California is Full of Beans!

Warning: This post actually has nothing really to do with Silicon Valley!

Outline of the State of California (Michael Halberstadt)

Some time ago I ordered some cookie cutters with the intention of making some stock photo artwork. The idea was to shape other objects into the shape of states.  I had a list of things I thought would make for a cool juxtaposition, but not all really worked as planned.  My studio lighting setup is less than ideal, and our studio is a bit of a mess much of the time, which also kept me from finishing up this idea.

Recently my studio mate needed to darken our windows for one of his projects and it so happened that I just got an LED video light. So “painting with light” seemed like a good way to approach this subject.  If you aren’t familiar with the concept, you can take a long exposure and move a constant light source around your object for a unique result. I’m pretty happy with the lighting, though I hadn’t factored in the reflections from the metallic sides.

What did seem to work easily were a few agricultural products that fit nicely in the state frames. I poured a few different types of beans with varying success- coffee and pinto seemed to work best.

I have a list of other ideas what to stuff to frame up in the shape of California, and other geographic boundaries. But until you see them here, I’m gonna keep ’em secret.