Project 52

Assignment 36 - Free Shoot

A free shot...yahoo!  But not so fast.  There are some rules attached.  We had to shoot two complimentary images - one using natural light and one using studio lights.  The difficulty with this assignment lies in ensuring the colors match.  Depending on the type of natural light, the color cast picked up by the camera will be completely different if it is midday sun, shade, or an overcast day.  Studio strobes will give off a completely different color.  The photo will also pick up color from the surroundings, including the photographer's clothing.

I tried not to overthink the subject matter.  I decided to go with a Joseph Phelps Insignia wine bottle that I had been wanting to shoot, because it has a cartouche of a grape vine leaf and I knew that would pose a challenge with the lighting.  For the natural light shot, I decided to focus on just the cartouche and the label.  I positioned the bottle with a large window to camera right, with a large piece of white foam core to camera left, bouncing light back into the bottle.  I used a gray card to be able to color correct the image to ensure I could get the two images to match. 

The natural light shot.  The long white strip on the right of the bottle is the reflection from the window; the white strip on the left is the reflection of the white foam core.  Behind-the-scenes shot below.

The natural light shot.  The long white strip on the right of the bottle is the reflection from the window; the white strip on the left is the reflection of the white foam core.  Behind-the-scenes shot below.

For the studio lit shot, I decided to pull back and show more of the bottle with a glass of wine.  I tried to shoot the bottle and glass together, but each object was causing a lot of distracting reflections in the other.  So I shot the wine bottle first, working to mimic the white bars down the sides of the bottle.  I used a medium softbox in place of the window light, and kept the white foam core board in the same place.  I then worked on the wine glass, which proved difficult because the shape of the bowl of the glass reflected the light all over the inside of the glass.  After a few iterations and getting one I was satisfied with, I blended the bottle image with the glass image to get the final product below:

I spent a few minutes working on the color and tone of the images to ensure they match.  Fortunately I had used a gray card in each image to help correct the colors.  I created a diptych to submit for the assignment.  It is a bit easier to compare the images using this:

The next several weeks of images will be portraits.  Looking forward to getting back to shooting people, and hoping I don't have too much trouble finding subjects.  Next week's topic: a portrait of a "hometown hero," giving context in the image to show why they are a hero.  Anyone got a hero handy?

BTS:  Natural Light Shot

BTS:  Natural Light Shot

 
BTS:  Studio Light Shot

BTS:  Studio Light Shot