February 25, 2010

Details about the pic from yesterday

Someone contacted me asking how I set up the shot yesterday. Seeing as it's snowing, roads are bad, and I'm trying to distract myself from the irresistible urge of going to get beer to go with my very delicious made-from-scratch tacos, and I have no problem sharing my secrets of the trade, unlike some...

Here's my setup.
Black backdrop, table, four egg cartons, a now-broken piece of glass that I took out of a big picture frame, black felt, flash and an amber gel for the flash.

Why egg cartons? I needed something to raise the glass surface so that I could fit the flash underneath and just happened to have them on hand. Books are more stable and sturdy, true, but they tend to be hard to get perfectly level. I stacked the cartons two per side and draped the bottom of the backdrop over it, with a little hollow for the flash in middle. The glass went on top of that.

On top of the glass, I placed the black felt with a 2-inch diameter circle cut out in the middle. The flash with a piece of the amber gel (similar to colored cellophane) to colorize the light was placed directly below the bottle.

For this shot, I didn't use any other lights, other than the flash. However, my camera has an infrared light inside the built-in flash, the infrared signals the flash to go off wirelessly. Unfortunately, when it fires, it also fires the on-camera flash - haven't figured out whether there's a way to turn that off. I need to reread the manual. That's why you see a streak of white light along the middle of the bottle.

That's as far as I got when I knocked the bottle over and it split the glass pane in three pieces.

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