Notes from the primate lab

Josh is off today with the Triangle Book Arts Group, in a workshop on how to photograph your work. I'm excited for him to tell me everything he learns, because every time I pick up a camera, I get this feeling of being watched through a closed-circuit TV camera by a bunch of unwashed grad students as they murmur notes into their recorders. "Chimp 447A has picked up the device. Subject is exploring the device with eyes, fingers, and mouth. Subject is moving the device from one place to another within her enclosure. Subject is becoming agitated. Subject has propelled the device with astonishing force and velocity. Subject is -- for God's sake, Jerry, where are the tranqs, the TRANQS--"

Chimp 447A is not very good at taking product photos, is what I'm saying.

But after one trip to Michael's and two trips to Lowe's, we put together this simple light box and have found it helps soothe the cranky photographer in me:



Lesson learned about light bulbs: "soft white" = "yellow." Nice for bedroom lamps, but not so great for photographing books. I wish I hadn't gotten rid of the super yellow photos, so I could show you how  much it looked like we were photographing from inside Scrooge McDuck's gold vault. Unfortunately, Chimp 447A deleted them with astonishing force and velocity.

We'll be making Lowe's trip #3 soon for some full spectrum bulbs. In the meantime, we've had pretty good results with the lights off, as long as we're shooting on a sunny morning:




Those are from a batch of books that are now at Vespertine. Stop by and take a look, if you're in the Carrboro area. Tell Ginna, the lovely proprietress, we said hi.

And for now we'll leave you with this:



What is dead can never die.*

*We tore through the second season of Game of Thrones last weekend. Oh, Theon -- baaad things are in store for you, my salty little friend.