Raku pots by LoriAfter a 2-year hiatus while without a pottery studio, Lori recently started firing some Raku pottery at her Newfield pottery studio headquarters. Raku is notoriously finicky and there were a few clunkers in these first firings but also some very encouraging results for both glazed and  slip-resist (a.k.a. “naked”) Raku.  The picture above shows 2 slip-resist pots (left and center) and a glazed Raku (right).  Lori is psyched to be back in the groove.

Shooting The Raku Photo

Lori left a couple pots from the recent firing on the kitchen counter and I, being too lazy to set up lighting, thought they would look nice where they were with the background doors and walls out of focus to leave attention on the pots.

I decided to shoot at 200mm to keep the background angle narrow enough to exclude some other distractions.  This also gave me a nice shallow depth of field when combined with a nearly-wide-open f/3.3 aperture.  But the depth of focus under these conditions would be too shallow to keep the features of the pots sharp.   So I shot 5 images varying the focal point from the front to the back of the pieces; then I combined them in a focus stack using Helicon Focus software. The resulting image is sharp front to back of the pottery pieces but nicely unfocused in the background, a combination not possible using a smaller aperture alone.