Tag Archives: pictures

Retro Decorating

Marco Polo Motel by Curtis Gregory Perry
Marco Polo Motel by Curtis Gregory Perry

In honor of the Mad Men season finale (and since my computer broke and I didn’t have time to write anything lengthy), I thought I’d point out some great mid-century vintage sites I’ve found lately. Of course, Mad Men takes place in the early sixties, and most of what I’ve found is from the 40s and 50s, but it still inspires that period. Additionally, the objects people had in the 50s would still be around in the 60s. With that in mind, here we go:

  • The Retro Planet Museum has a great collection of vending machines, soda coolers, gas pumps, and other items of that ilk with photographs online. They also run the Vintage Vending blog, which has continually updated content about the same.
  • Atomic Addiction is about a couple trying to decorate their house in a completely mid-century fashion. Though somewhat focused on replicas, it also has great resources for researching this era.
  • Retro Renovation is similar in that it is more concerned with using retro inspiration for modern decorating. Still, it points to historical information, and it has great ideas on which vendors offer vintage or vintage-inspired items.

Taking photographs of your work

If you really want your portfolio to shine, you need good photographs of your props. Taking photographs during a rehearsal or show is another topic entirely; in this article, I’ll be talking about taking photographs either in the shop or backstage.

Blurry and Grainy Pictures

The biggest problem and complaint about bad portfolio pictures are blurry and grainy photographs. Though caused by different things, they are both symptoms of not enough light.

Your camera determines the correct exposure in three ways: shutter speed, aperture, and film or chip sensitivity. With a fast shutter speed, moving objects are frozen in place. As the shutter speed slows down, moving objects become blurred in the photograph. At a slow enough shutter speed, the slight shaking of your hands as you hold the camera will blur the entire picture.

If your pictures are blurry, you need to steady the camera. A tripod is the usual solution. Expensive tripods are made for heavier cameras and able to withstand wind and rain. For smaller cameras used indoors, almost any tripod will help steady your pictures. You can even get table-top tripods, or funky ones like this: Continue reading Taking photographs of your work