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Photography Question 
Robyn Gwilt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/15/2005
 

Help with shooting liquid/glass/dark background


Pls help - I've been asked to shoot the following: 2 glasses with water in and a whitish 'something' - I believe its collagen, so I think its a bit jelly like?! This needs to be done agains a black / dark background. Can I stand the glasses on black cardboard, and use black board behind to create a mini 'studio'? Will this be easier than shooting against white? I don't have studio lights, just my 350D and flash - which I can use off camera - where should I position for best light etc? Any suggestions would be welcome! Many thanks Robyn


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1/11/2006 7:38:17 AM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Greetings Robyn: While I don't want to discourage you from attempting to do this, with the equipment you've got I'm afraid you're going to feel like you're trying to empty the ocean with a teaspoon.

Technically, this is a very difficult shot and requires a great deal of depth of field to keep everything sharp. If you use a split background, chances are, it'll show at the seam between the one under the glasses and behind them. Fireballs in the glassware from your single flash, and reflections from anything else in the room, including daylight from windows is also a problem. If you shoot against white, how are you going to keep from losing the water?

There are a lot of illustrative tricks to shooting this. Seeing a comp layout of what the AD wants would be helpful. And btw, how much are you getting paid for this shot and what are they planning to use it for? Just wondering.

Take it light. Mark


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1/11/2006 1:05:11 PM

 
Robyn Gwilt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/15/2005
  Tks Mark, pretty much how I was feeling. I quoted about R1650.00 (R450p.h photographers fee x 2 hours) and then the rest being digital darkroom, editing, cd, supply of images etc in digital format. I've seen the previous ad - which looked very uninspiring - I thought about using black cloth and creating a 'small studio' that way. If u give me your email, I'll send u the pic she sent me, as I can't upload it to the BP site. Tks for yr comments I really appreciate them and any others!


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1/11/2006 1:10:52 PM

 
Craig m. Zacarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/3/2005
  studio lights? I would think that would work or a photoshopped background. make a light bok..that might help
on my work computer I have the plans for building a good light box out of PVC tube and white cloth...looks like it works great too. I will post the link here tomorrow if ya want.
-zacker-


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1/11/2006 6:29:22 PM

 
Mark Feldstein
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/17/2005
  Hi Robyn. You know, if you were around Northern California somewhere, I could "assist" you in shooting this, and loan you the equipment to do it. Better yet, bring it over here.

Ideally, you should use at least one strobe, probably with either a scrim or snoot to really control your lighting, which BTW will work better indirectly rather than direct lighting. Or, bottom light it on a light table/sweep and add a couple of lights to get background contrast on the sweep. Sure, a black bg., is fine. And surrounding your set with black card stock or fomecore will help prevent unwanted reflections from anything, including your camera, which should be above the set OR shot through a hole in your black cardboard. And...here's a HUGE TIP !!! (I'll give you this one for free) Add some blue food coloring to the water so it'll show up. :>) Get the picture? ;>)

BTW, Craig and Robyn, you can go to a glass supply shop and buy a 4x8 x 1/4" sheet of frosted white plexiglas. It flexes fairly well and easily. Use two clamps to hold the back edge to a pole across two light stands, then drape the rest of it over a couple of saw horses. That's your light table. Place lights below it with wide reflectors and there ya go.

Send me a copy of the shot I just took. LOL !!
Be well. Good luck.
Mark
"feldstein@attglobal.net"


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1/11/2006 7:53:55 PM

 
Robyn Gwilt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/15/2005
  Gee I think I might have bitten off more than I can chew - thanks for all this advice! I'll let you guys know what happens!


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1/11/2006 8:26:11 PM

 
Craig m. Zacarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/3/2005
  Here ya go Robyn, as promised.
Craig-

http://www.pbase.com/otfchallenge/light_box


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1/12/2006 4:23:00 AM

 
Robyn Gwilt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/15/2005
  Thanks Craig and Mark - I wish I was in the same time zone as you!! Actually the same town would do nicely thank you!! Will check this all out.
Thanks again - you BP guys are stars!


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1/12/2006 11:58:20 AM

 
Robyn Gwilt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/15/2005
 
 
 
Ok, finlally did the shoot last night, using various (tungsten) lights - just played around with light balance. Very boring subject - trying to show in one glass that something has dissolved, & in the other that the opposition product forms lumps - used a varity of tricks, but.... whew..anyone here are your pix! :) Thanks guys (oh and a rather nice one that I shot for fun with a torch, or a bottle of perfume 'rocking'!! - much nicer:))


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1/19/2006 9:01:31 PM

 
Robyn Gwilt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/15/2005
  Not sure if this thread moved - as it didn't notify my email, so just trying again! Hope you guys get it, so you know I really value your input! :)


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1/20/2006 1:24:33 AM

 
Todd Bennett
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/8/2004
  Craig,
Thanks for the info on the light box. Built in less than an hour and it works great. A couple of spring clamps to hold the sheet and you're set. I tried doing some marbles the other day with it stacked in a pyramid. Didn't work to well. You see reflections of the camera, the photog, the box frame, and any bright spots from the lights on the outside of the box. Not sure how to get around this. I guess I could spend an entire day playing in PS and take all that out. Other than that they turned out kinda neat.

Todd


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1/20/2006 7:15:21 AM

 
Craig m. Zacarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/3/2005
  COOL TODD, GLAD IT WORKED OUT. yA GOT ANY PICS TAKEN WITH IT, I'D LOVE TO SEE THEM.
CRAIG-


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1/20/2006 7:40:11 AM

 
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