Creating Reality…Building a Set
November 26, 2012 § 6 Comments
I shoot a lot on location, and I shoot a lot in my studio. Usually the studio shots are tabletop still life images. Sometimes I like a combination of the two, but taking a cool looking object to a cool looking location is kind of difficult, so that leaves creating “the location”, or “atmosphere”. We see this all the time when we watch movies. While I’m not exactly a Steven Spielberg…o.k. I’m not a Spielberg even in my wildest dreams, I do o.k. with small sets. Sometimes all thats needed are a couple of props. By adding a tablecloth, some silverware, and a small vase of flowers, you can take a simple food shot and make it appear that you shot it in a dining area…adding a warm glow of light will create a beautiful sunrise “atmosphere” to the image as well. I’ve included a couple of “behind the scenes” images to show how I created an “attic” effect for the toy shot. This shot was a little more elaborate as far as lighting is concerned. I set up a strobe behind the window to simulate light coming through the window, but I lit the toys with my flashlight utilizing my light painting techniques that I’ve blogged about in the past. I dial in the strobe exposure with the aperture and adjust the power of the strobe accordingly and then set the shutter speed to 30 seconds. I trigger the camera, the strobe fires, and then I use the remainder of the 30 seconds to light paint the toys and trunk. The rest of the images here are lit with the strobe through the window and then filled with a white card. Here are a few side notes. I shot the “toys” last week while I shot Kate last year. I shot “Rusty & Dusty” and the “possessed doll” around 25 years ago while I shot the “country kitchen” around 30 years ago. A couple of further side notes…the same window is used in all the shots covering 30 years! The glowing eyes were from Christmas tree lights wired up into the dolls head…pre-Photoshop, but I did make them better in Photoshop. Last but not least…you may be wondering how I could get two cats to pose so purrfectly(sorry for that…couldn’t resist). I rubbed tuna fish juice on the chair for Rusty and on the floor for Dusty. Just wait till they start licking the juice up, and then clap your hands real loud or have someone off set call them…we tried it all till we got the shot! If you want to try this, start off small, maybe just a few props, a surface, a window…see what you can create!
Till next time…!