Thursday, January 12, 2012

Anatomy of a Photo Shoot @ TCOH

I thought I would show you how I set up and take my photos.  This is my favorite location.  It is a south facing window.  First thing you should notice is the lighting.  It is a very dark, cloudy day.  I have a warm color room with overhead can lighting on dimmers.

The warm room color and the overhead can lights are not going to do anything for my photos.  I use the light from this window and I adjust it by putting the curtains and lace panels up or down depending on how bright the sun is.  Today  I am putting the curtains and sheers all the way up because it is very darkI have a natural linen and a piece of burlap on the table for a table covering, but I am not going to use them.  Today is the day it is perfect to shoot an all white photo.

I prop my all white backdrops in place and look at all that great light starting to show up!

Next, I style my subject to get it ready for the shoot.  I have found that I have bored of traditional set tables.  I like a styled grouping of objects that give you the hint of what the table would have on it.  I just think for the composition of the photo this is much more interesting to look at.

The results:
I know when I have captured the light correctly when I go to edit the photo and I hit the correction for lighting and color and the photo does not change.  Then you have captured the light perfectly.  I do this on about 90% of my photos now that I have practiced it enough.  Today the color adjustment gave me the choice of the salad plate being warm or cool.  The only adjustment difference that made was a gold tint to the plate or a blue tint to the plate.  I chose the warm unedited photo because I like to keep it as natural as possible.  So, all I did to these photos was crop them.  Which ones made it into the post over at TCOH?  This one did.

This one was cut, it looked too much like another one.

This one made it into the post.

This one got cut, because I had another picture of the plates and that is mainly all you are getting in this photo.

This one made it.

This one was cut.  It was taken on a step stool.  I don't use this angle often and it just wasn't my favorite.
So, that is how I managed this photo shoot.  I hope you can use some of my ideas.  I try to see everything through the lens in terms of the basic principals of art (texture, color, shape, value, line, etc.)  I might need to do a post on is a another whole subject...