Tools in Photography

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Tools in Photography

When you think about tools in photography, you probably imagine lenses, tripods, carrying cases and that sort of thing. But in this instance tools in photography is actually referring to photographs of tools – hammers, saws and the like. One of the hardest parts about taking pictures of tools is catching them in action, like getting an image of the hammer mid-swing or the saw in the middle of a stroke. I’ve tried to photograph a number of tools in my time, along with all the nature scenes, animals, backdrops, interesting sights and other things I photograph. I’ve found oscillating tools to be the easiest to capture.

First, it would probably help to explain what an oscillating tool is. It is essentially a handheld tool which runs using an outside power source, either an electrical outlet connection or some installed batteries. Different heads can be connected to the working end of the tool to provide different effects. It is singlehandedly capable of taking on sanding, scraping, sawing and other complicated tasks for the user. Some oscillating tools even have heads which swivel to 45 or 90 degree angles so they can access places other, bulkier tools cannot. They’re useful, but that’s not what makes them easy to photograph.

basic tools

The small size has a large bit to do with it. Additionally, unlike many other tools, it’s clear to see on a flat piece of wood, for example, where the special tool has already been used, along with where it still needs to be used. I take pictures for many different reasons, not the least of which is to make some extra money and complement my other earnings. And sometimes I end up taking pictures for businesses, like companies looking to sell tools. Bigger tools which take up more space and maybe require two hands to use correctly make for some very difficult pictures, let me tell you.

The size is again not everything though. The best part about these oscillating tools is that one single tool is capable of performing so many different operations. Switching the current head will turn a chisel into a sander, or convert a sander to a saw. Only fellow photographers out there are probably going to understand this, but do you know how you can get used to photographing a particular subject? You find the best angle, the best approach, the best level of lighting. Well, once you’ve done this for one of these little handheld tools, you can get dozens of good pictures without adjusting your setup too much.

In this respect, tools are just like anything else you might photograph. Different subjects need to be approached differently, and finding that perfect combination of elements for your unique photo is a difficult process, even for veteran photographers. It’s not something which can really be outlined in words; rather, it’s something you come to understand using your own hands and eyes. Practice makes perfect in photography, just like everything else. Fortunately it’s next to free to practice photography these days thanks to digital cameras that don’t burn through film like it’s going out of style.