Saturday, October 11, 2014

Stress Reliever

Looking back at my archives, it's been awhile since I last did something and wrote something that involved photography. These past few weekends, I have been a little busy with it again and it started with the photo below. Click on "Read more >>" below for more details about the shot.


It is a bottle of Rakia made from plum that came from the head of our team at work. He gave this to me when I came and visited our office in Sofia, Bulgaria. Though it has remained unopened and it will I think until the holidays.

The photo above proved to be challenging and it took two sessions of tinkering to get the shot. The first session was a total disaster in my opinion and wasn't able to get any usable image. The problem that I faced during that time was how to light the bottle from behind. Initially, I wanted to have a black background. So, I pointed a flash directly at the back of the bottle and got uneven lighting as can be seen below. I know it's possible but I will still have to find out how to do it.

Lighting Diagram (Attempt 1) Rakia (Attempt 1)

I didn't really liked the way it turned out. It led me to check out Alex Koloskov's tutorials again and this tutorial helped a lot. I did it slightly different as the bottle I am trying to shoot is very different from what was in the tutorial.

So the black background is out of the picture as of the moment and a gradient background based on the tutorial is in. The flash is now pointed towards the background with a slight tilt upwards to achieve that gradient background. I switch positions of the main light and the reflector as can be seen also below that made the bottle face have a cleaner look.

Lighting Diagram (Attempt 2) Rakia (Attempt 2)

As shown in the photo above, the background is actually greyish/grayish. Initially, I considered it good enough but during post, I decided to change it to blue.

For a side-by-side look of the original background and the new background. I couldn't say if I gelled it with blue, it would have casted or not that hue back into the liquor. I will have to check that next time.

Original Background Blue Background

So, why the title? Stress at work is high and doing this has project has added to that stress but as a colleague of mine put it -- it's good stress. So the bad stress has been replaced by good stress and in a way, it relieved me of the stress after seeing the final output.

Cheers! or Nazdrave! (in Bulgarian).