March 31, 2007

Cathedral by Candlelight


Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 lens at 45mm, f/2.8. Still life inside the Santa Marina Dei Frari church in Venice, Italy.

Posted by claire-obscure at 4:14 PM | Comments (2)

February 15, 2007



Tamron 90mm f/2.8 macro lens at f/4. A few days ago, I took a look at our old beat-up chess set and said to Mike that I'd like to get a new one. He looked shocked at the suggestion. I couldn't understand why, until he explained that he had played with this set since he was a kid, and that it belonged to his grandfather before that. Then, I suddenly grew very fond of the old, scratched-up board. It's funny how an old thing can suddenly turn into treasure when it has a history attached to it. I suppose if we hang on to our stuff, no matter how worn, ugly, or outdated, our grandkids will think it's awesome and retro some day.

Posted by claire-obscure at 5:06 PM | Comments (2)

January 25, 2007



Tamron 90mm f/2.8 macro lens at f/11, 5 sec, iso 100. From a vase of tulips sitting at my window.

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January 23, 2007



Canon 17-40mm f/4 lens at 29mm, f/7.1. Another scene from La Placita. The chair was part of a cafe table setup outside a restaurant. I normally don't alter the arrangement of scenes to photograph them, not because I have something against that, but because I'm timid and a little bit lazy. But nobody was looking here and I couldn't resist. I posed the chair in the corner and stretched myself over the table to photograph it.

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December 24, 2006

Happy Holidays!


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November 4, 2006



Tamron 90mm-f/2.8 at f/11.

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October 22, 2006

Apple Picking

larriland apples
Freshly picked Empire apples in window light. Tamron 90mm-f/2.8 macro lens at f/16.

stayman_winesap.jpg Stayman winesap apple trees at Larriland Farms, in Woodbine, MD. Canon 70-200mm-f/4 lens at f/4. We went to Larriland a few weeks ago for the Empire apples and returned yesterday for the Stayman Winesap and Fuji.

Posted by claire-obscure at 9:26 AM | Comments (1)

June 29, 2006



Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 lens at 62mm, f/2.8. A little scene from a corridor in Burano.

Posted by claire-obscure at 10:24 AM | Comments (4)

March 23, 2006



Canon 5D, Tamron 90mm macro lens, f/9. I spent a pleasant afternoon in D.C. today. It was so refreshing to take outdoor pictures again, after shooting mostly studio photos during the winter. I do enjoy setting up little scenes in the house, but nothing beats finding novel things to shoot outside.

Posted by claire-obscure at 9:48 PM | Comments (5)

January 3, 2006


house of cards

5D, Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, 50mm, f/22, 2 sec, EV +1. Lighting from a single diffused fluorescent lamp. Warpage courtesy of photoshop. I haven't worked on abstracts in quite some time and I miss them. I've been more focused on taking stock photos lately, but my new year resolution is to make more time for abstracts.

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December 12, 2005



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November 29, 2005



Canon 5D, Canon 24-70 f/2.8L, f/11.

Posted by claire-obscure at 6:25 PM | Comments (15)

November 10, 2005



A pile of books on my living room table. 5D, 70-200mm f/4 lens, f/4, 0.6 sec, iso 200. Some of you have already noticed my new toy, which was a surprise birthday present from my husband. I've been shooting with the 5D for 2 weeks now, and am loving it more and more each day. It may be my imagination--I haven't done direct comparison tests between it and Mike's 20D or my old 300D--but my impression is that the 5D renders color in a very beautiful, natural way. I also like how the full frame sensor now allows a more narrow DOF. There is just something really pleasing to me about the look that it produces.

Posted by claire-obscure at 3:27 PM | Comments (9)

November 1, 2005



A child's bedroom in Old Sturbridge Village, Massachusetts. Canon 5D, tamron 28-75mm, f/8, 1/125, ISO 200. This weekend Mike and I took a roadtrip to Bethel, Maine to see one of my best friends from college get married. The town of Sturbridge was one of our stops along the way.

Posted by claire-obscure at 11:06 AM | Comments (8)

October 22, 2005

Cafe Tables

cafe tables

Fells Point, Baltimore. This is outside one of my favorite restaurants, Kali's Court Mezze.

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October 13, 2005



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July 31, 2005

The Red Violin


Canon 24-70mm, f/2.8, 1/13 sec, natural light. After a long break from photography, I've decided to work on still lifes again with the goal of building my stock portfolio. Today I gave myself the assignment of photographing my violin.

I don't know how other people feel, but for me studio work is the most challenging type of photography. I get frustrated when I can't produce a photo that matches the image I have in mind. I often can't produce what I visualize when photographing scenes out in the world either, but for some reason I don't find this quite as troubling. When I'm photographing something in my own home, I feel as though I should have complete control over the results, and yet there are so many times when I can't get what I want because I don't have the know-how. There's still so much to learn about lighting. I hope studio work will become more easy and fun when I have more experience.

One valuable lesson gained from today's assignment: pay careful attention to the reflections on shiny objects. For my first (botched) set of photos, I put the violin by a window to catch some soft natural light. But because the violin is shiny, the window created some big, ugly looking highlights on the violin's surface. It's amazing how easy it is to miss these details because the mind tends to ignore reflections.

Posted by claire-obscure at 10:38 PM | Comments (11)

June 24, 2005

Fresh Veggies

washing vegetables

Tamron 90mm-f/2.8 macro lens, 1/250, f/16.

Posted by claire-obscure at 7:40 PM | Comments (12)

May 20, 2005



A softer presentation of yesterday's subject. This is more of a typical flower shot, but I just like how it makes me feel. Gerber daisies are becoming one of my favorite flowers. There's just something so cheery about them. I like how they seem simple and unpretentious. Plus, I'm grateful because this batch of them brought me out of my recent no-photography slump.

Posted by claire-obscure at 10:23 PM | Comments (12)

May 19, 2005

Gerber Daisies

gerber daisies

I haven't taken photos since my trip to FL. I can't figure out why, but I just haven't been in the mood for photography lately. But yesterday, VF got me some gerber daisies, and I just couldn't resist taking the camera off the shelf. For this shot, I put the vase of flowers on top of a large sheet of white paper by the window to catch some bright late morning light.

Posted by claire-obscure at 11:16 AM | Comments (31)

April 8, 2005

Green Glow


More excuses...things have been hectic, etc. etc. I'll be in NYC for the next few days so surely I will have something new to post when I get back. In the meantime, here is another one from the archives.

Posted by claire-obscure at 11:49 PM | Comments (13)

March 27, 2005



Another paper image using curled tracing paper.

Reminder: voting at Photobloggies ends at midnight tonight. If you're into photography, please take the time to check out the nominees and vote.

Posted by claire-obscure at 11:38 AM | Comments (9)

March 25, 2005



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March 24, 2005

Trapped Rainbows

Trapped Rainbows

An explanation of the set-up can be found in the comments to yesterday's post.

Posted by claire-obscure at 11:17 AM | Comments (12)

March 23, 2005

Liquid Seashells

Little Liquid Seashells

A huge thanks to whoever nominated this blog for the Photobloggies "Best Abstract Photography" category. It really made my day to make the finalist round, and I feel quite honored just to see this blog listed with the likes of Deceptive Media and Vitrine en Illumina. If you're into photography, please take the time to check out the nominees and vote.

Posted by claire-obscure at 12:53 AM | Comments (21)

March 21, 2005



Another little dose of spring from my living room table.

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March 19, 2005

Hello Spring


Posted by claire-obscure at 8:34 PM | Comments (12)

March 9, 2005

Spring Visions


Detail from a basket of flowers in my department's lounge. I've grown really attached to a new lens--a 50mm f/1.4--and I'm enjoying the ability to play with really wide apertures.

Posted by claire-obscure at 11:29 PM | Comments (14)

March 8, 2005

Two of my favorite things



Today's post was brought to you by the letter "C."

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February 22, 2005

Three Glasses

Three Glasses

Posted by claire-obscure at 8:22 PM | Comments (11)

February 8, 2005

Chopsticks II


Canon 300D, Tamron 90mm macro, f/3.2, 1/60 sec. I wonder whether you have a preference between this version and one I posted a while ago?

This entry marks the end of my utensils series, I promise. In case you're wondering why I've been taking so many utensils lately, it was a theme assignment from a photo club I belong to with some friends (including Visual Field, ViSuaLLyMiNDeD, and LuminousLens.) Our next theme assignment is "water," so you can expect some water shots soon. :)

Posted by claire-obscure at 9:18 PM | Comments (19)

February 7, 2005

Fork Dance


Canon 300D, Tamron 90mm-f/2.8 macro, 1/5 sec, f/22.

Posted by claire-obscure at 10:01 AM | Comments (9)

February 5, 2005



Canon 300D, Sigma 18-50mm lens, 1/60, f/14.

I just created a new Photography Resource page, where I've put together some lists of photography books, equipment review sites, contests, and other photography sites I've found useful. I plan to keep adding to this page as I discover good photography resources on the web. If you have any suggestions for additional links, please leave a comment or feel free to email me.

Posted by claire-obscure at 9:50 PM | Comments (14)

February 2, 2005



Canon 300D, Tamron 90mm-f/2.8 macro lens, 1s, f/32.

The start of the semester is always kind of a hectic time, which is why I can't afford to post as often as I'd like to. I hope you'll bear with me until this workload passes and I can get back to more important things, like photography. :)

I've gotten a few inquiries in the comments about the Tamron 90mm-f/2.8 macro lens, so I'll just say here that I love it. I've always been happy with the image quality it's given me. The only flaw I can think of is a slight problem with autofocus in the macro range, but I think most people use manual focus for macro work anyway.

Posted by claire-obscure at 12:35 AM | Comments (16)

January 28, 2005



Canon 300D, Tamron 90mm f/2.8 macro, 1/16 sec, f/16. Continuing with the utensils theme, these are plastic forks resting on a mirror.

Posted by claire-obscure at 10:50 PM | Comments (18)

January 25, 2005

Spoon Art

Spoon Art

These are transparent plastic spoons and colored water resting on top of a light box. Canon 300D, Tamron 90mm-f/2.8 macro lens, 1/8 secs at f/16. Very slight levels adjustments in photoshop were done on the pools of water to bring out their color.

Posted by claire-obscure at 5:19 PM | Comments (30)

January 23, 2005



Canon 300D, Tamron 90mm-f/2.8 macro lens, 1/125 sec at f/4. Plastic spoons in a glass placed on top of a light source and colored paper. It might be easier to recognize the arrangement in this version.

Posted by claire-obscure at 12:41 AM | Comments (23)

January 18, 2005



Here's another old picture, taken during a trip to San Diego in November. It's been a very busy week, and unfortunately, there hasn't been enough time left over for photography.

Posted by claire-obscure at 11:24 PM | Comments (9)

January 12, 2005



Canon Digital Rebel and Tamron 90mm f/2.8 macro lens. 0.6 seconds, f/22, iso 100.

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January 8, 2005

Glass Tulip


I've kind of been in a creative rut, so bear with me for another glass shot. I wanted to do something with these colors and shapes, which kind of remind me of tulips (in a rather abstract way). Oh, how I miss spring! Also, because stuart complained that there was no actual wine in my "study in scarlet" shot, I poured some vouvray in this glass. :)

Posted by claire-obscure at 1:30 AM | Comments (24)

December 25, 2004

Electric Orange


More fun with light and glass.

Posted by claire-obscure at 11:31 PM | Comments (6)

December 23, 2004

A Study in Scarlet


My favorite color.

Posted by claire-obscure at 10:51 PM | Comments (10)

December 15, 2004

Newton's Apple


An apple and its shadow.

It's cold outside, so you'll probably start to see more indoor photography from me.

Posted by claire-obscure at 1:57 PM | Comments (15)

December 11, 2004

Jolly Abstract


A pseudo-painting made with Jolly Rancher candies. Apparently, they're now cylindrical instead of the old boxy shape I was used to as a kid. I also have an alternative version posted here, so if you have a preference between these two please let me know.

Posted by claire-obscure at 9:53 PM | Comments (15)

November 26, 2004


I managed to squeeze a last minute entry into Photofriday's "patterns challenge" (listed as CLAIRE-OBSCURE). Lately, I've received some nice feedback for my droplets photos, so last night, I thought I'd explore this theme further by playing with droplets on a CD.


Posted by claire-obscure at 11:48 AM | Comments (7)

November 4, 2004

Colors for Sale

A display of shirts from a vendor in San Diego's old town market.


This is my entry for's "still life" challenge.

Posted by claire-obscure at 7:52 PM | Comments (1)

October 27, 2004


I finally blew the dust off the camera this morning. Here's a macro of one of my birthday roses:


Posted by claire-obscure at 10:55 PM | Comments (5)