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tile photography question

updated sat 11 mar 00


Jimmy Chandler on wed 1 mar 00

I'm working up a group of new tile designs and want to photograph them
in the studio, as opposed to installed( which they won't be because I
haven't sold them yet). As I do all custom work -so far - I want to show
some examples that will lead in the direction I want to go for a change.
My initial thought is to lay the tiles down on a table, arrange my
lighting, go up a ladder, frame the shot so it's all tile no table, and
photograph. That way all the shots will be fairly consistent. But what
about the grout? I don't want to install them permanently on anything,
so I can trot them out individually with the photo of the group of
tiles. But I hate raw edges. Have thought of PlayDoh or something
like that, soft and removable. And cheap, AND can be custom-colored in
my own PlayDoh factory. Any suggestions? TIA
Laura Chandler
Kensington MD

gail sheffield on thu 2 mar 00

If you photograph them inside and use flash, you'll get a reflection (unless
you have a nice photo lamp setup). I got good results by laying the tile
mural on a black cloth on a board on the ground outside. Depending on the
size of the mural, you may have to stand on something to get a direct view
down of the whole thing. If the sun is off at a little angle, you won't get
reflection glares, and you can tell that before you press the shutter.

As for temporary "grout," I used acrylic caulking in a caulking gun, which
comes in several colors; I used grey since I like grey grout. Its easy to
get it in the grooves with the gun, and is cheap and removable. It doesn't
get hard and when its set, its actually pretty strong and holds the tiles
together. I didn't do anything about the outside edges.

Gail Sheffield
Covington, LA

linda rosen on thu 2 mar 00

you could fake the grout with polyfilla or drywall compound and wash it off
after the photo shoot. Test of course to make sure the brand you choose
will dissolve with water after it has dried.

Linda in Toronto

Jean Todd on thu 2 mar 00

>But I hate raw edges. Have thought of PlayDoh or something
like that, soft and removable. And cheap, AND can be custom-colored in
my own PlayDoh factory. Any suggestions? TIA

Why not use clay???
"Lang may your lum reek"

Nancy Guido on sat 4 mar 00

Hi, I've been out-of-town (trying to ski on Michigan slush), so I missed this
post, however, my friend Debbie (quietly lurking) had a great suggestion.
She suggested using the grout dry, right out of the bag, in between the
tiles, sort of packing it in and around. You could then sweep it back up and
put it back in the bag when you're ready to use it. It's kind of like sand,
so you could build it up around the edges as well.

I thought Debbie had a good suggestion and that I should send it on.

Good Luck with your photos.

Nancy G.

Janet Kaiser on thu 9 mar 00

AH-ha! A question on tile photography! Just up my street...

Because you do not want the edges to show, get some damp sand and set your
tiles in that. Dust off the surface using a soft brush. Either photograph
whilst still damp or wait until the sand it really dry. It is then usually
much lighter.

If you want to create the impression of grouting you could spray the whole
area with a fine water spray. I believe that you could even stain the sand
you mean to use so that it could be any colour. Cement dye may be helpful

And what about a tile for The Path? Still need another 4000+ you know!!

Janet Kaiser... now going to bed despite the 795 e-mails still unread!
The Chapel of Art, Criccieth LL52 0EA, GB-Wales
Home of The International Potters Path
TEL: (01766) 523570

linda on fri 10 mar 00

Try just pouring dry sand for grout. From a distance it should look
fairly convincing as grout. And you could easily add colorants to it.