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Learning To Light Products
Lens: DA*55mm Camera: Pentax K3 Photo Location: UK ISO: 200 Shutter Speed: 1/180s Aperture: F8 
Posted By: Fletcher Davies, 01-24-2014, 08:46 AM

After two days of experimenting with lighting bottles of liquid I finally achieve what I wanted.

Lighting products well is not easy and when you are learning it can be frustrating truing to defuse the light so that the product does not show the lighting modifier in the reflection. On my first attempt I use two strip boxes, the first was set back to create the rim light on the edge of the bottle. The other strip box was used to provide lighting to the front of the bottle. The problem I kept experiencing was you could see reflections of the strip box in on the bottle. When I managed to reduce the reflections, the rim light was just not thin enough. The solution I found was to use sheets of tracing paper in front of the strip box, this resulted in the light being really diffused and i was then able to adjust the rim light by turning the soft box further to one side to get the effect I wanted. I then set the other strip box, but decided its spread was not wide enough, I then used a shoot through umbrella and placed tracing paper in over the umbrella, this worked really well.



What could I improve next time?
I could light the bottle top separately and then merge the images together in photoshop.
I should have used a tripod rather than hand holding the camera.
Use a bigger sheet of reflective perspex so I could place other objects in the frame such as a glass.


I am moving on to jewellery next, so I will no doubt learn a few things through trial and error and i will let you know what I learn and share my experiences.

If anyone has any questions or comments, please post them.

Thanks for looking

Fletcher

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01-24-2014, 11:48 AM - 1 Like   #2
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I'm not sure if this would help or not, but in the studio lighting course I took with Robert Meyer last week, he showed us an interesting technique when it comes to lighting bottles. He cut out a bottle shape from white foam core. His cut-out was a fair bit narrower and slightly shorter than the bottle (maybe half an inch narrower on each side - he started wider and then cut back as he looked through the viewfinder and at test photo results, until he couldn't see the card in the shot). He positioned the cut-out behind the bottle tilted slightly from the bottom edge (not sure how to describe it exactly but was maybe 5% from truly vertical). The main purpose of this cut-out was to reflect light from the two white cards positioned sort of front-right and front-left and angled toward the bottle. The main light source actually came from above and behind the bottle (angled down through a sheer panel). The result was that he had nice light through the bottle, no visible reflection of the light, and the lettering on the bottle was set off. Unlike your set-up, his was shot on a matte black surface but with the lighting focused pretty narrowly on the bottle so the background was dark, as in your shot.

Last edited by frogoutofwater; 01-24-2014 at 01:14 PM.
01-24-2014, 12:25 PM   #3
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That looks really good, but I have a dumb question, what is a Strip Light?

Thanks
01-24-2014, 12:53 PM   #4
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Not a dumb question at all. A Strip Box is a light modifier very similar to a soft box, they are very useful for providing highlights on glass or metal and rim light.

The link below will show you a few types.

Dynalite Strip Box from Rime Lite - 12 x 71" RBTR-1271 B&H

01-24-2014, 01:31 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fletcher Davies Quote
Not a dumb question at all. A Strip Box is a light modifier very similar to a soft box, they are very useful for providing highlights on glass or metal and rim light.

The link below will show you a few types.

Dynalite Strip Box from Rime Lite - 12 x 71" RBTR-1271 B&H
Ok, got it, I had heard of Soft box before.

Thanks
01-24-2014, 01:36 PM   #6
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That's also sometimes referred to as a "kicker" lightbox in portraiture work. I have one and is very handy indeed. Nice shot, btw.
07-27-2018, 08:36 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fletcher Davies Quote
After two days of experimenting with lighting bottles of liquid I finally achieve what I wanted.

Lighting products well is not easy and when you are learning it can be frustrating truing to defuse the light so that the product does not show the lighting modifier in the reflection. On my first attempt I use two strip boxes, the first was set back to create the rim light on the edge of the bottle. The other strip box was used to provide lighting to the front of the bottle. The problem I kept experiencing was you could see reflections of the strip box in on the bottle. When I managed to reduce the reflections, the rim light was just not thin enough. The solution I found was to use sheets of tracing paper in front of the strip box, this resulted in the light being really diffused and i was then able to adjust the rim light by turning the soft box further to one side to get the effect I wanted. I then set the other strip box, but decided its spread was not wide enough, I then used a shoot through umbrella and placed tracing paper in over the umbrella, this worked really well.



What could I improve next time?
I could light the bottle top separately and then merge the images together in photoshop.
I should have used a tripod rather than hand holding the camera.
Use a bigger sheet of reflective perspex so I could place other objects in the frame such as a glass.


I am moving on to jewellery next, so I will no doubt learn a few things through trial and error and i will let you know what I learn and share my experiences.

If anyone has any questions or comments, please post them.

Thanks for looking

Fletcher
And you're doing very well!
08-02-2018, 11:16 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fletcher Davies Quote
After two days of experimenting with lighting bottles of liquid I finally achieve what I wanted.

Lighting products well is not easy and when you are learning it can be frustrating truing to defuse the light so that the product does not show the lighting modifier in the reflection. On my first attempt I use two strip boxes, the first was set back to create the rim light on the edge of the bottle. The other strip box was used to provide lighting to the front of the bottle. The problem I kept experiencing was you could see reflections of the strip box in on the bottle. When I managed to reduce the reflections, the rim light was just not thin enough. The solution I found was to use sheets of tracing paper in front of the strip box, this resulted in the light being really diffused and i was then able to adjust the rim light by turning the soft box further to one side to get the effect I wanted. I then set the other strip box, but decided its spread was not wide enough, I then used a shoot through umbrella and placed tracing paper in over the umbrella, this worked really well.



What could I improve next time?
I could light the bottle top separately and then merge the images together in photoshop.
I should have used a tripod rather than hand holding the camera.
Use a bigger sheet of reflective perspex so I could place other objects in the frame such as a glass.


I am moving on to jewellery next, so I will no doubt learn a few things through trial and error and i will let you know what I learn and share my experiences.

If anyone has any questions or comments, please post them.

Thanks for looking

Fletcher
The beginning of a career in product photography!

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