It's being used more than ever these days.

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Sep 13, 2007
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Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
I occasionally enjoy making dramatic photos of everyday objects and today's example is our kitchen's hand soap dispenser. It gets used a lot these days even when nobody is doing anything else in the kitchen.

Mike 2021-04-25--0001-S.jpg
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Photo of the Setup
The background, which is not displayed in this photo of the setup, is black presentation board. The lamp on the left lit the background and nothing else. The other lamp lit the left edge of the subject's body and the left edge of its neck and tip where the soap is dispensed. That is the only direct lighting of the subject; all other lighting of it was reflected light. The reflector suspended on the right in this photo added the gradient with the diagonal line to the left front side of the subject's body. The small reflector on the tabletop lit the front edge of the subject's body closest to the camera. The flashlight lit the other reflector suspended on the left, which in turn brightened the right side of the subject's handle. The black paper on the tabletop prevented light being emitted by the flashlight from lighting the right side of the subject's body. 25 focus-bracketed images at Nikon step size 3 were stacked in Helicon Focus at its default settings.

Mike 2021-04-25--0002-S.jpg
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Joined
Sep 13, 2007
Messages
20,127
Location
Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
Thank you also to Allan, dossy, Mitch and Binnur!

My take is that making the lighting happen isn't so much a difficult task as it is one that requires deciding how I want the image to look, such as where in the scene to use bright and dark areas to emphasize separation at a glance between the various elements in the scene and how to use the light to lead the eye through the scene.

Working with all the various types of clips and clamps that hold the reflectors and flags in the ideal position first requires having them. (I have about 25 of them in seven types and sizes but half of them are binder clips in just one size.) Then it only requires the patience to get everything positioned just so to produce the ideal highlight or dark area. Though I'm very impatient with some things, such as machines that don't work properly, I'm very patient at making all those adjustments mostly because, for me, the process is so enjoyable and relaxing.

99% of the time I use up to three types of continuous light -- a small lamp, a medium lamp and maybe one or two flashlights.

On the other hand, it's really important to appreciate how easy it is to make a really attractive image using just one light and one reflector. Indeed, that's always my go-to setup when it comes to making traditional food photos.
 
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