Thursday, March 25, 2010

365/81 Only Madagascar's Finest

365/81 Only Madagascar's Finest

Yes, another product-type shot.

I picked up this bottle of vanilla the other day at the suggestion of random vanilla connoisseur who worked at the store. Originally, I'd wanted some of the cheap stuff for the bread pudding I'd recently made, but looking over the prices, I found that this ended up being cheaper (in quantity) than the stuff I normally get. In total: $10 for four ounces.

This stuff is the bomb.

Worked great for the bread pudding. I will be hoarding it henceforth.

Anyway, figured that I'd use it for a photo since I enjoyed it so much.

Today, I tried something different for my product shoot. I wanted a pure white field for the background. Normally, I'd do this by throwing light on some white seamless until it was blown out enough for my needs. This time, since I was photographing something suitably small, I stuck the Lastolite Ezybox Hotshoe in as the background and propped it against the table I was shooting upon. This gave me a fairly nice reflection thrown across the wood finish. You vaguely see some woodgrain in the forefront of the photo.

This gave me an excellent base to work from.

Next, I needed to throw a key light in there. For this, I went with my tried and true bare SB-900 shooting through two sheets of paper. Why two? I figured this out previously: the second sheet helps to diffuse a bright hotspot that comes from the flash and shows up as an unsightly flare on any reflective surface.

This gave me a pretty good fill from the left, but I still had too much shadow on the right side of the bottle.

Foamcore to the rescue! A sheet of it was placed on the right of the bottle, giving me a white reflector that further filled in using any of the excess light coming in from the left.

The biggest annoyance of this entire setup was that I couldn't get the bottle top in focus enough with the rest of the bottle. I felt I'd stopped it down more than enough. I think I was just too close when photographing it. A 135mm lens would have probably gotten me far enough away, but still provide enough close in detail and framing to have made this work better.

I made do with what I had.

Overall, I think this worked out pretty well. A bit of extra fill in Lightroom during post and I think I nailed it. Well, nailed it enough. Still unhappy about the top. You probably wouldn't notice it unless you were viewing this full size, though.

Ah well.

Here's a setup shot of the entire work space. Enjoy!

Setup, Vanilla bottle

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