How to photograph black products on a black backdrop using 2 lights.

Hello, everyone, I’m Urs Recher, hi I’m
Karl Taylor and welcome to the next ‘how to’ video. Karl you prepared a product
shock for us… What’s going on? Karl: Yeah, a product shot which essentially is going
to be black on black but because it’s a black product I need to separate
it from that background using rim lighting so we’re just using a very
small strip of black and then I’ll extend that black out afterwards kind of
similar to that aubergine ‘how to’ video you did a while ago but
let’s walk through the setup on this one. Urs: So I see only two softboxes,
the biggest one and the smallest we have plus a lot around. Karl: Yes, well essentially it’s quite simple in terms of lighting because like you say is just
two softboxes we have the large 120×180 as the backlight which has given me a
very large spread of light, the bigger we can make that light then the more it’s
gonna wrap around the product and you can see I’ve got this sheet of diffusion
material in which is actually gonna soften the edge of that wrap around. Urs: So
otherwise, we just get the sharp line from the softbox and this just
feathers the edge a little bit. Karl: it does yeah, as you said, it feathers
diffuses away so what I’ll probably do is I’ll show a shot with this and
without it so we can see the difference. The second softbox is
actually almost the smallest in the range the 35×60 so we go
from the biggest in the range to the smallest but that’s fine for
this product because the product is small, got it in very close to the
product, trying to illuminate the glossiness of the product. In addition to
that, a mirror here, a large mirror which is bouncing some light into this side of
the product and then you cleverly made me a very nice window mask flag to stop
the flare because as we said, we’ve only got a thin black
strip here because if we’re shooting black-on-black obviously if this was all
black as you know we wouldn’t get any light onto the rim light products so we
can only use a thin strip of black to let the light wrap around and then I’ll
extend that black out afterwards so because of all this extraneous light
shining into camera without your little window mask, we’d be getting flare. Urs: If I
understood it right, during the setup you prefer a mirror here instead of
something just white to actually reflect again a gradation that this light is
creating a gradation in the object is right? Karl: Absolutely, I mean we would have the option
there to put another softbox there but it would be a very flat homogeneous
light source we could put a flat white material there but again a flat line. By
using the mirror and picking up some of the gradation off this softbox and
off of this scrim then we can get a little bit of that gradation light in the
reflection on that side. Urs: Okay great. Karl: Excellent, right I think I’m ready to
take the shot and then what we’ll do is we’ll take a shot with each softbox
independently so the viewers can see and then take the scrim away and see that
option as well. Urs: what is doing what. Karl: Okay so let’s get the capture button open I’m shooting
f-16 120mm macro lens and there we can see the result now the interesting part
here is obviously the the rim lighting but here you can see the feather of the
rim lighting because of the scrim. Yeah and here
you can see the feather, the gradient from the mirror reflecting the scrim and
you can see the feather gradient from the other scrip from the rim lighting around and
that’s obviously afforded by that black and as I said, will extend that black
outwards later and I’ll probably put a fake artificial glow behind the product
as well in post-production, there’s a couple of little details that I’ll
have to fix in post production where we’ve got this highly reflective chrome
foil it’s a couple of little patches that are gone black which I’ll probably
fill in in post but this is a very difficult subject matter to try and
capture in one shot. Essentially as well I’ll probably shoot
separate exposure a darker exposure for the cap to recover some
detail in the cap in the in the final shot. Let’s take a look at just one light
at a time so you’re a bit taller than me Urs, so if you can maybe turn off that top
softbox first of all. Now in this last shot we’ll have the rim lighting
but we’ll also have the mirror here, so the mirror is still there and actually
the light that you see on the label is just a reflection off the front softbox.
Urs: Without flashing. Karl: Exactly, it’s acting as a reflector but that would
be obviously quite dark and the letter K would be black without the softbox in
there. Urs: So change? Karl: Yeah let’s change go the other way
around and we’ll see how important the backlighting is which is obviously
crucial to this shot so we take that shot and there we have an invisible
product with just a band of light. Urs: It disappears, black on black. Karl: Exactly so
that’s why it’s so essential for the backlight, the rim lighting, so we’ll
pop that back on again, we’ll take another shot and then we’ll
remove the scrim. The great thing as
well about this shot is we’re doing it just with the two Siros lights, we’re
not even using any fancy expensive lighting or specialist product
lamps we’re just using two standard Siros lights I believe one’s an 800 and one’s a 400. Urs: Exactly Karl: Now because we’ve taken the scrim away
we’ll probably have to knock a little bit of light off this. We’ll take it down a stop and see how see how that looks. Urs: So in the
background we are now three stops below max before we have been two stops below
max so let’s say on 200 joules. Karl: that was on 100 ISO
as well at f-16. Right so let’s see what we get on the rim lighting this time but
we take a closer look at it. Urs: Pretty much the same brightness
so we compensated nicely. Karl: Exactly but here when we look at the detail on that
edge there and we compare it to that edge there,
there’s the gradation, there’s the gradation and now there’s no
gradation and there’s also no gradation in the mirror because the
scrims gone. Urs: Because this is a recycling the scrim’s like. Karl: Absolutely, so you
can choose that maybe as a photographer you might prefer the harder
sort of homogenous lines but for me I prefer the mix of the
lighting with the with the gradients because this main light on here was
rather homogeneous and then the edges are soft. Okay,
hope you enjoyed that ‘how-to’ video with rim lighting product shots. Thanks very
much for watching, I’m Karl Taylor. Thank you very much Karl thanks for watching
bye-bye, bye-bye.

25 Replies to “How to photograph black products on a black backdrop using 2 lights.”

  1. shooting a black background with a white background light. Who would've guessed it could work. Great result and explanation. Many thanks

  2. I had seen around 25% of the video, and already hit the Like button. That´s how good the Dynamic Duo is when it comes to teaching lighting. It´d be interesting knowing how long did it take to put that set up together, because it´s the perfect example of how a seemingly simple image is the result of a lot of brain power.

  3. Just when I felt comfortable using scrims (Lee 216) you throw it all away and go to back-lighting. So I shot a very black bottle of wine and put it on KTE FB member page. This is the best part of being KTE member! Bob Bradlee

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