When it comes to the aspects of photography which cause us to stop and think we are in agreement that composition is key and not always easy to execute. OK, when it comes to composing a person in a portrait, that is pretty simple. Still life images, on the other hand, offer some distinct challenges. Design elements come to mind. Form, shape, orientation in space and a host of other ideas and concepts whirl around in our minds until we commit to what we want.
The other week we were setting up some glass candle holders for a shoot and decided to use both natural light and speedlights although not at the same time. The diagram below shows the initial setup using sun through a window on the right of the frame coming from a set of french doors. The result was pleasing but just not what we wanted. Again we have to define what we want before we can achieve it. We tempted to change things a bit. Trying different things is how we get there.
Our next shot depicts a slightly different angle on it all. Instead of the natural light we decided to make a soft box out of a white paper sack and a speedlight. This was better as we were able to move it around without too much effort. The results? Well lets just say they were what we were looking for. One thing though-when shooting glass objects be careful to not have the surroundings reflect in the glass and always wear black clothing to minimize reflections.
Summing it all up, the way one places the light in relation to the subject greatly impacts the shot. With glass objects especially. Try some of your own glass objects using both sunlight(diffused) and studio strobes or speedlights. We would love to see what you come up with!
We have to say thank you to Michael with you tube channel Good Light! Clips for inspiring us to do this work. His channel offers so many other great ideas for lighting in all set ups, check it out! In the mean time-get busy with that camera!