I was listening to the Studio Lighting Podcast where they interviewed a photography instructor who challenged his students to do a lighting experiment on an egg. I thought it would be an interesting adaption to my photo-a-day project on Flickr to be an Egg-A-Day project for a week. Here’s the run-down.
I wanted to do a strong silhoette shape with just rim-lighting. Two Vivitar flashes placed behind and to the sides gave this a really cool almost-lunar quality.
I played with my favorite light-modifier, my home-made beauty dish, positioned almost-directly overhead and to the right, with a white-card to the right to bounce a bit of light onto the right hand side which was a bit too much in shadow.
For my third day, I invented a brand new light modifier, the Nowhereman Photo Light Cone [patent pending]. Actually, it’s just a sheet of regular old printer paper rolled into a cone with the egg place in the middle. Then I popped the flash on the outside to camera-right. It gives it a cool Light Tent effect.
This was my first experiment with using a GoBo (placing an object in between the light source and the subject to cast a shadow), and I think it’s quite successful. I used a light shot through a white umbrella to camera far-left to get my basic light on the egg, then I had a second light just left of the camera and a collender right in front of the egg to create the “painting an Easter Egg with light” effect.
I wanted to try another back-lighting experiment, but I’m still not satisfied with the results. This time I positioned one light directly behind my egg, and put a white light in between to diffuse the light a bit. The only thing I was really happy about with this shot was the cool reflection on the base, which is just a simple piece of glossy photo paper.
I only very recently got a sample pack of gels and hadn’t had an opportunity to play with them yet, so this was my first experiment with gelling my lights. I really enjoy the color of the shadows cast by the egg on this, but the muddy-brown of the paper is not very attractive. I could change it in Photoshop, but that’s not really the point, is it?
For my final day, I wanted to play around with the shadow of the egg. I put a snoot on my flash to camera left, and positioned it very slightly behind the egg. The shadow on the egg itself was a bit too strong, so I used a piece of paper towel to camera right and curved it up and over the egg to catch a lot of the light bouncing off the photo paper and returning a very soft diffused fill.
So that was my photo project for last week. I had a great deal of fun experimenting with new and different lighting techniques. There’s nothing like a short project to get me reinvigorated and excited about photography and lighting again!