered a baseline or starting point for hats and firearms.  Guitars will come later.

Stetson Open Road in the color known as "silverbelly." If I'm going to get better hat images, I'll need to get away from self-portraits, which are too difficult to execute. I'll also need to remember to clean the sweat stains off the hats before the shoot.

Early lessons should be apparent in the images: 1) the revolver mug shots might be useful for insurance records, but lack interest as photographs. I want to turn them into beautiful still life images, through lighting, props, and composition. 2) Hats make great photographic subjects, with subtle textures, contours, and colors. Can I adjust the lighting and composition to create a portrait of the hat, not the person? I definitely need a different model – not because of humility, but because it’s just too dang hard to frame, light, and focus the self-portraits.

Akubra Stylemaster. How will I capture the textures and contours of the darker hats? No idea.

Oh, and the most annoying lesson for the hats, firearms, and guitars is this: I’m going to have to clean each item before I photograph it! Well, I asked for the fast-paced life of a blogging photographer… Stay tuned.

1966 Colt Frontier Scout. Cross lighting from a low angle helped bring out the stamped letters on the barrel, but blew out the highlights on the cylinder and grip. The fabric wrinkle was unintentional, but reminds me that I'll need multiple planes to make these more interesting photographs. I can introduce some color by including leather holsters or brass and copper cartridges, but how will I prevent them from attracting attention away from the finish and contours of the subjects themselves?

1 Comment

Filed under Just for FUN, Lighting, Motivation

One response to “When Hobbies Collide

  1. myrna

    seems like you could hang a hat anywhere to do a desk top … hats sometimes are not on heads

    if you can get me to be awed by a “gun” photo … then go for it!

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