THE GARNET BRACELET
Hot to create glowing effect in jewelry photography with gels and mixed lighting
It's nice to achieve the desired result! Also in front of the photographers came to your workshop. However, sometimes it can take a long time, and those photographers are becoming witnesses not of an easy, graceful victory but of exhausting struggle for result.
I always try to show on the workshops and master classes only well-tested solutions, those which can guarantee result. Without long preparation, long working on setup, without possibility of a fiasco. Yes, sometimes it happens. The more complex the task, the more likely defeat. But I love challenges and them bring me new victories.
The idea was to create a pictures taken in the studio, without any Photoshop postprocessing, capturing a model tearing her garnet bracelet. With garnet stones flying apart. Fortunately, I had in my studio several bracelets which means a lot of glass stones of vivid red color.
There are two ways to do achieve this goal: either to throw this stones in the air around the model or somehow to fix them in the air.
I chose the second way. I put a large piece of glass in front of the model, took the stones from the already broken bracelets and stick them on the glass with double-sided adhesive tape, one bracelet on the modelís hand. To have all this stuff in depth of field I moved the glass very close to the model. I put a softbox with strobe light on the left from the model. No to have reflections from lighting units I slightly tilted the glass from the model. Perfect, now it is not visible. light background I used reflector with a red gel behind the model. With strobe lamp, of course. With help of my assistant it took around 30 minutes. You have to fasten every element of setup. It always takes time.
But I wanted to see in the picture not only red stones, I wanted to see lines of red light around this bunch of flying stones. To create kind of sparks around.
It is impossible to make it without mixed lighting. A technique where you use strobe and continuous light at the same time.
I have to catch reflections from the stones and added a hard light source (standard reflector with honeycomb grid), covering it with a bright red color gel, as well as the conversion (201) gel to eliminate the difference of color temperatures of strobe and continuous light. A simple task at first caused some difficulty. It was necessary to set right position of the lighting units and my camera. As well as to ask model not to move. Even slight movement of modelís hand crushed the picture.
Well, now it is the time to shoot. No matter how much you your experience, you should make and make attempts achieving necessary result. Every picture made with mixed lighting is unique and sometimes it is necessary to make dozens of attempts to get just only one picture with good result. I moved my camera and the continuous light with the red gel was turning into red bright lines. Of course the part of picture lit by strobe light was sharp and rigid.
Waiting was worth it. I got a pretty picture and attendees of my workshop got a lesson that only well thought-out idea with precise positioning of lighting units, with multiply attempts can you can bring a surprising result.
Camera: Hasselblad H3DII-31
Lens: Hasselblad 210 mm 4.0
Shatter speed: 8.0 seconds
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