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Copyright  © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

As you may have noticed I’m working on improving my Product, Still-life, and Artificial Lighting photography skills. Developing this skill set has been quite the challenge.

Working with lights is a whole new animal to work with. You have to learn how create light. For me Landscapes are so much easier.

First there’s the composition to make…yes make! In nature I find them ready-made. It’s not always easy to set up more than one object so it is pleasing to the eye. All the rules of composition I learned in art classes are coming in handy when shooting still-life and product images.  FYI- I didn’t do well in any art class I ever took but,  the rules are proving themselves very valuable indeed with still-life photography! Then one must create the light that one sees in the mind’s eye. Let me tell you…it’s is easier seen in the mind than it is to create!

It took me months to get this composition just right:

Flute and Stargazer Lily 72 dpiI’m sure you’re thinking….what? Months? You’re kidding?  Yes months! It just isn’t something that comes to me naturally. I wish it did.

I’ve continued to push myself and create still-life images, and to use my Speedlight, and continuous lights.

Breakfast Still life

Woody Studies the SB600One of my recent images was a watch though not magazine worthy I’m happy with it:

"Madison" Rose Gold Watch by Michael KorsMy latest self-imposed challenge has been to photograph a wine bottle.

This has proved very hard to photograph. There are several problems to fix.

Here’s my first image of a wine bottle:

Apothic Red Wine Bottle ShotProblems with this image I need to fix: the hot spot which showed the light source: a Speedlight (SB910) with shoot through umbrella, (I cloned that out in this image), on the right side of the label there is light spill, the wine isn’t filled all the way up to the cork wrap, and it’s too close to the edge of the frame.

Those of you who are more knowledgeable with product photography may find other issues, but these are the issues that scream at me.

So, today I set up and re-took the shot. I moved my Speedlight with Shoot-Through Umbrella further away from the subject,  then placed a black flag near the bottle to block the light from spilling onto the label, and I moved the bottle back an inch or two. Here’s that image:

Apoctic Red 2nd better outcome_0564I still have a hot spot, the flag worked pretty well as did moving the bottle back an inch or two. It’s not the image I hoped to create so I’ll keep working it. Perhaps, the third time will be the charm and I nail it. I am getting closer and that is progress!

Settings Nikon D700| AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.4@ f8| 1/160sec|ISO 320| Manual Priority| Matrix Metering| Hand-held

Strobist- SB910 @ 1/2 power camera right through a shoot through umbrella, white foam core reflector subject left, and black flag subject right.

 

 

 

 

 

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3 Comments

  1. I applaud your efforts and tenacity, a couple of these I really like and wish I knew how to help out but have never really tried any of this. If it was easy everyone would be doing it. The one thing I would suggest would be using a tripod.

  2. very nice work! great control of and solutions for “family of angles” issues. keep it going!

    yes, breaking down the light into the component parts can be exasperating!

    • Thank you Todd! You’ve mastered the lighting of glass. I hope I can get to your level this year. Clear glass will be my next challenge if I can get this shot mastered. Your support means more than you know. 🙂


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