Tabletop Photography Fundamentals

 

Tabletop Photography Fundamentals

 

Lesson Info

Shoot: Hot Lights - Crystal Glasses

We have one more thing that we want to try shoot in this context we're goingto put this off to light situation back together and pull out a piece of stemware which thank you again two elizabeths galan for that nice hand blown glass those great these are a little these are a little tricky and fun I'm going to maybe to move to a once now look at all the fastening on this so there's going to be all kinds of catch is going on in here and we'll be managing the catch lights and see what we can get to see if it's pleasing enough to the eye and maybe we can find some what of a surface over here that would go with our black background nicely got a few cool things left that we haven't played with yet um yeah that's too this one shining that's good. Okay, this is a good piece okay is a piece of marble now logic would tell you this is the side they intended for you to use and I would tell you that's the side I would shoot on because I like the idea that it's not that reflective so I'm going to try...

to start with this I like the earthy feel of it I like the fact that the light's gonna play a little differently on it we're not going to have to manage a reflection on this and then if we have time we'll flip it over and see what the difference is okay, I have pieces like this in my studio to that get used upside down and invariably when I work with the new assistant I say hey put up the put up the black marble and my black marble weighs about four hundred pounds it's huge and they and they put it up backwards they put it the shiny side up like no, you gotta flip that over like you kidding so well let's do that first so let's ask uh let's do some questions while we're getting this next shot set up okay? We have a question again from snappy gourmets is what type of products would you want to light from above from above? I think sometimes dishes and plates and things that are flat things that don't have any architecture that's when I usually tend to go over the top of things and also things that have that show you their best side from the top meaning things that have maybe patterns or circles or something like our artwork like on flatware or on something that has a texture from the top and but normally the fall back position would be does it have architectural if it doesn't, I'd be open over the top cool and sally ish to s alicia asked in shooting a reflective sphere like this of a material that is solid like a jasper other than mineral I get halo round halos around the edges what can be the best set up to get rid of the halos on a sharp picture? Maybe the diffusion maybe need to diffuse it a little bit more. Okay, I think what what halo says to me is that the light is a little bit too sharp so I would first try to defuse the light as best as possible and they remember what I said about shooting the ring light sometimes shooting a ring light at something like that it creates a halo but it creates a halo outside of the crop area so sometimes you might get enough even balanced light the wrap around something like a globe with it with around light source to go out round with round that might help a lot too, but I was first start to just try to defuse the light a little bit more that might be the biggest the biggest challenge right there. Brilliant. Thanks. Okay, all right. So these have are are kind of long, right? So I want to flip over into the vertical again it's not always necessary to do but it's I feel like compositionally I'm more comfortable from I'm in the vertical here and I can adjust a little bit yeah, okay, okay and I could immediately see that this is like shooting jules they're everywhere it's like the opening what is the scene in two thousand one a space odyssey this is yeah two thousand fourteen a lighting odyssey so I like to stagger things too in these images where we're going from front to back now I'm also going to shoot this where not has challenged up the field so I want both glasses to be in focus but I am still going to stagger them for composition purposes it wouldn't line things up right next to one another but now we're creating a pinball machine of light in this one we have fat to faceted glasses next to one another and it's going to be crazy but I want to see if crazy works here I think it might actually be kind of fun and again we've taken on the challenges in doing this with things that are more complicated okay? This seems a little bright to me so let's just manage it first we'll come back in a second okay? Well when we get to it I'm going to show you something because I find it interesting right off the bat I think that's the shot I just took I like the balance spectral highlights of the two v's coming down in the first glass and we actually have it in the second glass but it's kind of because it's staggered you can't tell as much and all the other kind of the other arm bouncing of light is creating an effect inside the glass that makes it almost look like it's frosted it's really quite interesting about how that's happening. I'm going to remove one glass just to see right off the bat what might happen and I can see a lot of highlights coming back at me through the lens. I don't know from square either that's better. Okay, so can I have the card that we cut the hole in? Except this time I'm going to use the black side? I want to give the camera some more black to look at now, of course, this is also sitting on a white surfaces, a white ish surface, but there I I saw one highlight that I didn't really like in the camera, and when I put this here and stood it up a little bit, I'm still able to shoot through it, but I think I knocked down a little bit it's okay, so I think that that, again, we have our nice v's coming down either side rather symmetrically on, we have a lot of kind of little catch highlights and whatever what I don't know, I'm going to look at this in mind, zoom in on it and look really carefully at some of this. And some of those streaks that you see by this something like it almost looks like teardrops on the inside, which is really cool of crystal crystal lean kind of teardrops but what you also always get with when you shoot glassware remember what we talked about with the other reflective objects about was that the angle of curvature when you get that curvature you get a presuming effect where it turns blue or red or and you could see it in there when you especially when you zoom in on you could see it? Yep, there it is you get these kind of presuming effect and that's natural to glass where is that in the more the more facets in the more bends and the more bending of light, the more obvious those things that will become I don't necessarily it doesn't necessarily bother me until it becomes distracting and then when I have them in a glass that I find distracting, I'll remove them in post production and in glassware photography especially you talk about the highly nature produced, you know, crystal and all these other things that get photographed, I would say also photographing this in a black box as opposed to ah light box we know where we're putting a lot of black for this thing to look at and really carefully managing every catch like that might be one of those situations where you see twenty five cards and three lights and this one and that and over the top and behind and below and, well, latin, because when you're trying to get a really, really hyper, highly produced image of glass where you might wantto really manage your spectral highlights differently, so I want to see this now against the black completely so rather than try toe pull this giant thing off, just give me a black card, and I'll just lay it down. Yeah, so I'm just gonna cover this up. I just want to see it by itself, and then look at it side by side and see how many highlights came from the bottom versus how many came from. Besides, almost got it right. The first shot that's interesting. I'm playing with one particular highlight, and I'm knocking out with this card. It's the lens, it's! Amazing how sensitive it is. Can we see the last two side by side with the marble? And without and that way, we can kind of see now that's, different, it's, much nicer. We can probably put it on a much nicer black surface, too, but I think that we're managing those, and if we zoom in on that second shot up closer that highlight at the top of the glass, you could see that that's kind of imperfections in the glass but we see that there's one little catch light there and that was coming from the camera because there were two of them there were mirrored mirroring each other and I knocked one out with that black card that I shot through but that's the lens that's the lens like the light bouncing off the lens and reflecting back in the glass but I mean, I think if we kind of come we scroll up and down on this image as well yeah, exactly and pull it down a little bit and look at the highlights but you could see it's a fit it's a fairly nice the highlights of fairly well balanced I don't know that there's a tremendous amount of post production to be done there, but we're capturing the nature of that glass and that it's the beauty of it is the way light goes through it and reflects and refracts through each other. So where are we want to move on now to a different lighting set up? So we're gonna say good bye to our h m eyes and we're going to be happy that we didn't burn ourselves and you could see that, you know, maybe in the table top setting this might be overkill like we talked about it they're awesome toa work with they're really cool, but they're also there's a lot of ah there's a lot of management that has to happen with this kind of really really hot study lights yeah let's turn them down I think you and I are probably hot enough at this point and we're going to go with the single we're gonna go with our single ari set up and I want to answer questions while john breaks this down and then we'll go on and I'll work on with him on setting it up so what we got going on okay so first of all I got I got a great question but also a comment I just want to thank you guys out there on the internet they are just absolutely loving the camera man's work all our cameraman all right? They're really getting I mean I saw a couple of the shots they're getting above you and to see you work from those angles is just impressive so you know we have amazing cameraman here and love thank you guys for giving my shout out onda question here from guy v photo and I believe this was going back to the bowl that you were shooting yeah you were talking about that well, that would be best with this kind of glass where what exactly do you mean by this kind of glass where well something that has that many bends and twists in it and I think that also because it's throwing it's throwing kind of shadow down I think it's really about maybe glassware in general is really a better statement I don't know that it was just specific to that type of glass where but I think that I was the reason I think I said it that way was it? It kind of impressed me and I said it as a museum piece something that you might see displayed that way, and I think it's probably I would say that particularly about handblown glass that looks that way because it reminded me of something that should be displayed that way. So I think that was more of an innate response than a than a practical technical question it was just my emotional response to how I think it should be looked scene so but if you want a photograph in another way that's cool, too awesome all right question like that that keeps going back to that there are no rules. Well, look, there are things there there the rules are the way we're working with this gear, right? We're showing that we there are ways to use it and howto how to manage it and fuse it and those are the rules but the artistic rules, the things that make you your work different from the next person, those are the thing where you have to make your own rules, you have to go with your own feel in your own flavor because otherwise then everybody's work looks the same so you know, thanks for that distinction, we're getting a lot of questions about that to the artistic, the artistic view so I think people shy from that because they feel like there's a right and a wrong way to do things and that they're professionals do things this way and everyone else is doing it the wrong way and it's not true every professional has a different workflow if you watch videos like online or you read books about lighting, there are some absolutes because the years, the gear and it does what it does and you have to work within the parameters of what the gear does, but everyone has a different twist on what they're doing. I think it's important to make that distinction, so we're going to drop the we're going to draw if you have another question, I can I'm gonna help john, but one quick one ok? From j e a v e l e c do you always use spot meteor spot metering when you're shooting tabletop and if not what? Well, I talked about that yesterday a little bit, I think in food I use more spot metering and in aa product photography a little bit more matrix metering because we're trying to get a lot more depth of field, you know? Yes, a lot more depth of field

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.