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Learning To Take Decent Photos


Deb’s Greatest Hits. That’s what I have to put into a digital portfolio for a grant proposal I’m writing. After taking one set of photos, I discovered how to fix white balance. Tungsten lights, without any white balance adjustment, gives everything a yellow cast. I found the place in the manual that explained how to adjust the white balance. I marked the page. Then I couldn’t find the manual. I have that CRS thing going on. Can’t Remember Stuff. It’s the bifocals. Haven’t been able to remember well since I got bifocals. There must be a correlation.

The above photo is one of my favorite mugs. It’s not brown. When I assembled my greatest hits, I realized most of my work is brown. How can a color junkie like me make all that brown work?


This is a soap dish I particularly like. It doesn’t photograph well. It was over fired so the color came out way different from what I expected. I like the result although I’m not about to deliberately overtire my work again to attempt to get a similar result.


Another favorite mug. It took a few shots, but I got the pink flowers to come out pink. I still see the white areas where the glaze didn’t go. Like all my work, this mug isn’t perfect. IMG_1503

I really like this soap dish except for the little part about it being brown. I don’t get it. I have green glazes. I have pink glazes. I have purple glazes. I have blue glazes. I have yellow glazes. I have red glazes. I have brown glazes that break nicely over texture.


My favorite air plant pot. It’s maybe 2-2.5″ across. Why do I love it? Because the brown did cool stuff on the inside of the pot.


Another air plant pot. The inside is purple with black celedon around the edge. The outside is…. red that looks like brown. This one is 2-2.5″ across.


Yet another air plant pot. Red that looks like brown on the outside, pink with black celadon on the inside.


The fossil dish in ….. brown. Three of the brown glazes I have do wonderful things over texture. The fourth does fun stuff when I layer it over or under another glaze.

IMG_1466.JPGQuiche plate, white balance way off. Brown as well. I love this quiche plate.


Top photo white balance adjusted for tungsten lights, bottom photo adjusted. It’s one of my single cell plant pieces. It’s not brown. It goes into the portfolio by default – I need not brown work.


Oh, look! Another brown pot which highlights my refusal to use wax to coat the bottoms of my pieces thereby giving me a not at all straight edge. That’s the problem with having to put together a digital portfolio. All I see are the mistakes.

I keep setting up the light box, getting out the tripod, adjusting the camera (Cannon Rebel DSLR), taking photos, not being satisfied. From time to time, Tinker helps me by jumping into the light box and leaving handfuls of black cat hair all over my nice, white background. I get photos taken. I put them into the computer. I do a little editing. I’m not satisfied. This has to be a world-class portfolio.

If you photograph your work, I’d like to read your thoughts about my photos. I need all the help I can get. Thanks.



I retired from the Public Defender Dept. November 12, 2015 after 21+ years as a criminal defense attorney. Now, I'm a full time multi-media artist and writer starting on a new adventure. As an artist, I create with beads, fabric, fiber, and ceramic clay. Sometimes separately; sometimes in assorted combinations. You can find my on-line store at: