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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Still life: Fond old memories of the World



 This week is a product shot with a flower. The description said a real or fake flower, but did not specify a live flower. The theme I wanted to work with was one of times past, memories. However,  I didn't have a clear idea of what I wanted, so this was definitely a work in progress.

I started off with the idea of a globe and a clock. The requisite flower is a dried rose, representing that even though it's no longer a live, it's still beautiful. I added some mementos that may have been aquired from travels. This is my first concept shot:


I worked this around for a bit, but was never happy with it. Mostly because the clock, while cool and textural, is too big for the scene.  Turning it vertical, which the requirements stated it had to b, didn't really help much.


So the clock was "86ed" from the scene. Here is what I was working with on the lighting setup, which may have been some of why I didn't like it, but I worked on that as I went.


At the same time I decided I wanted a black background instead of a white one. So I turned everything on its side and shot into a dark room. The frame of the room picked up in the hour glass and gave it some nice highlights. Now I like it. 


Two problems, the scene is crowded, and the reflection on the globe is unpleasant. I didn't really think the globe would be so reflective, because it's over 70 years old and covered in paper. 


I worked on fixing the lighting issues. Despite the large white translucent diffuser I was using, the flash was still creating a hot spot, and the cross pattern on the globe.

I decided to double diffuse the light by using an umbrella too. This would cut my light output, but I really don't need that much in this setup. 

Initially, I used the umbrella as a shoot through, but that threw too much light around the room. So I flipped it and put the black cover on, basically making a 'Softlighter' type diffuser.


This really worked well! I have to get an all in one 'Softlighter' now!



On to the arrangement. Because I was working a small space, the reflectors and diffusers were very close, so my framing was very critical. I move items by fractions of an inch to make a big difference in the layout.


I also adjusted my angle up or down slightly to change the distortion. I was working a a relatively long focal length to get everything in the frame and have the black background. 


I like where the compass face is visible outwards, even though that's not how it would be used. Much like the shot glass, it has been set aside haphazardly and forgotten about.  This is the final image I went with. I did make a few more from a higher angle but found I didn't like the way the globe looked.


But it did give me a little more spacing for the compass. Nothing was moved in the shot from the previous one, just a difference in the camera angle.