Tag Archives: tea

Becoming fabulous!

It's very nice of my hairdresser to offer me tea while I wait for my appointment, but there's something vital missing here.
It’s very nice of my hairdresser to offer me tea while I wait for my appointment, but there’s something vital missing here.

After two weeks of being annoyed and wearing my hair in a pony tail, I gave in and got a haircut.

I don’t like getting my hair cut. I don’t like dealing with hair at all, so I let it grow until it becomes unwieldy and unflattering and annoys the crap out of me. Only then do I book an appointment with the expensive hairdresser — I’ve been to several cheap ones, and at best they give me a haircut that does not actively annoy me. The expensive ones can give me a cut that almost makes this whole hair business seem worth it.

I don’t like being at the salon. Keeping my attitude towards hair in mind, it’s hard for me to find a common topic of conversation with someone who loves hair so much they became a ladies’ hairdresser. Sometimes it even gets me in trouble: One hairdresser threatened to shave my head because I mentioned I didn’t use conditioner. The same person also told me I needed to smile more through the whole ninety minutes it took them to give me a terrible cut. I probably don’t need to mention this was one of the cheap hairdressers I’ve since stopped going to.

Today was thankfully quite pleasant, and even a little amusing.

I told my hairdresser I don’t blowdry my hair, and that my only real styling implement is a hair brush. They responded by wincing and giving me a blowdry that would make a Wella model envious. Incidentally, the style of choice involved having a curtain of hair over my good eye, so for the last half of the styling process all I could see was fuzzy blobs.

Who needs sight when you can be fabulous!

Photography first, tea second

My new ingenuiTEA teapot arrived in the post today, which means I can finally dig into my bags of loose-leaf tea again. It also means an excellent opportunity to practice photographing a transparent, shiny, plastic teapot. Making tea will just have to wait.

I usually do shots like this against a white background, but I doubt the white text on the pot would show up very well that way, so I picked up a sheet of black cardboard on the way back from the post office.

Test shot 1

At home I set up my usual studio — just a simple infinity sweep using said black cardboard — and shot a couple of test shots. I have a single flash (at whatever settings it was on since my last shoot) bouncing off the ceiling, a macro lens (which happened to be attached to my camera from last shoot), and I’m using the camera hand-held.

Right away, this confirms a couple of my suspicions:

  1. A single light from above looks weird for this, and
  2. Auto-focus can’t handle this at all.

Time to break out the tripod, the lightstand, and all the other goodies that turn our tiny living room into an obstacle course.

Test shot 2

For the second test shot, I have one flash with an umbrella off to the left, a second flash bouncing off the ceiling, and I’ve switched to my 35mm prime lens.

I’m liking this shot a lot better. The handle is disappearing against the background, so I put up a reflector to get some light in from the right. The two flashes need to be balanced better, so I experiment with that. There’s a harsh reflection of the umbrella in the teapot, but I soften that a bit by moving the flash further to the side and turning down the power a bit.

As I’m getting closer to a shot I like, the image just seems to be begging for a dramatic, high-contrast look, so that’s the treatment I give the final candidate.

Final image

I quite like the result. It’s not perfect, but I’m craving tea and running out of patience.