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Friday, 22 May 2009

Electronic Props And The Wooden Laptop Computer

When using modern day electronics in a photo it is always important to remember not to include a brand or logo. They can be hidden, covered, cropped or photo-shoped, so they will no longer be recognized as a specific brand.

I however went down a different path and made use of my wood finishing skills, to build a custom unbranded modern day consumer electronic prop. This laptop does not work like it should, but then again it is made from solid wood. Bevelled rounded corners and edges, inspired by a computer company named after a fruit. The details were to be essential to ensure the wooden shell looks like plastic.

When using wood in photography or film, it is best to shoot wood that is flat matte with as little glossy shine as possible. The sheen will otherwise cause a reflection. To avoid mirror like gloss, I used a custom mix of less than ten percent sheen flat matte lacquer. I tinted the lacquer and built up the finish, finally applying some clear coats for added depth and lustre. I rubbed and smoothed the finish with wet and dry auto finishing paper in between coats to remove any unwanted blemishes.

With a veneered walnut trackpad and twenty six solid walnut round buttons from a cabinet maker friend it was then ready to be hinged together by a custom sized piano hinge. Two little clear rubber stoppers were aligned in each corner of the screen to prevent wood touching.

After many days (and some nights) of work, I finally had a laptop appropriate for commercial purposes. And some thing to take with me on the go and write a blog like this.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="© Photographer: Ptoone | Agency: Dreamstime.com"]Wooden Laptop Computer[/caption]

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