Posts tagged “flash photography

Souvenir

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This was a bronze souvenir from the Louvre. What I like about it is the texture. A simple highly diffused light above the camera did the trick.


Antiques

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The telescope and compass are brass reproductions from India, almost indistinguishable, except for their newness, from those used in early colonial days. The book is the Boys Own Annual 1899-1900.The lighting pattern here is a soft box to the side, shooting through a diffusion panel. Depending on the tilt of the box, the panel and strength of the flash in the box you can get more or less light fall off, I chose less. I placed the soft box higher, giving a darker table on the side of the soft box and more light farther out on the table.


Fabrics (Three Photographs)

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Shot at 5x life, fabrics can look quite interesting. The subjects here are a tie, a table cloth and a wool scarf.


Monochrome

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Shooting monochrome with flash has one potential pitfall. Your object can fade into the background and be unrecognizable. Specular highlights can help the composition, positioning them is a bit of work. In this case the light was above, behind and to the right of the bowl (see the shadow).


Product Shot (Two Photographs)h

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Most jewelry product shots are against a white background. You can buy a box made of diffusion material and the lights to put outside the diffusion to get a pure white background and a well lit product (cost from $50 CDN to $100CDN). I used two Elmer’s Bi-fold foam boards around the sides and a white foam board background (almost a square around the subject) as well as an acrylic white base (cost $27CDN). The flexibility of Elmer boards is helpful and you can always put another form board on top if it helps. The black version was done with a black foam board background and a black table, the light was a top down flash with a snoot just slightly in front of the watch. Good proof of concept if I want to do this again.


Abstract Macro (Three Photographs)

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At a magnification of 5x on a cropped sensor many things look abstract. The Jackson Pollack type abstract is attractive. But with macro at this level you almost always have to tell your audience what they are seeing. In order:  toilet paper, paper towel, Kleenex.

 

 

 


Onion (Two Photographs)

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I could not resist trying to shoot an onion. In the first photo, I backlit a piece using a snoot (a modifier for the flash that narrows the light to make spotlight). I hung the piece of onion from a miniature magic arm.


Two Lights and Three Reflectors

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The light on the left hit a white card on the right and reflected back on the cube, the light on the right hit a card on the left and fell back on the the subject. Another white card was held over the cube to illuminate the top with the light from the two flashes. A bit of tilt of the top reflector might have lit the background.


Shadow and Highlights

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By lighting from above and slightly in front of the subject the shadows and highlights are enhanced and give form to the scarf piled on the table.


Red Pepper

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I saw a similar photo on the web and decided I would try to emulate it. Not knowing how it was shot, I had to make some guesses. I clipped some black paper to a light stand and let it fall onto the table and then I clipped the bottom to the table, giving me a curved background. The light is to the side and fades across the face of the pepper. The highlights define the pepper.


Another Teapot

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Here I placed a light above and to the right of the teapot pot angled down, and placed a white card on the other side to reflect light back in the picture (hence the shadow in the middle). I let all the rest of the highlights and shadows stay as they fell. You can see a window etc. The idea was to give the post some life, a more elaborate effort would be needed to avoid all shadow and highlights and it might be very boring.


Arm Bracelet

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A silver object is going to reflect light, especially if directly lit. But the technique here was diffusion and feathering of the light. Feathering takes advantage of how light spreads before it fades. In this case, the light from a soft box is in front of the object and the spill off of that edge is lighting the subject. Just remember that light fades the farther it is from source (the “inverse ratio rule” if you want to look it up). So in this example the light is very close.


Tea Pots (Two Photographs)

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One thing that usually stops people from doing artificial light photography is fighting specular highlights (fancy name for bright spots). Highlights can occur even on non-reflective objects in some situations. Specular highlights may in fact be a good thing in some cases, helping to define the object. But most of the time annoying highlights are reduced or removed by taking the photograph from an angle that is not directly impacted by reflection plus using a lot of diffusion of the light (shower curtain, lite panel, soft box, bounce lighting off a wall or ceiling etc). In this case the teapots were done in what is known as low key light (dark). There is a faint light hitting the background for separation.


Lighting (Three Photographs)

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This week is about lighting, artificial lighting. I used flash but most of what I will feature could be done with LED lights, or in some cases regular light bulbs. This photo shows three different shots of a back lit book where several pages have been fanned. The key point here is that modest changes to lights and exposure can give dramatically different results. I like to experiment and this is a good example. A blue colour filter, over exposure and a more normal shot make up this trio.