Steve Thornton
Personal Work - AKA Play!

Every good pro photographer creates personal work. This is where we go out & photograph something just because. "Because" can be we're testing a new idea, because something caught our eye, because we the liked the moment, because the wind changed direction - but really... any "Because" will do.

A few days ago one of my hard drives "told me" it was not feeling well. I double checked my backup of this drive and then replaced it's data onto a new drive. After I was done copying all of the files onto the new drive (Using CRC to be sure not only that I had every "0" and every "1", but to be sure they were in the right place!) I decided I wanted to look inside. So I went downstairs to the shop, plopped the drive onto the drill press & drilled out all of the rivets holding the stamped steel cover tightly in place.

Well I thought I had all of them drilled out. I tried to pry off the cover to no avail, I then ran my finger over the paper label and found the last one hiding underneath. I cut a hole in the label then drilled out this last rivet. I was then able to pry the lid off, breaking the glue seal Western Digital puts on it's cover plates to keep any speck of dirt out. I even found the small air filter they use to trap any dirt that was left in during the manufacturing process or somehow makes way into the drive. The platters turning at 7200 RPM will move a lot of air inside the hard drive housing.

Award Winning Photography - Hard Drive
Same set up as above, just a slight light position change, different composition, focus point and color treatment
Award Winning Photography - Hard Drive

The Gear:
Canon camera set at 1/160 second and 160 ISO, then I put 2 Canon extension tubes on, the 12 & the 25, put the 24mm-70mm Canon zoom lens on the extension tubes. The lens was set at 70mm & f14. Using the extension tubes moves the lens further away from the camera, allowing one to focus really close to the subject.
For light I used a FourSquare 20x20 softbox, put in a Lumedyne head, the pack was setup for 600 WS.


The next day I thought of a different angle to shoot. Normally I see hard drive photographs that are mostly down onto the "Top" of the drive, not so much "Into" the drive. The challenge here is to get enough light "Into" the drive vs. "On" the drive.

Award Winning Photography - Hard Drive
This shows the lens, 2x extender, extension tube & camera used for
the image above, a little unusual but allows me to get really close.
Award Winning Photography - Camera set up

The Gear:
Canon camera & lens - 8 seconds, ISO 320, 24mm T.S. lens set at f22. I also used a Canon 12mm extension tube and a Canon 2X converter.
For light I am using a Lowel DP 1000 watt light fixture with a small Chimera softbox. Please note this is NOT a "Normal" softbox, but one designed to withstand the considerable heat from the 1000 watt halogen light bulb. If you try this with a strobe softbox, you will likely set it, and quite possibly everything else nearby, on fire.

If you would like to use this image, or any of my images for mock or comp use, please just ask. There is never a charge for this service. Educational use is permitted without charge, unless published, but please ask first. All commercial use is available only with a limited copyright release prior to use from the copyright holder, Steve Thornton. Thanks for looking!

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