About Obsidian Photography

About The Fine Arts Gallery


We are an online fine arts photography gallery, showcasing the photography of our resident artists; Lisa Miller and Brian Geerlings.

ObsidianPhotography.com first began in 2002 on the servers at the University of Oregon. The website has changed visually since its creation , but the goal has remained the same; to share and enjoy beautiful art as seen in the world around us. The name Obsidian Photography comes from the location the photographer was at on the first photo shoot for the website. This mountain was the South Sister, as seen from a common camp area about a day’s hike toward the summit. The South Sister is one of three conjoined mountains with an abundance of obsidian veins, near Sisters, Oregon.

About The Photographers


Lisa Miller first began planning and going on photo shoots for ObsidianPhotography.com in 2001. On a very small budget, her gear consisted of a Canon AE-1 Pro, 50mm f1.4 and her choice of Fuji Reala, Provia or Velvia 50 films depending on budget and setting. Eventually adding on a Canon T-90, Canon T1i and other equipment. Though she still loves her film, digital is better for the environment and much more economical for artistic experimentation.

Brian Geerlings has been learning photography for the past 5 years. He enjoys capturing wildlife, wildflowers, landscapes and parts of the city. He started on a range of Olympus point and shoot cameras and learned DSLR photography on a Canon Rebel XTi. He is now shooting on a Canon T1i and uses manual lenses from the 1960s to the 1990s.

Contact Obsidian Photography

You can contact us on Twitter or by Email.

If you wish to use one of the photographs seen on Obsidian Photography, or by a photographer featured on Obsidian Photography, in your website or publication, please send us your inquiries.

Photographing Obsidian - A Quick How-To


Obsidian Flow, Paulina Lake, Oregon
Obsidian Flow, Paulina Lake, OR
Photo by Lisa Miller
There was once an article on my site about obsidian and I have since removed it as the article didn't match the direction the site was headed. But I do understand that this rock is difficult to photograph. Every time I've made a new logo or banner for my site in the last 12 years I took one of my obsidian pieces from my collection to photograph it. I have also been to the Sister's Wilderness Area, a place abundant with obsidian, as well as Paulina lake. I highly recommend going to Paulina lake, in Oregon, if you are a geology fanatic like myself.

In reference to photographing obsidian; in the studio, make sure you use a tripod, as well as bright but balanced lighting with no glare. I diffuse my lights with various paper towels or thin papers attached to dowels or whatever you have lying around, so as not to start a fire. (I don't have a pro set up, but you don't really need one to take good photos!) You can use macro tubes on your lenses to get nice and close to the obsidian for fun effects (see my new banner!) or just use a nice close lens for your format (APS-C, FF, 4/3) at a middle (f4) to small aperture (f11-16). I've found more than f4 for detail isolation can be less interesting or disjointed feeling on rocks like this. The next 2 most important things are exposure and using a shutter release cable, or remote, to avoid blur. For exposure you want to overexpose by a third or more because obsidian is dark and you want those neat veins and ripples to stand out. Out in the field you should avoid glare off the shiny rocks, bright sun and very deep shade; and, as in the studio, use your tripod, shutter release cable/remote and remember to adjust your exposure for a dark subject.

Newberry National Volcanic Monument, photo by Lisa Miller, obsidian photography
Newberry National Volcanic Monument, photo by Lisa Miller

The Fine Print


All photographs and images on obsidianphotography.com are the property of Lisa Miller or Brian Geerlings (as stated under each photo) and ObsidianPhotography.com and cannot be used, downloaded, or reproduced in any way without written permission

© 2015, Lisa Miller & Brian Geerlings, All Rights Reserved.