The hours between 8:30 and 11 a.m. constituted the single most productive Sunday morning I’ve had since last summer at Philmont. Laura and I were partnered up for the class Metal & Glass assignment, wherein
You are paired up so that one can grip for or assist the other and visa versa [sic]. One of you is to photograph glass or translucent objects and the other will photography [sic] metal objects. When you are not the shooter, you are to be the assistant, which means the second set of eyes and hands on the shoot. (Syllabus)
I shot glass; Laura shot metal. Check her blog later to see her shots of the coins we donated and the piggy bank we destroyed!
For my shot, I bought six vases at Michael’s and used paintbrushes and dipping pens that I already own. (I knew I didn’t bring them from Texas for nothing!) We put in a few drops of food coloring into the vases without brushes or pens, at the last minute so that you can still see the coloring mix into the water.
I ended up with a two-light setup. Even though I checked all the settings between the light meter and my camera and am pretty sure I metered correctly, all my shots were underexposed when I imported them to my computer. Lesson learned: I should have bracketed. Oh well.
Here’s my select image, untouched by Photoshop except to eliminate some spots on the sensor and to sharpen the image overall:
Pretty underexposed, yes? I will definitely be bracketing next time.
For kicks and giggles, I toned my select image and the runner-up to look the way they should have:
And here’s my light setup for all the shots:Overall, this shoot was so much easier than the portrait shoot I’d done with Calin earlier — mostly because lighting still objects is much less complex than lighting a human face whose features you don’t want to blow out or cast entirely into shadow. (My lighting ratio for this glass shoot was a steady 1:1.) Also, you don’t have to try to capture a good moment or the essence of an object — at least, not of glass vases.
That said, I did try the standard, dead-on-straight shot of the vases with my 50mm lens, but wanted to go for a more dynamic angle using my 16-35mm II lens. Hence, the above-angles for both my select image and runner-up.
But yeah. The biggest lesson learned today: BRACKET.