Ok, so I wasn't too happy with the last Coke shot. It was Tuesday night, and I had to wake up early the next day. I knew it was a bad idea, but I just had to take a new shot for the Weekly Assignment: "Product Photography" at dPS.
Earlier that day a fellow photographer, Rob Necciai, told me he got an interesting effect by placing a strip of cardboard in front of his softbox (picture), thus to block out unwanted light. I didn't have any special ideas for my next Coke shot except that I wanted a backlit subject, and I definitely wanted to try this gobo thing
I started cutting a hole in some black cardboard that had the shape of a Coke bottle. I placed this in front of my DIY softbox and placed a SB-600 inside it. The bottle was placed on black cardboard on top of some DVD covers. Did some test shots to set the camera and flash output. During these shots I found out it was extremely important to line up the gobo, bottle and camera perfectly. Since the gobo was shaped like the bottle, small variations in positions was very noticable since the width of the edge light changed. I also had to block the hole on the top. I thought that the light passing throught the top of the bottle was too intense.
When the test shots were complete, it was time to light the label again. In the last Coke shot I made a mistake by using a reflective umbrella to light the whole bottle and more. By now I had also decided to make this a low-key shot, so I made a DIY snoot for the label flash so that I could focus the light beam on just the label. In the last Coke shot I got ugly reflections from the bottle and label when the light came from the side, and I was happy to see that lighting the label from above (45 degrees) worked great! I mounted the snooted SB-600 on a microphone stand to get it just over the camera.
After the test shots were complete, I ended up with the following settings:
Softbox flash: 1/32 power at 24mm
Snooted flash: 1/64 power at 24mm
Lens: Nikkor 35mm f/2D
Exposure: 1/125 at f/8 ISO200
The setup looked like this:
I sprayed the bottle with water, and noticed I had to be fast so that the water didn't soak the label.
The final shot:
The only PP I did on this was to increase the saturation and straightening in addition to the RAW processing. I'm quite happy with this shot.
What I could have done differently:
- I wonder if I actually had to cut the gobo with the shape of the bottle. Maybe it would be enough to just make a narrow rectangular slot. I will try that later.