Soft Lighting With A Little Extra

November 1, 2011 § 2 Comments

"Donut & Coffee"

My last blog was about using multiple diffusion to create a super soft light when shooting a still life.  I shot these two “Donut & Coffee” shots using the exact same lighting, but with an extra light from underneath the set.  With the behind the scenes shot, you can see the softbox being diffused by my large silk…exactly like my “Old Books & Glasses” images from my last blog.  This time I set the subject on a piece of smoked translucent plexi-glass.  The coffee was in a clear glass cup, so I thought it would be nice to have a source of light coming up through the coffee, giving it a really nice glow.  If I had used a solid surface, the donut would look pretty much the same…at least the top of the donut would, but the coffee would have a more solid surface with a nice soft reflection on the surface, but no bright glow.  Both lighting treatments are nice, it’s just a personal decision made by the photographer or client.  With the bottom light so close to the subject, you’ll get a really blown out effect unless you cut the light way down or soften it quite a bit.  I taped a piece of tissue paper underneath the smoked glass, and it was still too hot.  I then laid another piece of tissue paper on top of the bottom light…oh yeah, I had a grid in the bottom light reflector so the light would be more directional.  The opening shot is sitting on the plexi surface, but I added a slight tint to the surface so it wouldn’t be pure white.  The second shot where you’re looking straight down from overhead, is shot on the same surface, but I added a couple of different textures in Photoshop, and then brushed them out over the coffee and donut.  This gives the effect of having the subject on a solid surface, but I still get the glow from the light underneath through the coffee.

"Coffee & Donut From Overhead"

"Behind The Scenes"

Hope you enjoyed this one.


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