Light, flash and clay

Last weeks assignment took me to a few local artists. The pictures never turned into a reportage, but I wanted to shine some light on this particular image.

In this image you can see pottery artist Rob den Tonkelaar creating these cups and plates for nearby archaeological theme park Archeon. He said making these "industrial" products gave him as much satisfaction as any of the art he usually makes. Because the items are all handmade, no two are the same. It adds to the character, and really pleases him the products find actual use, instead of just standing in a corner.

Taking the picture was actually kinda difficult. He was sitting by a window, with bright blue-ish light shining in. But the light bulb above his head produced a warm read glow. My first few attempts using matrix-metering returned bright blue images. No good then. So I switched to using my Speedlight. But that wasn't any good either. I'd forgotten to bring coloured gels, and couldn't find the proper white balance setting. As desperation set in, I changed the light-metering to centre-weighted average. This way I'd only capture the warm light.

Amazingly, it worked. This comes to show that for all the cool technology you have, usually it's the simple things that work best. A Speedlight is just a tool that works in some settings, but definitely not all (of course, you could do an elaborate set-up with blue and red gels, but that would kinda defeat the purpose of the natural light).