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Working with water in still life and AD photography: Episode one

Alex Koloskov

New member
Hope this is might be interesting for the community, we did this tutorial few month ago:


This is the most enjoyable photo-shot I had for last few month: not only the most technically challenging but the end result is the most eye-catching and outstanding. The idea was to use a water as a ultimate background to emphasize the product: water can be transparent or 100% reflective (well, not a water itself, but the water-to air boundary), the effect called total internal reflection. Long story short: when we see the water surface at relatively sharp angle, it become almost 100% reflective, acting as a mirror. Now, if we’ll disturb the water surface so it will form a waves, some part of the wave will be a mirror-like (due to an angle) , and some will be transparent, allowing light to be transmitted. Lets look on this from below the surface:

Lighting setup



Lights by number:

1. 20° spot with gold gel to highlight a large spot on a background, visible through the tank. It was placed to be on the front to spill some light on the object making a tiny gold accent.

2. White 10° spot light, only to highlight the object. Placed high on top to let reflection form the bottom of tank highlight the object from the bottom.

3. “Hair” light. You know what it did to our bottle, right? Just look at right side (left if it was flipped upside down) of it. :)

4. 10° Spot hitting right on the behind of the tank, to be reflected from the surface at given camera angle. There are a lot more little nuances about this shoot: some of them will be explained on the video, I tied to make it as much explainable as I can.

Now, the outcome. Different objects using the same (or slightly changed) setup. As usual, images was under post-processing, meaning we cleaned them and rotated, when needed:



Full story (including BTS video) is on the blog, as usual:
http://www.akelstudio.com/blog/water-in-still-life-and-advertisement-photography-episode-one/

Enjoy:)

Alex
www.koloskov.com
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Alex,

I visited your site and watched the video and am impressed. What work of others inspired you to develop this approach to the underwater reflection.

What's the minimum number of lights to achieve the effect?

Asher
 

Alex Koloskov

New member
Alex,

I visited your site and watched the video and am impressed. What work of others inspired you to develop this approach to the underwater reflection.

What's the minimum number of lights to achieve the effect?

Asher
Asher,
Here is the list of the photographers who had some influence on me:
http://www.akelstudio.com/blog/photographers-who-inspired-me/

However, for the water, Igor Sakharov was a source of ideas: http://igorsakharov.com/

As for the lighting for this set, we can take out one which were used to highlight the subject from the back:



Talking about number 3. The rest.. can be taken out as well, but you'll loose a composition:)

Thank you!
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Thanks, Alex!

how important are the grids in getting the effects. How differet is the image without them?

Asher
 
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