No, I’m not going to cook for you today and you really should be thankful for that, trust me. I got an assignment from my wife to shoot her “kitchen friends” for her blog.
What she means by that is her mixer and blender (or whatever they’re called, as long as they make food I don’t really care). I don’t exactly specialize in product shots but actually this was a good opportunity to try a new technique I’ve been wanting to have a go at. This technique probably has some fancy name that makes it sound all cool and sophisticated but whatever it is it eludes me; I’ll just call it the black-board-in-front-of-big-light-source-for-soft-wrapping-light technique, or the bbifoblsfswl for short (admittedly I might have to work a bit on that one). Anyways, a picture says more than an obscure acronym so check out the setup shot below (I’m getting better at including those, don’t you think?).
To start with you might notice that I’m not really using a black board but that’s simply because I don’t have one. A black sheet over a board of arbitrary colour works more or less equally well. My big soft light source is a white bed sheet borrowed from the bed (for some reason I always need the one we’re using at the moment) with two LP160s behind it. Even with two flashes I need a lot of power for this setup so they’re both running at full blast. I still need some extra fill though and that’s what the board to the left is for – the wall to the right fills (see what I did there?) the same function.
The whole idea with this setup is to have light that wraps around the subject from every side, creating very soft rim lights. You can use this for people as well but it would probably be a good idea to have a bigger flash is you want to try that since it really eats up a lot of power. One of the reasons I choose to use it for a product shot was that I though it would be a good way to eliminate highlights in all those shiny surfaces. It works quite well in that regard, though in the top shot the lid catches part of the bed sheet more directly and we do get a rather glaring highlight. More careful positioning should help to solve that.
In the second shot I got a lot of unwanted reflections in the steel surface but I don’t really know how to avoid that, at least not if I want that angle. Maybe you should just make sure you shoot stuff like that in a cleaner room…
Not a terribly interesting subject today but perhaps the technique was worth it. I don’t think it’s something I’ll use very often but it’s always good to experiment so you have some extra tricks up your sleeve.