This is an additional shot for assignment four – “light”.


Sharp – ISO 100, 1/40s, f/18. Click to see large on Flickr

This was shot on manual, once more imploying my Pringles tube to direct the light.  I’ve increased sharpness and contrast in Lightroom and cropped the image.  The aim here was to use shadows and highlights to bring out the sharp edges, peaks and troughs, within the shape of the bottle cap – and contrast that with the smoothness of the top of the bottle in the first ‘texture’ shot.  On reflection, I think this is more of an illustration of the shape of the bottle cap; there’s very little evidence of texture – apart from in the white background I used.  I think to illustrate texture (there is a kind of scratched pattern in the metal cap, which is vaguely visible, but not so much as I’d claim it’s demonstrated well) I’d need to get much closer to the cap – and show the top.  I’d probably need a 100mm macro lens – which I don’t have access to.

I’ve used three caps to create a shape in the image (roughly a triangle, with another triangle of ‘space’ within) and to show cap in different ways – inside and out.

Taking the shot

I started with two caps and the light directly at the side, 90 degrees to the camera.  I found the shadows too hard and the left cap was reflecting the light to the camera too much.

Hard shadow and harsh reflection

I introduced a reflector opposite the flash and this softened the shadows, more to my liking, though the shadow was too long.  It’s also horizontal which makes for a fairly static and boring image and it ends out-of-frame.

Softer shadow but still too long

I adjusted the angle of the camera, so the shadow created was diagonal and finished in-frame.  It still looks a little dull, but is better:

Better angle but still a bit boring

I added a third bottle cap to create a shape.  I also increased the height of the flash to shorten the shadow, so it wasn’t as dominant-an-element within the image.  This was how the lighting setup looked around this time:

The Lighting setup

And here’s the shot:

Nearly there…

Apart form being under-exposed, I wasn’t happy with the cap arrangement.  I found the writing on the cap distracting, reminding me of the cigarette packet writing from one of my assignment one shots.  In some shots in this assignment the label is unavoidable (and in the case of the first ‘colour’ shot, I feel it enhances the image), but in this case the writing was avoidable; it wasn’t adding anything.

I rearranged the caps for the final image, making a more interesting shape and removing the distraction of the writing.