Shoot: Single Strobe - Round Grater


Tabletop Photography Fundamentals


Lesson Info

Shoot: Single Strobe - Round Grater

I know I said this earlier and yesterday and that these things it's always better to keep them as clean as possible, but strobe is a little bit more forgiving because when you're blasting light into something it kind of just you know, leave evens it out you have a preference too yeah, let's go with the big holes toward the lightning because I think that's going to be our most problematic come think you can immediately see the difference just with your eyeballs you could just see how that thing reflects light so radically differently than what we just used so let's start from from zero here let's start from zero to let me take that a little little test off things are falling you have an idea as to what you want this shot look like already do you like? You know you're going to just start playing or do you already know like I'm going to try to get perfect cone reflect? I think I would try to make it as clean as possible all the way around. I think that would be my first attempt, but I thi...

nk that the object itself will tell me how it wants to be photographed objects speak to me cheese creator whisper so if I look and see with this little mirror what my angles are, you could see that I'm getting interesting like stripey kind of catch light as I go around, which means that this is a can and this is small right? So it's creating a like a kind of a thin stripe coming down and if I was using something bigger I'm getting a bigger stripe so first I'm gonna try to shoot this naked well, I won't be naked, but that is not to say I wouldn't shoot naked but you know, that's a different creative life class shooting making one o one okay? So obviously that's different that's dramatically different that creates ah very interesting shadow because we don't have a true angle of incidents here with a round object, so we really have to kind of manage this and try to shape this light in a different way that side even the side that we have is still reminiscent of the first shot we took with the box greater where it had that kind of black kind of inconsistency in the lighting so this is going to be probably a little bit more challenging to create something that would give us a true kind of rounded look. So I think the first thing I tried do is build a semi circle of cards around it, so I'm going to try to bend and shape the light according to the shape of the object so let's uh but how about the's like this way have enough light lamps for this right now? Okay? So like, I'm going to try to create somewhat of, like a semi circle around this that hazard here is the clamps and it may create a problem that will have to and I can already see it is creating a problem, but I'm gonna try to overlap them and try to eliminate that the last one might have to just kind of stand there by itself so like this and I could see that we we kind of to achieve that we have any more cut somewhere and you have a question question um so do you want to keep that shadow there on that on the left side? No, and at least I don't want all of it there I mean, maybe if I can push it all the way to the the edge where it starts to wrap around, that would be okay, but I'm a little I don't think that doesn't really do anything for the object, and the other thing is that I'm shooting it on white and maybe if I shot it on black after this, maybe that would change it, but well, I want to experiment and see if I can get something at least pleasing a zoo product shot I could do something really dramatic with that and we were joking about this in pre production meeting about drilling a hole through the table and putting a christmas light on inside of it and I would totally do that except we don't have that we don't really have the time to do it so um it's fine it's not I'm not reading any of the okay let's try so what we're doing is we're trying to shape and bend that light kind of whip around that um whip around that object and see if we can accomplish a little bit more of a um of a balanced look to this well we we've now solved the problem of one side completely I think that that side looks better but it didn't really help because what do you think the front of that is looking at it's looking at me it's looking at you it's looking at the camera it's looking at everything right bring the light but this what we're building here now right we're building essentially a little bit of a light tent we don't have to really worry about the top of it but if way do something like this now right and try to close this down as best we can maybe even something like this right up to the lens one holdout that one okay let's see if this helps us I saw something different in with my eyeballs on it even when it flashed that could tell it it's something different happened and we'll see it in three two so we're getting better we're definitely getting closer but we still got that stripe in the middle so I have a solution for that let's uh get something. I'll cut a hole. Yeah, yeah, way. Have more of this way. Don't you worry about cutting a hole this one's perfect because it's a good height. Okay. All right, so what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna cut a hole in this and I stick my lens through the hole. So now again, we're creating the light tent again. This problem has already been solved for everybody, by the way, right? This is that this problem was solved yesterday, but again, by doing it this way, if we did want to add back a little bit of that highlighting or shadowing, we have that option in this environment rather than just a light tent that's going to just give us that even perfect light every time that's not always what you want. You might want to build some drama, but I wanted to show this anyway, I did want to show the idea that using a card and using it a people to go through is something that is a pretty common thing to do and that it can be done in multiple ways. So it's important to understand that there's now one way to do anything just like in photo shop, right? Photoshopped every every single person has a different way of doing things similar in photography too there's no right or wrong is just different way actually did get that question do you follow your own set rules? Thank you have a set of make your own rules my friend my friend my friend and client tower styles she's a yoga instructor and she's that's her that's the name of her book that we photograph make your own rules there are certain rules you can't break laws of physics handgun rules in new york city you know there's a couple of captain I can't change the laws of physics change the laws of physics. Boz okay, so we're creating now this kind of situation where there's not a whole lot for this thing to look at but light so let's see what kind of solution this wass and there's this okay, I'm not unhappy with that. I think that that's kind of that's kind of interesting I mean, I did this the other day when I was testing for this and that after I got done with a cheese grater built something out of these spice some bowls that attached to the refrigerator there chrome spice bowls and I stopped them up into the air like a like a tall cylinder so essentially it was like that it was very similar and what my friend and I, my friend and assistant devin hi devon was worked were working on was this idea that with curved objects regardless of how many, how much light you give it to phil there's always going to be some sort of ingredient the light is not going to hit it hit it completely evenly so that curvature is what we see there because that's perfectly balanced at this point I don't think we can get it any more balanced than that because with a curved object light is never going to hit every single part of that exactly the same. So you're gonna come around the object and you're gonna get a subtle great asian and then it's going to go back to the harder light on the flatter side so that part of the the curvature that's facing the camera is always gonna have a tiny bit of love a great a gradation right in front of you but that's okay, I mean, this is this last shot is essentially what we were trying to achieve on the first but honestly, I think the ones that had a little bit more high highlighting it a little bit more couch black catch light might have been a little bit more attractive, so I would say where what did we say before we said that maybe highlighting it as it bends around to the back side might be a nice way to go so john heard one of those clipper last card last card there flip it around to black let's try toe yeah let's tryto hide us thing let me give you a hand if you touch the clothe okay, we have questions while I'm what we're setting this up we sure d'oh okay? All right, I'm gonna break out with this one dennis dee or denise de wanted to know andrew, do you ever do any focus stacking for your product photography and if so under what circumstances and if not, why not? Folks I'm not sure that I just never used it I mean it's just not something I've done kind of kind of try to work a little bit more organically and it's not really something that I've it's not practice I've undertook so it's not something I'm super familiar with because it's not part of my work flow right? But if it's something that works for you and you find that they're getting a result that you want absolutely why not? I mean, I'm all for finding your own work flow my work flow is my work flow and you khun learn from it but you need to build your own work flow you need to find the things that work for you, things that you're comfortable with and I find that my particular style is most influenced by shooting in daylight and I think that when I do things in camera, try to get it right the first time and not try to make it overly complicated most satisfied with my results I think times when I have tried to do different techniques that are a little bit more complicated it confuses me I'm easily confused where am I thank you creative life creative life right all right we still want to fill this front side and this one right we still want to create our little chamber here chamber of secrets way need this that's right there you're fine yeah that looked I could see it and see if we got a little bit of black on the back side like we talked about by adding in that flipping that last card around that was the goal and we did and there it is so that's something that you can probably also doing a light tent but it might be a little bit more complicated because the light is bouncing around a little bit more you know willy nilly but I like that I mean I like that I think we got that ej definition which is what we were kind of shooting for we've kind of filled the front we have the slight gradation as we swing around and we put that light right back that that black line right back where we wanted it so I think that that's ah that's a good result I think that's a result based on our original premise that that's probably the best way to look at it yet if you wanted to increase, I mean the small great if you want it on the left side if you want to increase the contrast with some, how would you do that? Well, I think maybe we kind of would turn over the next card and see if we can put some more black and on on that as it wraps around without way could try we could try to kind of add a little bit more, but I think just also the nature of the idea that that's a high contrast environment already we have black and silver bye bye, pumping the contrast in the post production process that could definitely highlight that better because it's already there, it just needs it could be enhanced, so but we can try to enhance it in camera, which is what we're all what we're trying to do anyway, right way I think we I think we might have got a little bit more and it's coming in there. Well, we kind of ended up with a little bit more striping, so that was kind of where we are. You know, the other thing, quite honestly taking an object like this, I have an idea get some black gaffers, ok? We'll fill the holes on the inside nothing wrong with cheating when I was actually looking for is more if it was an engraved surface oh, you mean the texture? Yes, I see what you mean. Um, I'm not sure we could try let's see what we can get that's hard to see if I look at this and I blow it up when we blow, we could pull up that last image and zoom in on those holes on the left and see if we can see some detail there and whether or not we're getting any because we all pulled back. So there that's what that looks like and you can kind of see that the black is pretty clear where we're seeing that, right? Um, I think you can kind of tell. I mean, I don't know that increasing the contrast there is going to help. I don't know that what we do as faras making that beam or evidence, you understand? I mean, looking at it close up. Do you still think that or what do you want to see differently? Uh, one of the problems I have is for catalog insurance and sales purpose. I have to take pictures of antique firearms which are engraved. Okay, and so they're nickeled but engraved, right? Ok. And so you need to see the engraving you need to see that there's depth the depths, then you need to shoot it at a different angle. That's that this isn't a really great example teo a zon analog for that because what I would do it because you're talking about something is usually like straight and it's a curved surface right but the but the where it's engraved normally is relatively flat correct? No, not at all it's ground okay it's engraved on the round it's engraved on the round you know what I would do? I have ah I took an interesting picture one time with my iphone of a knife I was in a restaurant and they had these custom knives that were made and there was a overhead light right above me and I put the knife down flat because I wanted to make sure I could read the engraving on the knife because it had the name of the restaurant on it and I angled the knife in a way I just kept playing with it until the catch light ran right through the name and everything else was black right? Because it was dark room and there was a catch light above my head so I angled that told the catch light I ran straight through the engraving and then everything on either side of it was black so it really kind of made a frame that might be a similar kind of the thing if you can arrange your catch light to kind of to go right through the engraving that might really highlight it and show what exactly what it is and the other thing you might want to do is change your angle where do the same thing with the lighting had the catch light running right through the engraving and then come down low and shooting you might be able to see that that's actually engraved into the metal so I mean it's a it's a strange example but it definitely is a similar it's a similar approach so everything that you know every problem in photography presents itself in different ways and I think a trial and error but I think trying to start with the idea of you might want to use like a strip light or something that's in that longer shape toe highlights right through what you're what you're trying to photograph I think that might be a really good solution yep just from your experience if you were to come over this setup that you've got with a white card what would happen you mean put put in for this one and I think it might help because yeah surfaces when it happens okay yeah let's do it but we have to put this one in again to put this one here this one like this and then that one over the top and we're back to our light tent yeah it's all right I got that wasn't you weren't having a seizure okay so it doesn't look that different didn't look, it doesn't look that different cause I don't think that it's because of the shape of the object it's not reading above it that much. Plus it has that little hat on it. A little cheese grater hat. Um, john instead of the third card being black let's do the first two cards black and yeah, I just reversed to that air there. No, no, I mean, get rid of the I mean, I'm I'm being obtuse so this you want the back ones black? No, back. One's awake. I know. I want the back one this thes two black. Okay. And the next two white okay, black, black, white, white. All right, let's, just you've got those two. Okay, we just need one. Just what is left of this one. So we try to increase the black highlight in the back a little bit because remember, we the last one we had black, white, black. So now we stack the black together and get a little bit of ah ah, harder line. See the harder line now, that's kind of. I kind of like that too. It might actually have highlighted a little nicer being definitely gives dimension to what we're doing toe add the black and white together

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