Shooting for advertisements, photographers often have to do rather simple jobs. The most important thing is to quickly turn the art director’s concept into a decent quality image. And the Color Riche brochure cover is a good illustration of my words.
I had to set up a laconic composition from a small amount of lipstick cases. Reflections always give images a premium look, so I chose milky plexiglas with glossy surface as a background for my still life.
Small trick: The background becomes pale gray, for milky plexiglas has some transparency. To make it lighter, put a sheet of white paper below.
Thus, the background becomes lighter, and the objects give soft and tender reflections. By the way, milky polished plexiglas does not give double reflections, which is important in photography.
In my previous article “How-to: J.P.Chenet” I talked about black glossy glass, supposed to be in the toolkit of any photographer, who shoots still lives. Same thing is valid for milky glossy plexiglas. I can only repeat that both these glasses are universal and premium background solutions.
To avoid any scratches on the plexiglas surface, we cover it with a sheet of paper. Then we set up our composition and do our experiments with it. All manipulations are to be carried out in cotton gloves, for close up images make fingerprints clearly visible.
When the composition is set up, we transfer it onto the plexiglas, and since that we do all corrections moving the glass in front of the camera. It allows us to correct scale and angle of our composition without touching the objects.
To make the plexiglas surface and all sides of lipstick cases evenly lit, I used a soft-box 70×100 cm (2). The second soft-box 60×90 cm (3) was installed on the right side to make vertical patches of light on lipstick cases. The entire composition was additionally lightened up by white flags (pieces of white foam board) installed to the left and in front of the camera.
All I had to do was to balance light coming from the two heads. Two soft-boxes allowed me to create soft lighting, often useful for shooting perfumery and cosmetics. Moreover, the soft-boxes emphasized advantageously the metal-like texture of the cases.
Small trick: Before taking the final shot, you have to clean the entire composition thoroughly, including the background and objects, of any dust using a dust-blower.