How to Set Up Lights for Stunning Black on Black Product Photography


Hello everyone I’m Urs Recher. Hi I’m
Karl Taylor and welcome to the next how-to video. Karl you prepared a product
shot for us. What’s going on? Yes, 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, that we did a while ago. But let’s walk through the setup on this one. So I see only two Softboxes –
the biggest one and the smallest one that we have but a lot around them.
Yes well, essentially it’s quite simple in terms of lighting because like you
say there are 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 going to wrap around the product. You can see I’ve got this
sheet of diffusion material in, which is actually going to soften the edge of
that wrap around. So, otherwise we’d just get the sharp line from the softbox and
this just feathers the edges a little bit. It does yeah. It feathers and 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 the smallest in the range with 35 x 60. So we are going from the biggest in the range to the smallest. But that’s fine for
this product because this product is small, got it in very close to the product
trying to illuminate the glossiness of the product. In addition to that, 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. 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 product. 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 the camera without your little
window mask we’d be getting flare. 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 this right? 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 of this softbox and off of
this scrim then we can get a little bit of gradation light in the reflection
on that side. Great. 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. Okay, let’s get the capture button
open. I’m shooting f-16 120 mm 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 screen in front of the Softbox. And here you can see the feather, the gradient from the mirror reflecting
the screen and you can see the feather gradient from the screen of the rim
lighting around. That’s obviously afforded by that black. And as I said
we’ll 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, a couple of little patches that are gone
black which I’ll probably adjust 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 details in the cap of the final
shot. Let’s take a look at just one light at a time. So you’re a bit taller than me Urs, 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 without flashish. It is acting as a reflector. But that would be obviously quite dark and the
letter K would be black without the Softbox in there. So change? Yeah, let’s change and go the other way around. 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 that with just a band of light. It disappears black and black. Exactly. So that’s why it’s so essential for the backlighting/rim lighting. So we’ll pop that back on again, we’ll take
another shot and then we’ll remove the screen. All right good. And the great thing
as well about this shot is we’re doing it just with the two Siros S lights. We’re
not even using any fancy expensive lighting or specialist product
lamps. We’re just using two standard Siros S lights. I believe one is an 800 and one is a 400? Exactly! Now, because we’ve taken the screen away we’ll probably have to knock a little bit of light off of this. eah we’ll
take it down a stop and see how that looks. So in the background we are
now three stops below max. Before we have been 2 stops below max. So let’s say on 200 joules. Yes. That was on a hundred ISO as well at f-16. Right, so let’s see what we get on the rim lighting this time. We’ll take a
closer look at it. Pretty much the same brightness so we compansated nicely but… 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 it’s there’s no
gradation and there’s also no gradation in the mirror because the
screen is gone, because this is a recycling the screens light. Absolutely. So you can choose that maybe maybe as a photography you might prefer the harder
sort of homogeneous lines but for me I prefer the mix of the
lighting with the gradients, because this main light on here was
rather homogeneous. And then the edges are soft. Okay! Hope you enjoyed this how-to video with rim lighting product shots. Thanks very
much for watching. I’m Karl Taylor. Im Urs Recher Thanks for watching
bye bye

3 Replies to “How to Set Up Lights for Stunning Black on Black Product Photography”

  1. I have owned Broncolor packs and Pulso lampheads for nearly 30 years here in Canada, and I still learn new things watching your videos!

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