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Beer Stein


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#1 Sailjunkie

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Posted 02 February 2017 - 01:48 PM

As you might have guessed, I'm still playing with off-camera flash and still life.

 

p2193141437-6.jpg

 

This particular stein first appeared in orbit last July, along with a slightly smaller cousin.  I've been intrigued by Art's recent experiments; and I've also been adding equipment since last July.  So I decided to see what I could come up with.

 

I shot this in an Optex Light box, but used 2 speed lights instead of the mercury-filled CFL bulbs that came with the box.  Here's the full list of gear:

  • Nikon D810
  • Sigma 105/f 2.8
  • 3 Cactus manual light triggers.
  • SB 700 speed light - placed in front, at 45 degree angle.  Power settings varied
  • SB 600 speed light - placed in front, at 45 degree angle.  Power settings varied
  • Godox video light, directly overhead on light stand arm.  Power settings varied.
  • All of the lights had the Light Box diffuser in front of them.
  • Tethered directly to Lightroom on the iMac.

The results were interesting.  I completely blew out the image when I tried to duplicate the pure white that Art has been getting.  There is merit to his new light set-up, but not right now.  

 

I might do this differently if this was a product shot, but I actually like the contrast that the shadows produce.  PP was limited to sharpening and correcting a slightly warm colour cast.

 

Because I'm working at this, feedback is not only welcome, but would really be appreciated.

 

Thanks for looking, everyone.  :)

 


Mark

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#2 james23p

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 12:55 AM

Nice now what kind of beer is in there!

Jim

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#3 Wheatsack

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 12:58 AM

I was thinking the same as Jim.... :rolleyes: ... nice shot mark.


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#4 Art

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 08:14 AM

BEEEEER! :)

Well done, Mark.

Questions:

Is that grey paper you are using for the background?

Why 45 degree bounce? If you are shooting through the diffuser, why not just direct light?

On my monitor, I am seeing banding from one layer of grey tone to another. Too much PP?

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#5 Sailjunkie

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 02:05 PM

BEEEEER! :)

Well done, Mark.

Questions:

Is that grey paper you are using for the background?

Why 45 degree bounce? If you are shooting through the diffuser, why not just direct light?

On my monitor, I am seeing banding from one layer of grey tone to another. Too much PP?

 

Thanks, Art.

 

Grey paper?  Nope.  That's the white background that comes with the light box.  It appears grey because I really cut the power settings on the speed lights.  Everything was getting blown out if I went much higher.

 

45 degree bounce?  Experimenting.

 

Banding.  Now that you mention it, I see it too.  Too much PP?  I'll defer to you.  In LR, I corrected for a warm colour cast, and moved the white slider.  Sharpened after that.  

 

Just had a look at an unprocessed image.  No banding.  Thanks for the heads up.   :)


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Mark

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#6 Sailjunkie

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 02:06 PM

I was thinking the same as Jim.... :rolleyes: ... nice shot mark.

 

Thanks, Peter.


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#7 Sailjunkie

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 02:07 PM

Nice now what kind of beer is in there!

Jim

 

Thanks, Jim.

 

If I had my way, it would be Red Racer IPA!  :)


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#8 Dennis

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 03:47 PM

Banding.

 

What color space are you working in, and for this post, you exported to JPEG SRGB is what I'm going to assume. I mentioned this before, my images were coming out too dark and shading was doing the same. What I discovered was the conversion from my working space adobe rgb to jpg srgb what crushing the blacks. Also, my camera was set to vivid and I imported it using vivid. This introduced color shifts, like the greenish tint on the bottom of the handle. And the amount of contrast vivid has helped to crush the blacks. Post processing,  add contrast, and if there is a trip to PS, even more contrast. If you make the lights too far away, they will also add contrast even though it might be the correct exposure. This is my experience, you milage may vary. I now shoot portrait, and import with that setting into LR, with an additional -10 contrast. This has helped significantly.

 

The shooting.

 

Something is not working right for you. Your image is at F13, and ISO 64. And you said you have a bit of trouble blowing out the background. I'm going to assume that your F13 is for DOF. I would move the camera back and crop in post. That way I can use a more normal ISO 100 and F8, increases the DOF by moving away from the subject. You are working with an 810, you have a lot of pixels that you can use, cropping won't give you a problem. I know you're using a micro lens, the 105, but this stein isn't like a small object. I would use a 50mm for it, as an example.

 

Your background might be too close to the lights. Because, I'm thinking the background is being lit with the lights used for lighting the subject, or spill. If that's the case, you will need to move it back a bit, some three feet.

 

Are you shooting manually?


Thanks, Dennis.

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#9 Art

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Posted 03 February 2017 - 10:55 PM

Mark

 

It also seems to me the stein is not lit up evenly.  Your lights appear to be on the side causing a reflection, then a shadow in the center, then a reflection again.  See the pewter lid on the top.

 

One of the things I do with Foam Core board is to set up an open box, so to speak.  A foam core board on each side, leaning in slightly.... Like this:

 

 Foam Core ---->   /   the subject here  \ <---- Foam Core

 

If you have more foam core, put it across the top, like a roof... this causes light to bounce evenly all around the subject.  It is one option to experiment with.  If you want a fading light shadow effect, position the light more to one side and experiment.


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#10 Sailjunkie

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Posted 04 February 2017 - 12:40 AM

Dennis - colour space hadn't occurred to me, but I do shoot in AdobeRGB then export to sRGB.  As for moving back and repositioning lights, I'm planning to re-shoot this next week if I can find time.  Your suggestion is definitely worth trying.

 

Art - I like your suggestions for foam core.  However, if you are also using foam core on top, are you positioning your lights directly in front?


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#11 Sailjunkie

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Posted 04 February 2017 - 01:13 AM

Quick update:  the banding occurs regardless of which colour space I export in.  Because there is no banding in the processed original image, I wonder if the file format has an effect on this?  I'm busy all day tomorrow, but will look into this on Sunday.

 

Further brainstorming is welcome in the meantime.   :)


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#12 Sailjunkie

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Posted 04 February 2017 - 04:23 PM

Another update:  it's the file format; not the colour space.  Exported this as a TIFF file without any banding.  Will have to see if I can the same with PSD files.  Also want to see if there are JPEG settings that don't cause banding.  :)


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#13 Sailjunkie

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 01:03 AM

Here's an update:  Yes, I can export files in TIFF or PSD format.  However, they are much too big for Zenfolio.  So, in desperation, I reviewed the JPEG export settings.  Somehow, the quality slider was set to 1, the lowest setting.  I don't remember doing that, but I have been experimenting with export presets, so who knows?  At any rate, the banding mystery is solved.

 

So I tried the suggestions that Art and Dennis made.  As you can see, the results are quite different.

 

p2199460395-6.jpg

 

 

p2199460396-6.jpg

 

I switched from 2 speed lights in the original image, to 1 speed light in the Westcott Soft Box.  I also used foam core boards instead of the Optex Light Box.  I did use the white background cloth from the Light Box.  The final change was to use my little 50mm/1.8D lens, as Dennis suggested.  The lens isn't very fancy, but I was very impressed with how I could use this lens for this project.

 

This shot shows the set up.

 

p2199460397-6.jpg

 

It's amazing what one can do with some clamps and foam core board.  Art and Dennis, thank you for your suggestions.  If I need to "tweak" this, don't be shy.  :)


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Mark

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#14 Art

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 03:26 AM

[\]
 
Art - I like your suggestions for foam core.  However, if you are also using foam core on top, are you positioning your lights directly in front?[/quote]

Mark,

Yes.

I open the boards up to form an open V then direct the flashes into then. Nice effect. As you can see!! Nice image!

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#15 Art

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 03:30 AM

Mark,

Another tip....bring the mug more forward and away from background. Give you better bokeh and put some depth in the image.

You want to eliminate the shadow from the handle off the back drop.

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#16 Dennis

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 10:04 AM

Art's suggestions are all good. The paper is not white. You can see it against the foam board. That's ok, if that was what you were going for. For this, I like Art's suggestion of making a V-flats with no top. And then feather that main light onto them to get good bounce.


Thanks, Dennis.

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#17 Sailjunkie

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 01:41 PM

Art, I like the V-flat suggestion and the idea of moving the mug forward.  I'm going to have another go at this on the weekend.

 

Dennis, when I look at that backdrop, and compare it against the foam core board, I can see why you don't think it's white.  Believe it or not, however, Optex advertised it as a white backdrop.  The current colour may be more of a comment on my reluctance to wash the silly thing.  I have something that might be more white, and would work better with V-flats.  I'll try that next.  :)


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#18 Art

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Posted 08 February 2017 - 08:08 PM

Mark,

 

Here is a quick and dirty, on my setup.  I used my iPhone just for quick illustration....

 

Below, you can see the foam core, on a 45 degree and tilted DOWN slightly.  The Toberlone bars make excellent support!  I will EAT THEM later! :lol:

 

Attached File  Cube-Setup.jpg   283.98KB   0 downloads

 

And, the final result.  Again, taken with the iPhone.  Only one studio light on. Turned out pretty good for the phone.  This camera never ceases to amaze me.

 

Attached File  Cube.jpg   285.46KB   0 downloads

 

Experiment until you get the right angles and look you want.


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#19 Sailjunkie

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 02:13 PM

I like it, Art.

 

Those bars look a lot tastier than the clamps that I bought at Rona.  :lol:

 

I'm really intrigued by that studio light.  You can turn individual lights off and on?  :)


Mark

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#20 Art

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Posted 09 February 2017 - 02:17 PM

Mark,

Best money on lighting I have spent after the flashes!!

Don't get the 5 socket one, get the 4!

5 lights don't fit!

YES, you can turn on any combo of 1 to 4, each has a switch!

It is not super high quality but well worth the price!

I have a link to the lights somewhere, buy those, they are white light and very good lumens!

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