This week I am going to talk about some of my favorite studio pieces. I may have mentioned before, I am a natural light photographer, meaning I prefer to take my photos using natural light. While the simplicity and natural look that taking photographs using that type of lighting can give; sometimes you need to use lights and a backdrop.
In my post Painting with Light! I discuss one of my favorite lighting techniques, and that is using a 30 second exposure, in a dark room, and a flash light. The Blackberry image is a product of that technique. I set up the still life on an old wood table and a dark gray backdrop. I took a couple of test shots and began painting away. If you would like to see this technique in video form, please let me know! I would love to do that for you!
My favorite product shot is definitely when I got to work with jewelry, and more specifically, my engagement ring. In this shot, I used a table cloth and folded the fabric over to create a little pouch for the ring to sit in. I then pointed an Alien Bee light with a snoot on it. A snoot is a tube that fits over a studio light that allows you to control the direction and radius of the beam of light.
One of my favorite food photo-shoots I did was with Fruit Loops. I did a mock advertisement using a white backdrop, a light colored wood table, and a bowl of cereal. In this shoot, I used two Alien Bees lights – both with soft boxes. If you don’t know what Alien Bees are, they are strobe lights that are pretty inexpensive and compatible with most standard light stands and portable power systems.
And of course one of my favorite studio portraits that I have done is my noir shoot. I have talked about this piece before in my blog post Prep Work! where I talked about how I prepared myself for this photo-shoot. Film Noir is a cinematic term used to describe Hollywood crime dramas. Film noir during the early 1940s to the late 1950s was associated with a low-key black and white visual style. I spent a week planning and doing research for this project because it was the first time that I would be doing a photo-shoot like this. I looked at photographers such as Alan Weissman who did photo-shoots with celebrities such as Morgan Freeman, but as well as Film Noir photo-shoots. I found his work to be very impressive and inspirational.
After I had an idea of what I wanted to do, I asked a classmate if he would like to be a model and pose for a black and white photo-shoot. He came prepared photo-shoot day with a black suit and tie ready for lights and camera. The photo-shoot was set up with one hot light and a set of blinds places in front of them. I then posed Jason to be standing with his body facing the camera and his head turned towards the right. He is in front of the blinds so that they would cast a shadow across his upper body. The idea of the blinds was to give Jason a mysterious 1940s detective-like look. The blinds were purposely setup so that his eyes were in the light rather than in the shadows, causing the viewer to look there first. I also had an assistant holding a light reflector to bounce light onto the back of his neck to fill in a little bit of the shadow. Because of this, there is a spot of light hitting the gauge in the left ear. Jason’s hair is slicked back but because the top of the image is so dark, you don’t notice his hair. He does have facial hair that fills in the space between his chin and his shoulder. His arms are crossed where you can only see one of his hands.
If you missed my Low Light! post I encourage you to shoot on over and take a look at that blog. I give tips on what you can do in low light situations. I hope you enjoyed this weeks blog, and if you have any favorite studio pieces or lighting techniques, I would love to see them! Email, private message me on Facebook, or comment below!