Help with setting up a shot...

magicmonkey

TPF Noob!
Joined
Feb 11, 2006
Messages
579
Reaction score
0
Location
Bristol, UK
Could anyone help me, I'm wanting to set up a shot but haven't got a clue how to go about it as I'm completely self taught(or not as the case may be...).
The shot is of beads of water on the head of a hammer on a glass surface, I want quite a detailed shot with the water and the metal grain being prominent but have no professional lighting, the equipment I have available is:

350D
Sigma 18-50mm f3.5-5.6
Canon 28-105mm f3.5-4.5
Canon 70-300mm f4-5.6 IS
On camera flash
An adjustable light which I can direct quite easily
The ceiling light!!
Polarizing filters
Some fabric I can use as a backdrop

Does anyone have any suggestions as to where to start with this one?

Any help is very much appreciated...
 

zedin

TPF Supporters
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2005
Messages
349
Reaction score
5
Location
Irvine, Orange County, CA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
What sort of final image are you wanting? Lighting wise you might actually shoot it outdoors. I see you are in the UK so don't you often have overcast skys (ie good omnidirectional light and not harsh). You could use your adjustable light to add a highlight or reflection depending on what you wanted.
How close can you focus in with your lenses? From the sound of it you are wanting something like a macro shot? (since you want to see metal grain.. what sort of hammer?)
 
OP
magicmonkey

magicmonkey

TPF Noob!
Joined
Feb 11, 2006
Messages
579
Reaction score
0
Location
Bristol, UK
Yeah, I could shoot outside, hadn't thought of that as I considered it to be a studio type shot, thing is that my adjustable light won't stretch into the area of my garden where the sun is! I took a few shots last night using washing up bubbles instead of water as I won't be keeping the shots and didn't want to dunk a hammer for every shot, this should give you an idea what I'm after. The grain on the hammer is quite prominent though so no real need for a macro shot which is good as I got rid of my macro lens (my biggest camera regret do far)

IMG_8545_edit.JPG


The direct lighting just isn't going to work at all! I tried putting a cotton sheet over the lamp to diffuse it somewhat but the sheet got very hot and I still had the reflection there, I was thinking about playing around with reflecting light with pieces on paper etc rather than using direct light for this, good idea or back to the drawing board?

The shortest focal range is somewhere around the 1 foot mark I think...

I'm really wanting 2 versions of the shot, one colour in which the water is very prominent and the blue 'pops' and one B+W as I think the tones could work well, having said that, my eye for B+W is still in the 'developing' phases (read non-existent). I might play around with polarizer’s to get rid of the reflection as well to see how that affects the shot but I'll probably opt to keep it in.

ps. Now I have a picture up this should probably get moved to the critique forum if a mod wouldn't mind sparing the time :blushing:
 

KevinR

TPF Noob!
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
1,204
Reaction score
4
Location
Dearborn, MI
I would try the reflecting light. Get some poster board in different colors and mess around. The other thing is to use something like Glycerin for the water. It is thicker and adheres better.
 

Digital Matt

alter ego: Analog Matt
Joined
Jan 30, 2004
Messages
5,358
Reaction score
72
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
Website
www.mattperko.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Don't dunk the hammer. Use a spray bottle and mist it. You'll get lots of nice water drops on it. Try lighting it from different angles, like from the side, or directly overhead. Try using more narrow light, like from a flash light, to highlight it.
 
OP
magicmonkey

magicmonkey

TPF Noob!
Joined
Feb 11, 2006
Messages
579
Reaction score
0
Location
Bristol, UK
KevinR said:
I would try the reflecting light. Get some poster board in different colors and mess around. The other thing is to use something like Glycerin for the water. It is thicker and adheres better.

I think I'll try a few shots outdoors later this evening when the sun is a bit less intense (I know, in the uk as well, wierd eh) and if that doesn't pan out then I'll have to play around with reflectors. After posting about reflecting light I realised I don't actually have anything to hold a reflector in place so it could become a bit of a hit and miss operation.

I was thinking of sugar water in place of water as I have that at home already, do you know if that would work or is it just a silly idea?
 
OP
magicmonkey

magicmonkey

TPF Noob!
Joined
Feb 11, 2006
Messages
579
Reaction score
0
Location
Bristol, UK
Digital Matt said:
Don't dunk the hammer. Use a spray bottle and mist it. You'll get lots of nice water drops on it. Try lighting it from different angles, like from the side, or directly overhead. Try using more narrow light, like from a flash light, to highlight it.

Thanks for the spray bottle hint, I'll give it a try later.

As for the flash, it's a very reflective surface so I'm worried about a harsh flash relfection. Having said that, it can't get much worse than the current reflection!
 

Digital Matt

alter ego: Analog Matt
Joined
Jan 30, 2004
Messages
5,358
Reaction score
72
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
Website
www.mattperko.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
magicmonkey said:
Thanks for the spray bottle hint, I'll give it a try later.

As for the flash, it's a very reflective surface so I'm worried about a harsh flash relfection. Having said that, it can't get much worse than the current reflection!

I don't mean flash, as in on camera flash, I mean flashlight, like the kind you use when the lights go out.

Just be careful to set your wb accordingly, because the light is tungsten.
 
OP
magicmonkey

magicmonkey

TPF Noob!
Joined
Feb 11, 2006
Messages
579
Reaction score
0
Location
Bristol, UK
ahh, makes much more sense now, in fact I carry 2 flashlights in my camera bag for just this. I'm shooting RAW so I can sort out the WB later which is a wonderful luxury as far as I'm concerned.:D
 

zedin

TPF Supporters
Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2005
Messages
349
Reaction score
5
Location
Irvine, Orange County, CA
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Depending on how big you want the water drops you might consider wiping down the hammer head with light cooking oil, carwax, or something else that will make the water bead up.
 

mysteryscribe

TPF Noob!
Joined
Feb 1, 2006
Messages
6,071
Reaction score
3
Location
in the middle of north carolina
Website
retrophotoservice.2ya.com
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Try putting the hammer in the freezer... cold metal does some neat things with water.

Id go with the cloudy day scenario if I could.

The other thing I usually had some luck with when doing tabletop was to project the light through a piece of cloth. Actually I always used strobe. That should be fairly easy with a digital camera, just shoot till you get it right. shoot the strobe through the cloth. Set it about a foot away from the cloth so it gets some spread before it hits the cloth. That should give you a nice wide pattern of light. I expect it might give you a hot spot but no glare. don't be surprised to find it is long shutter speeds. The less light you have the better your shot will be I suspect.

Might not help but couldn't hoit
 
OP
magicmonkey

magicmonkey

TPF Noob!
Joined
Feb 11, 2006
Messages
579
Reaction score
0
Location
Bristol, UK
Thanks guys, am now waiting for a cloudy day, and I'm in England. No, really!!

The oil and the freezer sound like interesting options as well, I'll be sure to have a go with them too.
 

Hertz van Rental

We're supposed to post photos?
Joined
Nov 8, 2004
Messages
16,738
Reaction score
48
Location
Where am I now?
This is the way we used to do it for beer campaigns and the like to get the beading on the glass to make it look cold (will work for the hammer too). Gives you total control.
Get some clear dulling spray (Google and you'll find it) and give the hammer a light spray.
It dulls down the surface and gives a key for what comes next.
Get a spray bottle - the ones sold in garden centres are good.
Mix 1:1 water and glycerine (glycerol) in the spray bottle.
Spray the hammer. The water will evaporate off leaving beads of glycerol that will stay there as long as you want.
(Dulling spray cleans off with lighter fluid).
 
OP
magicmonkey

magicmonkey

TPF Noob!
Joined
Feb 11, 2006
Messages
579
Reaction score
0
Location
Bristol, UK
Well it looks like there isn't going to be an overcast day anytime in the next week (someone at the met ofice is having a laugh I'm sure!) so I decided to try and set this up indoors again. I closed the curtains and hung my dressing gown on the back of a clothes horse between the set up and the windows to get rid of as much direct light as I could, froze the hammer and then sprayed it with water from a kitchen cleaner spray bottle, how's that for photography on a budget! I did have a go with te oil but found that the frozen hammer had a good effect (thanks for that :D ) and that the water beaded better when it was allowed to melt on the hammer. Anyway, here are the end reults, I'll probably pop them up in the general gallery as well for critique etc.

#1
Wet%20Hammer.jpg

#2
Frozen%20Hammer.jpg

#3
Sepia%20Frozen%20Hammer.jpg

Thanks for all the advice guys. As ever, you've all been a great help :hail:
 

Most reactions

Top