These are a few images from a excellent photo shoot we had here in the studio. They were all lit with a FourSquare softbox with a grid to camera left. To get the intense fiery hair we used a continuos light to camera right and dragged they shutter and blew the hair around with a fan and a leaf blower. The background was lit by a single speed light with a blue CTB gel and a grid. Lastly there was a prototype FourSquare strip light overhead with an orange CTO gel. Thanks to our model Riya Ryan and makeup artist TheArtistKelsie.
I saw this car on the way home from a shoot and had to find the owner. It was a year later before the car owner (Howard), the location, and I were all available on the same day. My good friend Joe Farace,(JoeFaraceBlogs.com) has used this location many times in the past, but this was my first. Joe is a car nut and locations like this just “speak” to him. I would have to agree.
This is a 1931 Ford Victoria totally, and I mean totally, redone. There was a lot of wood in the original car but Howard replaced all of it with metal.
I had the idea from the beginning to keep the car “normal” and mess with the background in HDR. When I shot the car I only used direct sunlight and a large white fill on the right side. Then I took four exposures and processed through HDR Photomatix Pro. We dinked alot with the background and “painted” the car back in. After a little retouching it was finished.
I had the idea from the beginning to keep the car “normal” and mess with the background in HDR. Much thanks to Howard for the use of the car and the Adams County Historical Society for letting me use the gas station.
FYI … Howard has another one in the wings almost ready to photograph.
I did not have access to a perspective 35 lens so I had to use what was around the studio. My main workhorse is a view camera. Yea, I’m old. The days of film. But with the transition to the “35” format digital I think you can get darn close to what you would with a view. The advantage with the “35” is that you can play with camera angles quicker and are not held back by camera movements. The advantage to the view is that you have to slow down and really look at what you are doing, with deliberation. Well which one is which?
I used a piece of white P25 white plexiglass, 2 foot by 3 foot , at a 45 degree angle above the medal. I have a single SB 900 with Pocket Wizard trigger right above, about six inches away from the plexi. I also used small piece of black velvet to kill as much light falling on the background above the top of the ribbon.
This whole exercise is based using a “gel” of your choice taped to a plexi mirror. We used a 4×4 inch plei mirror and taped several different gels on it to see what kind of reflection would be accenting the old razor from my grandfather. I tried to get the typography to read but it was one to many shaves ago. It says … The Merchant Biscuit Company, Denver Colorado.
Antique Razor, Shot with the FourSquare, Blue Gel
Notice how the gel changes subtly the color of the razor head.
Antique Razor, Shot with the FourSquare, Orange Gel
Ah, you can certainly see how the orange CTO is workin’ here.
Antique Razor, Shot with the White Plexi, No Gel
Strobe through P25 Matt white plexiglass
Antique Razor, Shot with the White Plexi, Blue Gel
Notice how the blue gel is working in the shadows there in the lower right.
Antique Razor, Shot with the White Plexi, Orange Gel
Here is the orange again. Now here is the lesson…
When you tape a gel over a mirror it doubles its value. Why? Light goes through the gel once and hits the mirror, then it bounces back from the mirror surface, through the gel again, and on to the subject. So a 1/4 CTO is really a 1/2 CTO. Got it? Have fun. I use this all the time in product photography. Little mirrors and gels.
A interesting exercise is taking a look at images that are reversed. Same basic subject one on white one on black. One color, one Black and White. You can find many unique ways of looking at subjects by isolating the color and the background.
I think you agree that these images both make a different statement about a railroad stake.
FYI, the BW stake was supported using a rectangular piece of wood with a “V” slot cut into it. It is about five inches above black velvet. Two SB 900’s were used along with a mirror to light the subject. The exact same lighting was used on the color stake. We have changed the lighting ratios and placed it on a piece of P25 matte white plexi.
Paul describes in detail the ins and outs of lighting a product shot of a knife with speed lights. He uses a FourSquare softbox with only one flash inside and three more outside for edge, back, and side lights.
Disclaimer: This is our first video with new equipment so please excuse the sub par quality. We have since resolved the issues. Instead of pitching the whole video, we decided to post it anyway due to the value of the content.
In the second shot here, we spritzed the knife with water.