Not long after I posted my column last week, I heard from my new friend Glenn Bartley, who assured me he had enough photos of his side table build to document the project for our magazine. In my column I mentioned how images are so important to a woodworking magazine like CW&HI. Dark, out-of-focus photos that don’t clearly show a step to our readers are of no help to anyone, and are enough to make even the most hardened editor tear up. Glenn has travelled the world photographing birds, so I’m sure his skills are more than up to capturing images of raw wood being turned into a piece of furniture.
My photography skills
I’ve always enjoyed landscape photography, especially when travelling. I’ve been to South America and China, and have covered the vast majority of Canada and the U.S. I’ve always been comfortable with a camera, though taking photos indoors, with less than ample natural light, posed some challenges for me. Digital cameras sure helped out and steepened my learning curve. Since becoming the editor of CW&HI I’ve tried my best to improve the images included on our pages, as I think that provides an immediate visual impact for readers and makes reading each issue even more enjoyable. I always tell writers I don’t expect National Geographic-quality images, just well-lit, in-focus shots that show an action.
Recently I’ve been preparing an issue with a four-article “feature” in it. I won’t ruin the surprise and tell you what will be featured, but if you watch my short video closely you might get some clues. I took the images for a number of the articles.
Taking photos that will go in the body of an article are a bit easier, as they run smaller, but I try to ensure the lead photo (the photo that leads off each article, and visually introduces the topic) is taken with a bit of extra care. Full-page shots are what I aim for, though sometimes we need the room and the photos are reduced in size. This lead photo shoot included about 30 small accessories and a few other power tools, not to mention some wood for props. Once I was finished, and everything was packed away, I realized one small item was missed, but I wasn’t going to set everything up again. I knew nobody would know, as long as I didn’t tell them, so please keep this little secret between the two of us.
What’s your favourite artistic woodworking shot? Send it to me, along with a little bit of info, and I’ll see about including it in an upcoming column.