Small Room, Large Weaving
How to photograph a large weaving in a small space.
Another reason, variation, and use of a tilt table (of sorts) to make possible photographing in tight quarters. This time for a heavy 10ft+ weaving that is meant to be displayed hanging vertically. The object had recently been cleaned and was still being stored rolled. Additionally there were no walls tall enough to hang the weaving or space high enough for me to rig it temporarily.
Working 99% of the time on location I need to be able to accommodate many types of objects with the space allowed. That means planning ahead and staying flexible on site. The most difficult of course is a new residential location with only descriptions and measurements from a collector (which I often do without the luxury of a preliminary visit). Luckily I had been to this location a year ago and knew the space. As well we had spent the previous day photographing a group of ceramic works from the same artist.
I made this large tilt table and tested it before arriving to photograph. Aside from just making the table, pre-departure testing included setting up a mock photography scenario. This meant testing for table tilt (angle), tripod height, and distance back, everything would need to fit the room width, depth and height. Room width was easy, but I couldn’t get further back or make the ceiling higher on site.
The table was made from two shortened sheets of 3/4″ plywood and a 2×4 to join them. The plywood was covered in grey paper on site and then a double thick (and a little tacky) rubber carpet mat was stapled to the surface. The goal was to make a table strong enough to support the object safely, stay flat under weight, and of course be as compact as possible to transport. With the addition of two geared tripods the table ended up as simple and compact as one could hope. The only unknown was if the weaving would stay put once raised up to 45deg (my optimal photographing angle for the space). The rubber mat did it’s job perfectly, nary a slip, and the table supported everything perfectly. Happy me and happy client.
(previous tilt table use with poster size art)