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Thread: Tucson Rocks (Part 1)

  1. #1
    Snarkbyte's Avatar
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    Tucson Rocks (Part 1)

    I did get some useable shots from the Gems and Minerals Show this weekend, but the primary locations with the best stuff doesn't open until Feb. 1. These were all taken in parking lot locations, which is difficult light for many of the crystals due to reflections from bright sunlit objects outside the awning. I also learned that shooting fine jewelry (faceted gems, and any other fine detail work) absolutely requires a tripod; a monopod with a stabilized lens just isn't stable enough at this scale. Not surprising, really, but I thought it was worth a try.

    First, just especially for Raylee, a "really big rock", as requested: 150+ lbs. of azurite. The vendor had two of these boulders sitting on opposite ends of a table. I hope it's a very strong table, and I wonder how they move some of this stuff around... I can't imagine lifting this thing without any handles, and it's not sitting on a palette for a forklift or pulley. (It will need polishing before you can wear it, Raylee.)

    Tucson Rocks (Part 1)

    The patterns and colors in a huge slab of petrified wood. A shame the "Nature Abstracts" competition is over, this place is full of opportunities for abstracts.

    Tucson Rocks (Part 1)

    Another petrified wood shot. Am I the only one that sees Jupiter's cloud bands here? Maybe I spend too much time looking at astronomy photos.

    Tucson Rocks (Part 1)

    A lot of other things besides rocks, minerals and fossils find their way into the show, some of them quite rare. This is a genuine Sabertooth cat skull. It did have a price tag on it (which I cloned out), but you really don't want to know what it said; it is clearly a museum quality item, and it was just sitting there on a table under an awning in a parking lot. As with most items on display, I wish for a better angle, but items are crowded very close together, and "Do Not Touch" is an understood thing with items like this. The same vendor had another Sabertooth skull with really large fangs, that I like even better, but there's a lot of clutter around it, and haven't had a chance to clean it up yet.

    Tucson Rocks (Part 1)

    This is the first public event where I've tried to take photos, and the reactions of people to a camera takes some getting used to. Some vendors will almost insist you take their picture (and then ask if you're a journalist), while others will charge like a mad bull if they see a camera within 50 feet of their display (especially jewelers from the US, though some are quite helpful and even remove items from the display case so you can get a better shot). Most vendors are more or less indifferent, but I have learned it's best to ask before shooting... even if they don't mind, they appreciate the courtesy. As for "people shots" of the general public... most seem downright hostile toward having their picture taken, which I don't really understand. It's amazing that people consider a photo to be an invasion of privacy when they're in such a public place, surrounded by strangers (many of whom are much closer than I am when I point the camera).

    More to come, but I probably won't get a chance for more shots until next weekend. The prime locations will be open by then, and the light in those locations should be better.

  2. #2
    Peter Ryan's Avatar
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    Re: Tucson Rocks (Part 1)

    Hi Al,

    Thanks for the update and I do look forward to hearing how you tackled the final shoot as well as seeing the images.

    I can see that on Raylee’s finger.

  3. #3
    Camellia's Avatar
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    Re: Tucson Rocks (Part 1)

    Hi Al

    Fascinating stuff. I'll do some research on azurite and talk to my jeweller friend - I'm sure we can come up with a design.

    You're right about the petrified wood looking like abstract paintings.

    I look forward to seeing more photos.

    Cheers

    R

  4. #4

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    Re: Tucson Rocks (Part 1)

    I love #2 the rock in #1 looks like good abstract material too.

    Wendy

  5. #5
    Camellia's Avatar
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    Re: Tucson Rocks (Part 1)

    OK - I looked up azurite. It was used as a pigment in the Middle Ages for painting. It is a copper based mineral and it oxidises in the air, hence the green in the first photo.

    R

  6. #6
    Snarkbyte's Avatar
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    Re: Tucson Rocks (Part 1)

    The second sabertooth cat skull. This one had a lot of clutter and parts of the skull were obscured, so I had to do a lot of cloning and healing, but I don't think it turned out too bad, considering all the editing. It will be a lot better if I can remove the box in the foreground.

    Tucson Rocks (Part 1)

  7. #7
    jeeperman's Avatar
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    Re: Tucson Rocks (Part 1)

    While the whole set is cool to see, this last is my favorite. Thanks for sharing. Look at those teeth. I bet his bite was worse than his Snark.

  8. #8
    Snarkbyte's Avatar
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    Re: Tucson Rocks (Part 1)

    Quote Originally Posted by jeeperman View Post
    Look at those teeth. I bet his bite was worse than his Snark.
    Probably, but look where it got him... extinction. I really do need to remove the box in front, but I had already cloned out a bunch of other stuff, and it was getting late, so I removed a bright distracting label from the top of the box and posted it.

    Thanks for the comments, everyone. I'll post some more this week as I manage to finish PP.

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