Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wise Man Statue

Elderly wise man statue from the Serengeti, Tanzania
This is a little trinket that I brought from the Serengeti (I never completed the "Places I've seen" series, but beyond Europe was Giza, Egypt and then a safari in Tanzania).

I really like the 3D look of this photograph.

Continue for the technical details ...

The following is the lighting set up I used.

The softbox is high, pointing down. The black "backdrops" are little foam-boards at subject level. The flash is at subject level as well. The white backdrop in the front of the small flash is a piece of regular paper. The paper softens the light from the flash.

Key Light: Before putting the trinket in its place, I adjusted the value of the softbox-ed light till it was f/8 at the location of the trinket's head.

Fill light: I had tried using paper as a reflector, but it didn't work very well because of the angles, etc. So I decided to use a speedlight through the paper. The paper diffuses the light and makes it "softer". I didn't want the shadows to be too dark, so choose a 1-stop difference. Metered the diffused speedlight at f/5.6.

Flash Trigger: I am trying out new studio strobes (Elinchrom D-Lite4 IT) and one was set up in the softbox. As I didn't use the 2nd one for the fill, and used a 550EX instead, I had to use a Cactus V2 to trigger the 550EX. The D-Lite was triggered optically when the 550EX went off.

Camera Settings: Aperture f/8, Shutter 1/250, shot at 210mm to give it a short depth of field.

I sharpened the photo a bit, and cropped it slightly; but otherwise it's pretty much SOOC (straight out of camera).

A wider photograph with the same settings

BTW: The props (individual photographs) in the Medieval BBQ post were shot in the same way.

I assume that most readers are aware of the concepts and the terminology used, but feel free to ask questions in the comments if anything is unclear. I'll try to be prompt at answering them.

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