Shoot: Black Plexi - Headphone Experiments


Tabletop Photography Fundamentals


Lesson Info

Shoot: Black Plexi - Headphone Experiments

Got a lot of color and definition in these but way also have black now black on black is another story now what we're going to get out of this might be very different because we have different facets here where the way light plays off of this this some of this black is shiny some of it's matte this's carbon fibre and look of carbon fibre which you might want to highlight really closely so this is something again with this type of lighting we might be able to get something really nice out of it so why not try in the same vein again this would be really cool if it would sit up like this but I don't know that we can do that at this very moment so same lighting not doing anything differently just putting in a different subject and seeing what I'm seeing what we could get out of it good you ready for a quiet just quick question sure when you're using a single light how do you determine which side of the set you're going to place that light well I think that you know I'm thinking in terms of...

what's my key light source and when I already at my table I try to mimic the way I'm comfortable in daylight everything kind of in my mind always starts with how would I orient this if I was in my window with my my daylight and I would start there and start with us that particular orientation, and then I would look at the object as well, knowing that this has a lot of kind of faceted edges and different textures. I wanted to side light it because I want to highlight those textures. I didn't want to go direct light because they didn't want it to flatten out, which we talked about earlier with with textiles awesome, great question, and that was just from amanda dawn photo. Thanks, amanda. So, yeah, we got we got this, these little kind of wavy, weird e highlights in the in the left edge, so we're going to try to maybe get give it something else to look at that might be helpful and highlighted a little bit more cleanly give it a catch like that's kind of cool, we're goingto maybe even build around it and jump over it. What do you think? You just shot? Yeah just liked to get hot, okay, so I've built just avi around in the entire thing, so we have the light source the secondary light source coming in from here, we're bouncing the original key light source back across, and now we have two cards in the front to kind of push back onto that that beveled edge piece to see if we can get a clean read all the way around it so that's the goal? If I could get that with this shot, I'd be happy if I can get kind of a clean read of that. That white it's pretty close if these cards were a little higher, but you see the difference. Now you see what those white cards did on that left beveled ear piece there's blue reading in that in the left side, on the right side, it's starting to read white all around. Now, in order for us to climb up a little bit, those cards in the front would have to be higher, so we can try that, too. So, I mean, clearly, this is really distracting, and we'll create a kind of an issue, and if you were trying to do something in post production, where now, of course, we use those white cards in the front. It gave us a cleaner definition and it's pretty clear that if we use the higher card that this lower piece would then use, that reflect would be complete all the way around. So trial and error in learning howto kind of manage and manufacturer cash lighting in this type of a setting, it doesn't matter what kind of lights we have, we're still, you know, ninety percent d I y here, this is all household stuff, except for our light stand that's substituting for you know another stick in the can but I mean the definite the definition, the light even the light temperature in this situation isn't terrible it's not that orange I mean at least to my eyes it's not it doesn't look to me like it would need a tremendous amount of post production to make that an acceptable image to show on a website I'm gonna try let's see if we can try toe get that highlight um to read a little bit better I got to try this you stick a hand on that to start that angle just to see andrew what percentage would you say you do handheld as opposed to on a tripod or stand for this type of work I would be this would be more like testing for the final shot because at the end of the day you'll you'll shoot fifty frames like this and you at the end game is to get one one that you really, really like, so once you've arrived that okay I managed all my highlights and know where I want my camera to be positioned I would mount the camera back on the tripod and then take the final shot that's great advice I've never heard it said like that thank you yeah I mean I think that you know that goes back to my day light process where I like to move around it I think it saves time ultimately when you will move physically, move with the camera and then find that sweet spot and then locked the camera down and go for it like that really? Oh wei have time, so I think in the interest of not burning down the studio were gonna turn these off for a minute and we're going to set something up because I think we have some time to experiment with that idea with the fish line, so why don't we try that and give another option here? But I think that, you know, the results were getting with this type of equipment is pretty pretty solid results were doing something here that will benefit the idea of where to where you want to place your lighting and what it does. I think we're working with a lot of variables here for a first, first time out, the I y set up if we were to do just ah, flat matte thing like, if we roll this out and then we light it the same exact way, it's gonna look really clean and is not going to be a cz many reflective kind of objects around, this doesn't create a problem it's very different, and they're not managing to images, which essentially what we're doing here, we're managing the main imagen the reflection, so if we're just doing a flat, straight so we were pretty ambitious here yet I still think we got something great but if you think about it if you're just starting and you're just trying to work this out this kind of a quick one lights set up is probably going to be enough and that two lights set up is your next evolution to where you want to be um okay so all right we got that okay so fishing wires under here eyes this tom sawyer's fishing wire what is this wei have some modeling wire and we have fishing wire okay all of these things are really helpful when you're doing product and kind of photography where you're working with objects a slinky having modeling wires really helpful with the that titanic shot that I showed you we used modeling wire in that too to make sure that that sat properly in the cup you couldn't see it even we didn't even have to photo shop it out the wire was very very fine and we kind of made the break we snapped it where we needed to snap but we drilled two holes and put the modeling wire in between so it would bend and we couldn't even see it in the thing so it's helpful to have that um way got okay so I want to rig this up so where let's go back to the red ones because I think the red ones that look good in this situation so we want to rig this up so that it'll sit kind of they want us to have it's it's sort of like that so we need to put a piece of wire I hope that it doesn't make too much of ah indentation or uh, distraction but this is a pretty clean um surface that would be easy to, um do something in post production with so and somebody asked me on the way to lunch was what I meant by post production and I think that there's a ah host of different things that people use and I mean I personally work with bridge light room photoshopped photoshopped you know, raw conversion tools so I kind of, uh that's kind of my work flow I don't know that everybody uses that work flowing me a lot of people do but some people using more advanced stuff some people using mohr stuff that comes with the camera so when I say post production, I'm really meaning, you know, whatever touch up program that you might be using yes two nights do you have to make sure that the color of light from both of them is the same that you're using the same bulbs I would I would try to yes, I wouldn't try to blend to one stroke then you couldn't use another well that's a stroke is probably gonna push out most of the ambient light in the room it's not, you know strobes a pretty powerful and in order to mix a strobe with wood ambient light you'd have to dialect strolled down toe low low power it's not it's it's a different kind of situation plus then you'd have to manage your shutter speed to read the back of the room let's say you were shooting table with the strobe and in the back of the room you wanted to be a different color temperature you'd have to manage your your shutter speed differently because that is steady light versus strobe light which you know that doesn't require your attention to the shutter speed the same way so you have two lights they need to be the same. I think so. Yeah, I think they should mean there's ways to do it. No question about it and that's a technique and it's something that's very advanced for people who want to do mixed light. But I think when you first starting out your best bet is to learn how to balance two identical light sources that will mirror each other comfortably. So find the angle that we like web. Okay, let's, I try to settle that in the middle, okay? And, you know, most product photographers who are operating at a very high end do a lot of this kind of modeling and and rigging it's sort of like the stock and trade of this particular type of photography you need to know how to do this and do it well and then you have to have thie postproduction skills to make this work where you can remove anything that you've put in it but rigging things up with wire particularly this kind of fishing wire or whatever is a very, very common thing in product photography. Um it's not unusual. Okay, this goes here handwrite can't remember we've talked about it already about the black plexi yes. Hardware store, plastic store plastics, right? And I think we got that one from tap plastics here in seattle. Okay, great. I mean, we use, you know, like I said, most most cities have some form of ah plastic shot and that, you know, you could get most of that stuff in different colors. You can also get one that's really helpful that's already frosted, which is another reason why we didn't defuse the light here this morning because it's already this window's frosted and that gave us the opportunity to have soft light without having to defuse the light that was coming into the room already or else we might have had to put the diffusion panels up if that was really strong sunlight coming through and we also took care of the seattle weather for you, which is the biggest soft box around that's true I got a lot of kudos from my seattle friends when I said that at a workshop one time that the uh that your you somebody complained like well it's always cloudy here and I'm like are you kidding? You live in the greatest soft box in the world it's true so what were we look oh you have it okay all right so okay okay. All right, so that light isn't on yet, okay, well, let me take a shot here so I'm gonna take a shot with just this light now you see what that looks like give us an opportunity we're going to go back and actually that'll actually served two purposes now which is nice. Okay, so that's just the one light on we could see that can you see from where you are now you can okay, so that kind of is it's interesting, but it's got a little bit too much shadow and we want to balance that out a little bit more. Um it also isn't very attractive. It doesn't really show us what these are thought the one laying down flat was nicer. Well, but maybe we can tweak it a little bit and make it nicer first let's add the second light uh oh, there it goes okay, so now we put the second light in before we do anything else let's take another test shot now, again, I'm putting myself in this position because I'm looking for the full experience here, the full reflection. So I want to make sure that the bottom of my frame is filled with the full reflection, so I'm still not in love with the whole idea, I think still not what I was looking for. I mean, if this is what experimentation is about, right? I thought maybe originally this would look better in this particular angle, but honestly, the first way we did it, where we laid it down flat is nicer. So I mean, that's part of the creative process here is to show these things in a way that might or might not be more attractive. Let's try that. See that's a little closer to what I originally envisioned, you know that that that way of modeling them a little differently, I'm going to tweak him one last time and see if I can get something a little bit better. It's very strong fishing line. Okay, so I'm going to come at it a little higher angle and just take a look at what that does for me. All right? Well, it doesn't. It's okay. It's that's kind of what I was thinking about originally, I think that that's not exactly what I want. But I think it's it's a worthwhile experiment, because it shows you that there are ways to kind of rig this stuff up and use a different kind of a model for it. Let's. Do something with the black ones in the same vein, except I don't want it to touch the. I wanted to hang free and see if I can shoot it like that. So let's, try that.

Class Description

You don’t need a studio to take professional-grade product and still life photographs! All you need is a simple tabletop lighting setup. In this course, award-winning food photographer Andrew Scrivani will show you how to create and tailor your own table top lighting setup — on any budget. Whether you’re a beginning photographer looking to master lighting or a professional photographer eager to expand your services, this course will give you a candid, comprehensive playbook for tabletop lighting.

Tabletop photography transforms a single surface into a small-scale studio. Andrew, a regular contributor to The New York Times, will show you how to create and then optimize your lighting setup for your needs — using everything from the latest gear to household items. Andrew will cover metering and bounce cards, working with strobes and soft boxes, LED lighting, and tips for shooting glassware and other tricky products.

By the end of this course, you will know how to set up and adjust your very own tabletop studio — and how to use that small-scale studio to expand your services, improve your photography, and market your business.


a Creativelive Student

I was pleased to see real life situations and set ups, their work arounds and the little fiddly things all commercial/product photographers go through to produce a viable shot. Unlike some of the other reviews, the "oops, it didn't work, let's try this instead" was totally real world and believable. So many times on other teaching venues, the shot is already set up and perfected before the instruction begins. It was extremely helpful to watch the processes that were involved in producing the correct captures. I was impressed with the humor and teaching style as well, especially for the time constraints in a classroom setting. The student set-ups and critiques were valuable and spot on without being negative in any way. All-in-all this was one of the best classes I've viewed at Creative Live. I just wish I could have had three more days and to have been there in person for the one-on-one instruction.

Aly Cupcakezz

I really liked how things were experimented. Instead of just giving do x, y, z. It shows you how to correct issues as they come up, and how to enhance your photography This gives you a guided idea of all the things you can play with to perfect your product photography image. You really learn how to fix the image problems as they appear in front of you. A very realistic way to create your own personal lighting setup for your product photos for your own studio space. Excellent fundamentals class for new photographers or small businesses attempting to do their own product photography. Thank you!

Sunil Sinha

very nice table top