Monthly Assignment #1: Bottles

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Comments

  • LiquidAirLiquidAir Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,751 Major grins
    edited August 21, 2007
    I find the results by Quicklebe very interesting.:D
    He used the "reverse", the "opposite", the "antonym" - if I can say so - of my way: instead of trying to hide the light from the camera side, he did it on the other side of the target.
    This way, the ambient reflected light is contained.thumb.gif

    thumb.gif


    The setup Quicklebe is using is particularly good for the glasses he is shooting.

    If think about your light setup, you have a bright area behind the glass which ideally is uniform and then a trasition from light to dark at the edges. It is actually that transition from light to dark which creates the contrast that outlines your bottle. Putting the mask in front of the diffuser creates a very sharp transition which results in a well defined line in your subject. If you put the mask behind the diffuser, you can vary how sharp that transition is from sharp if the mask is close to the diffuser to gentle if the mask is close to the light source.

    For thin walled glass objects like Quicklebe's glasses, a sharp transition is usually the right choice because the only the very edges of the glass refract enough to make the transition visible. Quicklebe's ligthing strategy works great there because it creates a very high contrast sharp transition which is easily visible over a small areas.

    When you have an object which is more refractive, say a bottle with thick glass walls or a full bottle, you have a bit more flexibility with your light. You can use the the hard transition to create a thin outline or you can use a more gentle gradient to give your image a softer look. Using a large diffuser with a long gentle gradient can create a very nice, refined look.
  • Antonio CorreiaAntonio Correia Always learning Setubal - PortugalRegistered Users Posts: 6,173 Major grins
    edited August 21, 2007
    I built a kind of cone/cylinder with a large plastic bag.
    I know that plastic is not the best for such a work but I went ahead.
    At the end of the cone I had the flash then the round reflector and I was holding the end of the tunnel with my teeth and hand. That's why my head is bended inside.
    My cousin was helping me shooting the camera and making the adjustments I asked to.
    Hard to speak with plastic in the mouth :D
    186480626-S.jpg186481330-S.jpg

    The result is this:
    186482938-L.jpg186481456-L.jpg186477359-L.jpg

    There are some reflections of the curtains on the top of the central photo and on the top of the photo on the right, which I only saw now, at the end.ne_nau.gif
    And now, it is time to go to sleep.
    Hope you like this. :Dthumb.gif
    All the best ! ... António Correia - Facebook
  • LiquidAirLiquidAir Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,751 Major grins
    edited August 21, 2007
    Nice, Antonio. The reflective surface you put them on is a nice touch. My one, off the cuff comment is that in your third shot I don't think the glass got enough light. I'd put at least a small gap between the two bottles to let some light through from behind. You're shots definitely give me the impression you live well :D
  • LiquidAirLiquidAir Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,751 Major grins
    edited August 21, 2007
    dups41 wrote:
    Here is another attempt with more effort put into reflection control. The foil labels were tricky headscratch.gif. This bottle didn't seem to work too well with just a bright back diffuser, the front of the bottle was dark with very little detail. So I tried instead to create a surrounding of unbroken white.

    Heh, foil is its own discussion...

    If the bottle has a label you really don't have any choice but to have some light source in front; otherwise the label becomes a silhouette. Add to that the fact that the cream in the bottle is essentially opaque and you really don't have a lot of opportunity to show the form of the bottle with refraction. For Amarula bottle, I'd suggest just using the back to show the color of the bottle and use relfective lighting from the front to show form and light the label.
  • LiquidAirLiquidAir Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,751 Major grins
    edited August 21, 2007
    185481769-S.jpg

    This shot is an interesting one. There is only the barest hint of reflection off the right side of the bottle. Most of the light we see is actually refracted through the bottle. Refractive lighting can actually work both ways: either with a black or a white background. Often reflections spoil the look of refractive lighting if you use a black backround, but not so for this particular bottle at this angle. This is a classy look; I like it.

    Using bolierplate lighting techniques can only take you so far when lighting glass. To take the next step, you really need to look closely at your particular subject to see how it reflects and refracts. Set up your shot and wave your hand around behind the bottle. When can you see it through the bottle? When does it vanish? Where is your hand when you see it at the very edge of the bottle? Use that as your guide for where to place your light.
  • SloYerRollSloYerRoll Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,788 Major grins
    edited August 22, 2007
    Hey Nik.
    Imagine my surprise when I saw this thread after I just got done showing some glass shots.
    It completely looked like I was ripping off your thread!
    Sorry bro.

    I really like shooting in a "studio" environment. I can get away from my radio triggers and use PC cables. This lets me really push the shutter speeds into the nosebleeds and capture the light every time.

    Here are some fresh shots I took today while messing around. I'm really looking forward to hearing Ken's thoughts on them. As a note, I set the WB off on the first two shots on purpose.

    2 strobes:
    One lighting background and one tightly snooted to only light bottom of BG:
    186626452-M.jpg

    I liked how it looked so I added a bit to this one and made it look like there was light being poured into the shot glass. All I did was tape two light diffusers set close together to eat up more light and let the small column of light through:
    186626423-M.jpg

    3 strobes (could have done it w/ 2 but since I have three...)
    one lighting the background, one snooted to light the label, and one on a very tight snoot lighting the cap only. A bounce card is to the camera left to spread the label light evenly:
    186628029-M.jpg

    This one is trickier than it initially looks.
    The shot glass is in the foreground being only lit by the background strobe. The bottle is lit (not that well I might add) by a single strobe to light the bottle and contents. I used a gobo to keep the front strobe from lighting the shot glass and washing out the outline detail:
    186626593-M.jpg

    I have a few setup shots. Didn't read into the thread enough to see that fact until after the fact. I know I should take more setup shots, I just haven't developed that good habit yet..

    This one shows the primary strobe and the secondary being fired on the background to create the "orb" of light:
    186632666-S.jpg

    This shot shows how the wild turkey shot was set up minus the gobo and white floor. You will see a 3x5 white light modifier but this is just to soften the light on the bottom half of thie shot I was taking:
    186632714-S.jpg


    EDIT: You will se that I didn't physically controll my environment completely. By using snoots, maxing out strobe power, and keeping the apertures in the really high numbers. I effectively black out my surroundings. Nothing replaces having a "studio" environment. I'm working on being able to take shots like these in virtually any environment to better my lighting skills in a frankenstein manner.

    DISCLAIMER:
    It may seem like I'm a lush. Quite the contrary. I don't drink and I have these since the last wedding I shot when one of the toasted guests would not let me leave until I was stocked up on booze! rolleyes1.gif

    All the best,

    -Jon
  • Antonio CorreiaAntonio Correia Always learning Setubal - PortugalRegistered Users Posts: 6,173 Major grins
    edited August 22, 2007
    LiquidAir wrote:
    Nice, Antonio. The reflective surface you put them on is a nice touch. My one, off the cuff comment is that in your third shot I don't think the glass got enough light. I'd put at least a small gap between the two bottles to let some light through from behind. You're shots definitely give me the impression you live well :D
    Ken, good mornning.
    Everybody lives well when one is Healthy !
    Yes, at the moment, my wife, my suns, the rest of familly and myself, we live well.thumb.gif
    I wish your familly and yourself much Health also.:D

    The funny thing is:
    Theses bottles are not mines. They belong to my cousin who came to give me hand. The liquid (no, not liquid air because it is not under pressure) is NOT whisky.rolleyes1.gif It's apple juice. The same from the other shots that I poured into the bottle and then into the glass.rolleyes1.gif

    The photos with the dark background are missing.
    I hope to shoot them untill the end of the month.

    Thank you for commenting. :D
    thumb.gif
    All the best ! ... António Correia - Facebook
  • Antonio CorreiaAntonio Correia Always learning Setubal - PortugalRegistered Users Posts: 6,173 Major grins
    edited August 22, 2007
    LiquidAir wrote:
    ...This is a classy look; I like it...

    Thank you Ken. I feel good if you like my shots. :D
    I must try again. :Dthumb.gif
    All the best ! ... António Correia - Facebook
  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR Registered Users Posts: 19,035 Major grins
    edited August 22, 2007
    Jon,
    SloYerRoll wrote:
    Hey Nik.
    ...
    -Jon
    Great series, thank you! thumb.gif

    I like the "pouring light" idea!

    The tanqueray shot with three (snooted) lights an reflector is also great, very nice lighting effect.
    Nice setup, too. clap.gif

    One of the goals of our classes is to show that the most gorgeous shots do not necessarily require $100K worth of equipment. deal.gif
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
  • SloYerRollSloYerRoll Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,788 Major grins
    edited August 22, 2007
    Nikolai wrote:
    One of the goals of our classes is to show that the most gorgeous shots do not necessarily require $100K worth of equipment. deal.gif
    try everything you saw was lit w/ under 350USD of gear mwink.gif
  • SloYerRollSloYerRoll Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,788 Major grins
    edited August 23, 2007
    pathfinder wrote:

    A cold one is always welcome...

    184068078-L.jpg


    I welcome comments or criticisms.thumb.gif

    Hey Pathfinder,

    Take this w/ a grain of salt since your photog skills way surpass mine..
    Try putting a glass like this in the freezer for about a half hour before you shoot it. It will make the bottle really sweat and give that oh so drinkable look!

    All the best!

    -Jon
  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR Registered Users Posts: 19,035 Major grins
    edited August 23, 2007
    SloYerRoll wrote:
    Hey Pathfinder,

    Take this w/ a grain of salt since your photog skills way surpass mine..
    Try putting a glass like this in the freezer for about a half hour before you shoot it. It will make the bottle really sweat and give that oh so drinkable look!

    All the best!

    -Jon

    The only gotcha is to handle it with an extreme care and do not touch the surface. In case of beer bottle it's relatively easy though, since you usually can handle it by the lid alone.
    And you also need to act F*A*S*T, so have everything ready.
    If possible, have a few spares, so you can reshoot. ANd the best part - you can drink them all later! wings.gif
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
  • LiquidAirLiquidAir Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,751 Major grins
    edited August 23, 2007
    Nikolai wrote:
    The only gotcha is to handle it with an extreme care and do not touch the surface. In case of beer bottle it's relatively easy though, since you usually can handle it by the lid alone.
    And you also need to act F*A*S*T, so have everything ready.
    If possible, have a few spares, so you can reshoot. ANd the best part - you can drink them all later! wings.gif

    The way I've done this it to get everying set up with a warm stand in. Once you are ready to go, swap bottles and shoot away. If you can get a small enough aperture to shoot at 1/4 power or so, that will let you capture more images and the bottle thaws. The glasses I was shooting for LPS#1 were brutal that way because they didn't have the thermal mass of liquid inside. They would frost up and thaw over a period of about 90 seconds.
  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR Registered Users Posts: 19,035 Major grins
    edited August 23, 2007
    LiquidAir wrote:
    The way I've done this it to get everying set up with a warm stand in. Once you are ready to go, swap bottles and shoot away. If you can get a small enough aperture to shoot at 1/4 power or so, that will let you capture more images and the bottle thaws. The glasses I was shooting for LPS#1 were brutal that way because they didn't have the thermal mass of liquid inside. They would frost up and thaw over a period of about 90 seconds.

    Ditto. Imagine how much trouble I had, having the glasses in front of the active fireplace (also LPS#1)
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaSuper Moderators Posts: 14,631 moderator
    edited August 23, 2007
    SloYerRoll wrote:
    Hey Pathfinder,

    Take this w/ a grain of salt since your photog skills way surpass mine..
    Try putting a glass like this in the freezer for about a half hour before you shoot it. It will make the bottle really sweat and give that oh so drinkable look!

    All the best!

    -Jon

    Thanks, Jon, I'll keep that in mind for my next effortthumb.gif
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • SloYerRollSloYerRoll Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,788 Major grins
    edited August 24, 2007
    A quick thanks
    Thanks to Nikolai and LiquidAir on setting up this new assignment thread. While some of this stuff seems tedious. These are the fundamentals to lighting and can really help any photographer take better shots even when they aren't using a flash. It opens your eyes to how things are lit even by ambient, and how sometimes taking one step to the left or right can dramatically change the outcome of a picture. Even when I'm not shooting, I still see how everything is lit and think about how I can make it better w/ a few strobes. (w/ the help of a few other photography mentors as well)

    It's not small task taking something like this on since you have to have an experts knowledge to go into these photos and disect them to help aspiring photographers take better shots.

    Thanks guys.
    Very cool.thumb.gif
  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR Registered Users Posts: 19,035 Major grins
    edited August 24, 2007
    Jon,
    SloYerRoll wrote:
    Thanks to Nikolai and LiquidAir on setting up this new assignment thread. While some of this stuff seems tedious. These are the fundamentals to lighting and can really help any photographer take better shots even when they aren't using a flash. It opens your eyes to how things are lit even by ambient, and how sometimes taking one step to the left or right can dramatically change the outcome of a picture. Even when I'm not shooting, I still see how everything is lit and think about how I can make it better w/ a few strobes. (w/ the help of a few other photography mentors as well)

    It's not small task taking something like this on since you have to have an experts knowledge to go into these photos and disect them to help aspiring photographers take better shots.

    Thanks guys.
    Very cool.thumb.gif
    You're most certainly welcome, I'm very glad you're enjoying this. clap.gif
    And of course, we're all lucky to have light gurus like Ken around, otherwise this whole thing would not be possible! deal.gifbowdown.gif
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
  • Antonio CorreiaAntonio Correia Always learning Setubal - PortugalRegistered Users Posts: 6,173 Major grins
    edited August 24, 2007
    SloYerRoll wrote:
    Thanks to Nikolai and LiquidAir on setting up this new assignment thread. While some of this stuff seems tedious. These are the fundamentals to lighting and can really help any photographer take better shots even when they aren't using a flash. It opens your eyes to how things are lit even by ambient, and how sometimes taking one step to the left or right can dramatically change the outcome of a picture. Even when I'm not shooting, I still see how everything is lit and think about how I can make it better w/ a few strobes. (w/ the help of a few other photography mentors as well)

    It's not small task taking something like this on since you have to have an experts knowledge to go into these photos and disect them to help aspiring photographers take better shots.

    Thanks guys.
    Very cool.thumb.gif


    15524779-Ti.gif:Dthumb.gif
    All the best ! ... António Correia - Facebook
  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR Registered Users Posts: 19,035 Major grins
    edited August 24, 2007
    15524779-Ti.gif:Dthumb.gif
    Thanks, Antonio! thumb.gif
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
  • dlscott56dlscott56 Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,323 Major grins
    edited August 24, 2007
    SloYerRoll wrote:
    Thanks to Nikolai and LiquidAir on setting up this new assignment thread. While some of this stuff seems tedious. These are the fundamentals to lighting and can really help any photographer take better shots even when they aren't using a flash. It opens your eyes to how things are lit even by ambient, and how sometimes taking one step to the left or right can dramatically change the outcome of a picture. Even when I'm not shooting, I still see how everything is lit and think about how I can make it better w/ a few strobes. (w/ the help of a few other photography mentors as well)

    It's not small task taking something like this on since you have to have an experts knowledge to go into these photos and disect them to help aspiring photographers take better shots.

    Thanks guys.
    Very cool.thumb.gif

    15524779-Ti.gifclapthumb.gif
  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR Registered Users Posts: 19,035 Major grins
    edited August 25, 2007
    dlscott56 wrote:
    15524779-Ti.gifclapthumb.gif
    Thanks, Dave! thumb.gif
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
  • SnakerootSnakeroot Big grins Registered Users Posts: 43 Big grins
    edited August 25, 2007
    A few "attempts"
    This is my first time posting ever as a Smugger :) I really like the idea of weekly and monthly assignments! I'm very excited to participate!

    I've been trying to make time to do this assignment for a couple of weeks now and it just hasn't happened until today. Unfortunately I need more darkness than what is available at the moment. I'm picking up a lot of reflections from doorways and curtains. I'll (hopefully) try again tonight when it's darker.

    Here's my first attempt:

    187783192-L.jpg

    I think I need to flash it a few more times. It's a bit dark.

    Here's a crude pic of my setup. Thanks to the previous poster for the hanger idea :)

    187783201-L.jpg
  • SnakerootSnakeroot Big grins Registered Users Posts: 43 Big grins
    edited August 25, 2007
    Here's a few other attempts using a different setup.


    187783218-M.jpg


    187783230-S.jpg


    187783253-S.jpg


    187783263-M.jpg


    For this one I used 2 tv trays, a black box, a package of toilet paper to hold the box up thumb.gif , a party strobe light with a plastic bag over the front, reflective colored plastic stuff (not sure what you call it) to put inside the mug, tripod, camera, laser light and remote trigger. Again, it's not dark enough... I'm going to have to try again when it's dark outside.
  • NikolaiNikolai Darth SLR Registered Users Posts: 19,035 Major grins
    edited August 25, 2007
    Snakeroot
    Thank you for joining us!

    I agree, you first attempt is way dark.
    In fact, if you check the book Ken mentioned, Glass shooting almost always involves some carefully arranged space behind the bg, and the bg should be always small enough just to cover the frame. In this sense, your second setup is much better, so are the results. thumb.gif
    "May the f/stop be with you!"
  • SloYerRollSloYerRoll Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,788 Major grins
    edited August 26, 2007
    Welcome to dgrin Snakeroot! Very cool jumping in the deep end!
    While Liquid Air is definately the resident expert and all his comments superseed mine. I have a few things that might help you to really get that portfolio shot.

    I won't ping on the ambient light since you know about it. I'm looking forward to seeing how your shots come out when you can control that.

    That party light is way to intense. Try backing that light away and increasing the size of the difuser your using. Remember it's the relative size of the light to subject that matters. If I have a big ol 8' soft box lighting me, but it's 60 feet away. It's like I'm using a speedlight at point blank range. Make sense?

    Also try turning the mug different ways so your specular highlights aren't on the handle of the mug as much. Right now they are relecting off the mug and reflecting through the glass in the handle as well to create a double dose of light.

    You are lighting on two table tops as well. This gives you allot of lighting angle diversity. Try seperating the tables a bit and lighting your mug from underneath. Then move the mug in relation to the bottom light around. Just pay w/ it. If your blue floor is not strong enough to hold the mug. Cut out a circle in some cardboard and place your floor then mug on that. This also gives you even more ways to control the light .

    By the angle of your tripod. It looks like your camera is set up in landscape and your background is set up for portrait. What is really essential in shooting these shots is that the black background (please refer to LiquidAir's first few posts or the book he mentions) should ONLY take up the frame of the shot. What this means is that once you have your shot composed. You shuld be able to either zoom out just a tad (or back your camera up if your using a prime lens) and the top, left and right sides of the background should all have an equal space gap between the outer edge of the background and the frame of your veiwfinder. This doesn't need to be gnats a$$ perfect since your learning the principal. But you should try to get it reasonably close.

    Since your using mostly ambient light for this setup. You can also light your background w/ a flashlight to get some cool gradient lighting effects in your shots as well. The only trouble w/ doing this is the color tempuratures are usually off. THis can be a good thing though from a creative standpoint.

    If any of this doesn't make sense to you. Feel free to ask. If you asked me to light a bottle for a shot a year ago. I would have just popped up my on board flash on the cameraeek7.gif

    Very cool work w/ what you have.
    Look forward to seeing your next round!
  • SnakerootSnakeroot Big grins Registered Users Posts: 43 Big grins
    edited August 26, 2007
    SloYerRoll wrote:
    Welcome to dgrin Snakeroot! Very cool jumping in the deep end!
    While Liquid Air is definately the resident expert and all his comments superseed mine. I have a few things that might help you to really get that portfolio shot.

    I won't ping on the ambient light since you know about it. I'm looking forward to seeing how your shots come out when you can control that.

    That party light is way to intense. Try backing that light away and increasing the size of the difuser your using. Remember it's the relative size of the light to subject that matters. If I have a big ol 8' soft box lighting me, but it's 60 feet away. It's like I'm using a speedlight at point blank range. Make sense?

    Also try turning the mug different ways so your specular highlights aren't on the handle of the mug as much. Right now they are relecting off the mug and reflecting through the glass in the handle as well to create a double dose of light.

    You are lighting on two table tops as well. This gives you allot of lighting angle diversity. Try seperating the tables a bit and lighting your mug from underneath. Then move the mug in relation to the bottom light around. Just pay w/ it. If your blue floor is not strong enough to hold the mug. Cut out a circle in some cardboard and place your floor then mug on that. This also gives you even more ways to control the light .

    By the angle of your tripod. It looks like your camera is set up in landscape and your background is set up for portrait. What is really essential in shooting these shots is that the black background (please refer to LiquidAir's first few posts or the book he mentions) should ONLY take up the frame of the shot. What this means is that once you have your shot composed. You shuld be able to either zoom out just a tad (or back your camera up if your using a prime lens) and the top, left and right sides of the background should all have an equal space gap between the outer edge of the background and the frame of your veiwfinder. This doesn't need to be gnats a$$ perfect since your learning the principal. But you should try to get it reasonably close.

    Since your using mostly ambient light for this setup. You can also light your background w/ a flashlight to get some cool gradient lighting effects in your shots as well. The only trouble w/ doing this is the color tempuratures are usually off. THis can be a good thing though from a creative standpoint.

    If any of this doesn't make sense to you. Feel free to ask. If you asked me to light a bottle for a shot a year ago. I would have just popped up my on board flash on the cameraeek7.gif

    Very cool work w/ what you have.
    Look forward to seeing your next round!



    Ugh! I just typed a long reply and inadvertantly lost it... hate it when that happens :pissed


    ANYways... thanks for the comments! I appreciate you taking the time.
    I only wish I had read them BEFORE I shot tonight :D

    After looking at my pics from tonight, I came to the same conclusion that you did in that the strobe is way too strong. I'll have to figure out how to MacGuyver a better setup.

    Although I didn't get any shots that I'm really proud of tonight, it was a learning experience. Lesson one is you guys make this look really easy thumb.gif However, it is anything BUT easy :) You all are very talented!

    I am shooting in landscape because I have a cheapo tripod that only allows me to shoot in landscape. (I'm still having a hard time shelling out so much $$ for a tripod :D But one day I'll get over that!) I'll try and setup a landscape shot using the background correctly as you pointed out and see if I have any better success.

    Thanks again for the feedback! I'm here to learn!

    Here are the 3 "best" *cough* from tonight... I thought the bottle and wine glass turned out well until I got it on the computer. The label is clear, but the sides of the glass are blurred. I was kinda bummed about that. Not that it doesn't have any other imperfections (t-shirt on table top doesn't look so great in that lighting, but I can't find anything else that will work).


    187952222-S.jpg


    187947492-S.jpg

    187947548-S.jpg
  • SloYerRollSloYerRoll Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,788 Major grins
    edited August 26, 2007
    Snakeroot wrote:
    the strobe is way too strong. I'll have to figure out how to MacGuyver a better setup.

    Try putting a piece of plain ol notebook paper in between your difuser and the light. If that isn't enough. Try a second sheet, then a third...
    Snakeroot wrote:
    Lesson one is you guys make this look really easy thumb.gif However, it is anything BUT easy :) You all are very talented!
    Thank you, but in quicker time than you realize. You will 'get it' and you'll be snapping away w/ like a champ. There's an old adage, "smooth is slow, and slow is fast". It means take your time, paying attention to the details. So when you do pull the trigger. You know you nailed it!
    Snakeroot wrote:
    (I'm still having a hard time shelling out so much $$ for a tripod :D But one day I'll get over that!)
    Here's a link to a great tripod that really gets the job done. It's a mid range tripod. But I guarantee you'll get many years of use out of it. (129USD from Adorama) Another great thing about it that it extends all the way to 70+"!
    Snakeroot wrote:
    I'll try and setup a landscape shot using the background correctly as you pointed out and see if I have any better success.
    I can tell you before you even shoot your sucess rate will be MUCH higher if you do this.
    Snakeroot wrote:
    (Thanks again for the feedback! I'm here to learn!
    We all are here for the same. Even the pro's can get knowledge form the rooks sometimes.
    Snakeroot wrote:
    Here are the 3 "best" *cough* from tonight...
    Getting better!
    Try getting using a glass w/ some curves. Curves are always more apealing (read sexy) to the eyes.
    Also you may want to try getting rid of the filler in the mug. Learn how to light this beast called glass then get creative (which I can tell you already are)

    Best of luck, and please stick w/ it. Once you nail a few. It's SO worth it!

    -Jon
  • LiquidAirLiquidAir Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,751 Major grins
    edited August 26, 2007
    Snakeroot wrote:
    (t-shirt on table top doesn't look so great in that lighting, but I can't find anything else that will work).

    I am pretty busy at the moment so I'll try to get back to you with more thorough comments, but I thought I would jump on this because it is a tricky bit of dark field lighting. It can be very hard keep the suface the bottle is sitting on pure black. Here are some ideas:

    Keep the camera low so that the point of view is parallel with the table surface. That way you get the full bottle, but the surface doesn't show in the shot.

    Put the bottle on a small pedestal and make sure the front of the pedestal is in the shadow.

    Use a reflective surface. I use a sheet of black acrylic, but you can also use a mirror. A reflective surface will take on the same color as your background.

    Keep your light source low so less light falls on the table surface.

    Get a yard of deep pile black velvet at the local craft store.

    Make sure your surface cloth is flat so creases and shadows don't show. I often iron my backdrops.
  • SnakerootSnakeroot Big grins Registered Users Posts: 43 Big grins
    edited August 26, 2007
    SloYerRoll wrote:
    Try putting a piece of plain ol notebook paper in between your difuser and the light. If that isn't enough. Try a second sheet, then a third...

    Paper... so simple, but yet I didn't think of that :)
    Thank you, but in quicker time than you realize. You will 'get it' and you'll be snapping away w/ like a champ. There's an old adage, "smooth is slow, and slow is fast". It means take your time, paying attention to the details. So when you do pull the trigger. You know you nailed it!


    Here's a link to a great tripod that really gets the job done. It's a mid range tripod. But I guarantee you'll get many years of use out of it. (129USD from Adorama) Another great thing about it that it extends all the way to 70+"!

    Thanks for the link! I think I'll put that on my Christmas list (my wife's one of those early shoppers :) )
    Best of luck, and please stick w/ it. Once you nail a few. It's SO worth it!

    -Jon

    Thanks for the encouragement! I'm hoping to try a few more shots tonight. I'm not finding any good candidates for bottles though :( I'll keep lookin'.
  • SnakerootSnakeroot Big grins Registered Users Posts: 43 Big grins
    edited August 26, 2007
    LiquidAir wrote:
    I am pretty busy at the moment so I'll try to get back to you with more thorough comments, but I thought I would jump on this because it is a tricky bit of dark field lighting. It can be very hard keep the suface the bottle is sitting on pure black. Here are some ideas:

    Keep the camera low so that the point of view is parallel with the table surface. That way you get the full bottle, but the surface doesn't show in the shot.

    Put the bottle on a small pedestal and make sure the front of the pedestal is in the shadow.

    Use a reflective surface. I use a sheet of black acrylic, but you can also use a mirror. A reflective surface will take on the same color as your background.

    Keep your light source low so less light falls on the table surface.

    Get a yard of deep pile black velvet at the local craft store.

    Make sure your surface cloth is flat so creases and shadows don't show. I often iron my backdrops.

    Thanks for taking the time! If I get the chance to shoot tonight, I'll try and approach this differently than I did before and try to get a better grip on the lighting. I'll keep your suggestions in mind when I set it up.
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