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Photos of a Cuckoo Clock

Updated on June 19, 2013
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported | Source

There is literary an unlimited number of subjects that can be photographed. In other words, you can photograph anything.

But taking a photo of a subject or even taking many photographs of many subjects inevitably remain what they are; photos of things.

A photography project is more geared towards taking either a single subject's photographs or of several subjects and recording their images with a specific purpose in mind.

Whether it is done to compare, contrast or simply as a means to show the beauty of something, a photo project is simply more than just snapping pictures with no purpose in mind. Being aware that most photographic projects are usually a two part endeavor; the photos and an article to accompany them should be the driving force behind the undertaking of one. A complete package has a better chance of getting picked up by editors.

With that in mind lets look at the humble cuckoo clock. These clocks are wall mounted time keeping units which are typically regulated by a pendulum mechanism and produce a tone each and every hour that is similar to what a real cuckoo bird's call sounds like. They also typically have a small mechanical cuckoo figure that emerges with each note. Hence the name cuckoo clock.

The mechanism and gears that make the cuckoo call was first used in almost all types of cuckoo clocks since their inception in the 18th century and have remained about the same until the present time.

The vast majority of the quality ones are made to resemble a Swiss or German chalet and are mainly deigned to be hanged on a prominent wall, usually near or on top of a fireplace where people usually gather. Most of the traditional designs are fabricated from wood which are then richly decorated with carved wooden figures and represent typical scenes found in the country of origin.

They have a figures that can be a bird, forest animals, farm scenes, household scenes and others that will appear via a small door just as the clock is beginning to strike as well as adorning the sides of each clock. The bird or figures often move as the clock strikes its tone.

The most elaborate ones can fetch high prices while those of a more simple design are modestly priced. Although the vast majority are factory and machine made there are still a few craftsmen that do nothing but create these really exquisite designs by hand and over time have become masters of the trade.

To photograph them for your project you will have to do some local research into stores that feature them and this will probably include some antique stores as well. Since it is unlikely that you will actually buy several just to photograph them, it is better to ask the store owners for permission to do so.

The vast majority of these shops will not object to having their selections photographed although curiosity will probably lead them to inquire as to your motives. Be honest and offer to provide them with some copies of your work. Most will likely agree since they can use these copies in their advertisements.

Which leads us to another issue to consider, since you will be photographing them where they were placed , you may not be able to secure the best light conditions, unless you are allowed to do so, but this should not be counted upon, however do try. Otherwise using a ring light like the one typically used for macro photography and a small zoom lens should be enough to do the job right.

Focus on getting standard shots and close ups. The main focus should be on their front facades but do not miss taking close ups of their sides scenery as well as the tops.

Aim to capture images that show the subject in their entirety but that also show the details in workmanship and if at all possible, photograph selections made from wood instead of the modern styles which are made from plastic and probably in China. Not only is the workmanship of wooden clocks better but plastic looks cheap and is often too reflective for photography purposes.

Not to miss are some shots of close ups of the intricate figures and scenes often portrayed in many of these clocks.



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    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida

      teaches12345: Thank you, glad to hear that your grand kids enjoy the clock.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      We have a cuckoo clock that is about 35 years old. We love it. Our grandkids love to watch the little bird come out on the hour and half-hour. Your post is interesting and loved the photos.

    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida

      AMFredenburg: There are literary thousands and some antique ones can fetch huge sums.

    • AMFredenburg profile image

      Aldene Fredenburg 4 years ago from Southwestern New Hampshire

      Luis, I never realized how many different kinds of cuckoo clocks there were! An interesting Hub!