The assignment was to shoot 4 pairs of sunglasses, to a very specific layout. It sounded easy - until we learned about the layout. To show that these were sunglasses, the light source had to show somewhere in each pair. Next, we had to make sure that the camera's reflection didn't show in the lens. Finally, we had to use some imagination.
Finding cheap sunglasses was easy, thanks to our neighbourhood Dollar Store. Finding sand was even easier, thanks to nearby Barnet Marine Park. Thanks to Angela's collection, the sea shells were the easiest of all.
This was far easier said than done. We had to meet all of those requirements while shooting to that very specific layout. To capture the reflection of the light source somewhere on the lens (thankfully, it didn't have to be in both lenses - whew!), each pair of sunglasses had to be arranged in very specific ways. If it was wrong, no reflection.
Shooting that layout without showing the camera reflection required positioning the camera very carefully. Simply putting it on a tripod would likely place the camera too far back, resulting in converging pairs of sunglasses. Same story if it is positioned too low. While my tripod lets me tilt the centre column, if the camera is placed too far forward, we will see it's reflection in the lenses. I pulled back just far enough to avoid the reflection without causing too much convergence.
I haven't even mentioned EXIF data or lighting, have I?
To light this, I used:
1 GODOX SK-300 strobe, mounted on a boom.
A 5-in-1 diffuser directly below the strobe, held in place by 2 super clamps on light stands.
That's it. I originally tried reflector cards, but their reflections showed in the lenses, and they weren't providing additional light.
24-70/f2.8 @ 62mm
In Photoshop, I used the Radial Blur filter, to blur the reflection and make it more like the sun. I used LR for everything else, including contrast; clarity; texture; selective saturation adjustments; sharpening and a vignette.
My instructor really liked the shot, especially the reflections. His only suggestion was to warm it up a bit with a very slight white balance adjustment. That took about 30 seconds.
This assignment took a lot of work, but it was fun. Thanks for looking everyone.
First some background: while I have been interested in photography since my teens, life (you know: stuff like marriage, work and kids ) didn't always allow me to pursue like I wanted to. We were so busy raising our son that I missed all of this. For that reason, this is informative for me.
The hypothetical client was an upscale local boutique. The campaign was featuring high-heeled women's shoes. It was important to show texture; height of heel; shape of toe; and finally, possibly the insole. As with most of our recent assignments, this is easier said than done.
This was shot on clear plexiglass over black paper.
I wasn't kidding when I said that this was easier said than done. Here's the lighting set-up:
1 Godox SK-300 strobe with soft-box. Large scrim in front. In slave mode.
1 Godox SK-300 strobe with hood. Small scrim mounted on a light stand in front. In slave mode.
2 white reflector cards.
Yongnuo YN-685 speed light, mounted on a tripod. Blue gel taped to the head, with parchment paper over that. This was aimed at a Studio Grey back drop. Phottix wireless flash triggers were used, to fire it.
Post-processing was a bit more straight-forward. This was cropped in LR. Also, saturation adjustment for the blue spray light. Photoshop was used for cloning and healing, plus a levels adjustment and mask, to lighten only the shoes a bit more.
My instructor loved it, describing it as a portfolio-quality shot.
I had a lot of fun with this, both during the shoot and during post-processing. Ain't it amazing what you can do with a pair of cheap second-hand shoes, purchased at a local thrift store?