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Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Be Your Own...

It's been awhile since I wrote a post and I hope that this new post can be an interesting one.

Be your own boss is what I can think of to finish the hanging title when I see the photo below.


But to add a little interest, it was my intention to hang the title as the title can actually 'Be Your Own... Model'. You'll find out why at the end, so keep on reading. I was shooting some products the other day and I thought it will be a good way to cap the session by doing a portrait session using the two-light setup I have for the product shoot. This photo is actually a composite. The background, text, and watermark is obviously digital addition via GIMP.

What I want to share here is the two-light setup for the product shoot that was used as the base setup for the two-light setup for the portrait session used in the final work shown above. Though I tweaked the light positions a bit from the original positions for the product shoot, the basic methods were almost the same.

My work area was a tiny corner in the house that I'll show you in awhile but before that here's the lighting diagram that I used for the product shoot.

I've got the two lights in front that are directed towards the wall for an instant large source of soft light all over. This is to illuminate both sides of the product and hopefully kill the shadows to show every part of the product.

Since the corner was small, it didn't require too much power to light the entire scene. The light on the left was about two stops lower that the light on the right. It required more power as there's more room to light than on the left side on the camera's point-of-view.

I used a reflector/gobo on the left side light so as not to let the light coming from it go into the camera lens and create flare.






Here's a sample photo of the outcome from this light setup.

I've extended the left and right sides of the photo to give it a square look. When I took this shot, I filled my view finder with the entire product thus I need to adjust and extend the left and right sides.












Now, for the lighting diagram for the photo at the top of this post.

Now, I placed the light on left on to the opposite corner of the light on the right. I did this to reflect some light back to the subject and give it a little back light and create dimension to the subject.

I placed a gobo or a black panel to prevent the bounced light to come into the lens and prevent flare too. This light is about three stops lower than the light on the right side light because it's distance to the subject is not that great in order to avoid a washed out effect on the left side.









Here's the photo at the top again.


Anyway, the funny thing is, that I was working in a small space thus the heat and therefore I was half-suited on this shot. Yes, literally half-suited as I was working in my shorts and bare feet when I did this. I cropped the photo really good huh?

And so now, I'm gonna let you crawl into the mini-studio and you'll see how cramped it can be. Just the things that you can't see at the time of production.

Okay, the reflector wasn't circular as shown in the lighting diagram above rather it was just a piece of white/black card board and the gobo or panel was simply a foam sheet I wrapped around the flash unit.

And there's even a tripod leg sticking out of the door frame!

Despite all of these, it didn't stop me from making good photos. Actually, I used it to benefit me rather than to be an obstacle.

Hopefully, I can make more behind-the-scenes photos to truly appreciate the final outcome of the work that was put into each photo that I try to create.

It took me 33 shots to get that one shot I used at the top. Working alone -- being the photographer, model, director, stylist, and editor at the same time is a fun challenge -- I think.

Oh well, there goes my little secret!

Cheers everyone, hope you found this little article helpful in your lighting your photography.



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