Black, shiny metal

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This week is the ninth anniversary of when I first learned about the family of angles, which is the single most important information I have ever learned about doing tabletop photography. So, I celebrated the anniversary by making this series of photos of a set of tools used for making cocktails. As I often do, I photographed them mostly out of the context of how they are typically used.

As you view the photos, consider that all subjects except one part of one subject are made entirely of shiny metal that appears fundamentally black under everyday lighting situations. (That's a first for me.) However, all 11 tones in the Zone System are displayed in the subjects including the brightest white tones. That's why understanding the concept of the family of angles can be so helpful when controlling the luminosity of the tones being displayed on shiny surfaces.

Photo #1
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Photo #2
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Photo #3

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Photo #4
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Photo of the Setup for All Photos

The tabletop is a vinyl floor tile. The flashlight always lit the large, white reflector at the rear of the scene and the small white reflector on the left side of the scene. When light had to be redirected from immediately above, the flashlight also lit the small, bent reflector above the scene. The white fabric around the vinyl floor tile was also reflected in some of the subjects.
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This excellent set of photographs along with you description reminds me - I really need to continue plowing through that book!

Also, if you ever decide to start making YouTube videos, I think they will be a big success among those who want to improve their understanding of lighting.
 
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Thank you to Andy and Bart!

that book!
Others might want to know that you're referring to Light: Science & Magic, which is now in its sixth edition. I call it the Bible of Light.

Great to see how you tame the light.
Your comment brings to mind my favorite quote from the book: "Light behaves like light, and no amount of our piety or wit can ever make it do otherwise. We like to say we control light, but often all we can really do is to cooperate with what it wants to do. This is true of any light, in the studio or out of it."
 
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Thank you to Andy and Bart!


Others might want to know that you're referring to Light: Science & Magic, which is now in its sixth edition. I call it the Bible of Light.


Your comment brings to mind my favorite quote from the book: "Light behaves like light, and no amount of our piety or wit can ever make it do otherwise. We like to say we control light, but often all we can really do is to cooperate with what it wants to do. This is true of any light, in the studio or out of it."
so Light is more like a cat than as a dog :)

In any case, I find you an excellent Light whisperer, Mike
 
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Very set of examples and educating us on the process. No uneccesary shadows glare, reflections. Great textures.

I don't know if I will ever attempt something like your photos, but its great that you are sharing with us along the way.
 

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