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Thread: Four glasses on a shelf

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    Four glasses on a shelf

    I am now the proud owner of a background stand and a new light to mount on it, so I decided to use the setup to add interest and to create the effect of glasses sitting on a shelf. Was I successful?

    Click the image to eliminate the moire effect.


    Four glasses on a shelf
    Last edited by Mike Buckley; 24th December 2012 at 06:16 AM.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Four glasses on a shelf

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    I am now the proud owner of a background stand and a new light to mount on it, so I decided to use the setup to add interest and to create the effect of glasses sitting on a shelf. Was I successful?
    Hi Mike,

    Yes, although at 100% I see blotchy noise on the gradient, perhaps 2.5 seconds at 100 iso?

    Don't know why it's so bad, did you have to raise it in PP significantly?

    Did you try any shots of 3 or 5 glasses?

    Cheers,
    which seems even more appropriate than usual

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    Re: Four glasses on a shelf

    Thanks for the ideas, Dave.

    When you mention the "gradient," I assume you're referring to the lit area of the background. If so, the stuff that I believe you are thinking is noise is texture in the background with a significant amount of gaussian blur applied to partially smooth it out. The background is black gator board or foam core (I don't know which it is). It appears smooth until I place a raking light against it, as in this situation. I'm not happy with the texture in it and will look for some black felt.

    This was shot at ISO 400 and 1/6 second at f/22. I usually shoot at ISO 100 but wanted to see the results at a higher ISO. If I had dropped the ISO to 100, the shutter would have been 2/3 second.

    I tried a composition with five glasses but the fifth glass was so large that I would have needed a larger background. Cutting the background and repositioning the camera accordingly would have taken a lot of time that I didn't want to spend. (Now that I think about it, I doubt that I have another piece of board that is sufficiently large.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries
    Cheers,
    which seems even more appropriate than usual
    Indeed!

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Four glasses on a shelf

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    If I had dropped the ISO to 100, the shutter would have been 2/3 second.
    Very true, what was I thinking!

    EDIT: I think I mis-read the decimal shutter speed as 0.6666, when it is 0.16666, does that work, or shall I "stop digging"?
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 24th December 2012 at 05:36 PM.

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    allenlennon's Avatar
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    Re: Four glasses on a shelf

    i love it!

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    Re: Four glasses on a shelf

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post

    EDIT: I think I mis-read the decimal shutter speed as 0.6666, when it is 0.16666, does that work, or shall I "stop digging"?
    Anything worth doing is worth doing to excess, so never stop digging. To answer your question, yes, that works.

    By the way, you asked about a fifth glass. I unexpectedly came across one and made a new image.

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    Re: Four glasses on a shelf

    Thank you, Allen. Check out the link provided in my previous post to a new image with five glasses.

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    Re: Four glasses on a shelf

    The materials used to create this image are very different from the materials used to create the first one in the thread: The background is made of white poster board, not black poster board. The tabletop is a mirror instead of black acrylic. Last, the bottom area of the background is lit by turning off the background lamp and using only its reflector.

    Notice that one major difference compared to the first image is that the tabletop's (aka shelf's) horizon is defined by a bright white line. I don't understand what is creating that line other than it certainly has something to do with the physics of how a mirror is constructed.

    Overall, I like this image better than the first one in the thread. I like the additional space allocated to the reflections and I like the more elegant, less dramatic look of the combination of light and dark tones. Your thoughts?

    Click the image to eliminate the moire effect.


    Four glasses on a shelf
    Last edited by Mike Buckley; 26th December 2012 at 12:32 PM.

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    Re: Four glasses on a shelf

    Mike, I think you nailed it well with this one. The line at the edge of the shelf does not bother me at all. Wonderfully done.

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    Re: Four glasses on a shelf

    I'm with Jon - the line is not bothersome - one can even imagine that it is an edge to the shelf... I kinda like it. It adds something interesting... I like the shot and the effect.

    What you are seeing is indeed caused by the construction of the mirror. The reflective surface of a mirror is on the back, so the cut edge of any mirror is only glass, thus it reflects light differently. What you are seeing is the cut edge of the glass as it picks up your light. If I am reading your image correctly your light source was low and it the rear, reflecting up off your poster board, thus it was illuminating the edge of the glass, thus the line.

    James

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    Re: Four glasses on a shelf

    Aha - is that a clue, I like this photo and the one with 5 glasses. I can not make C&C as I haven't even got a clue what I am looking at, just that I like it.

    But given the posts above I am thinking the glasses are sitting on a shelf/mirror with a black background.
    So it basically makes a "black/white contrast"

    Is this right,
    from Rbn, a newbie

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    Re: Four glasses on a shelf

    Jon and James,

    When I first captured the image, the bright line at the back was unbroken and bothersome to my eye. After pushing three of the glasses a little farther away from the camera, their base interrupted the line in a manner that I actually adds to the interest. Thanks for your feedback about that line.

    James,

    You're right that part of the light source is coming from beneath the poster board and mirror toward the mirror. Some of that light is being bounced by the unlit spotlight reflector toward the white poster board and again back toward the mirror. Sometimes I turn that spotlight on, which produces a stronger light.

    If I understand you correctly, I should be able to put gaffer's tape on the mirror's cut edge and bottom side to prevent that line from showing. I actually did that when I was using a background made of black felt and a lit spotlight. The result is shown in the first photo in this thread. However, at some point I made a change (I don't remember the change) and the tape no longer blocked all of the light. So, I removed it.

    Sorry that I'm being so vague, but is there something I can do that will reliably prevent that bright horizon line from showing when I want to create an image that doesn't include it?

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    Re: Four glasses on a shelf

    Put your gaffers tape back on and do a quick trial shot like "5 glasses..." If the line goes away (which I think it will) they you could use black paint and paint the edge of the mirror.

    Check out a post I just made about an alternate way to use the mirror for reflections - might be something you could use

    James

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    Re: Four glasses on a shelf

    Thanks for your interest, Robin!

    Quote Originally Posted by rawill View Post
    I am thinking the glasses are sitting on a shelf/mirror with a black background.
    The following characteristics are common to both images in the thread: The main light source is larger than the background and is shining through a diffuser larger than the light source toward the background, the subjects and the camera. The camera is positioned at a distance that fills the frame approximately no more and no less with the background. Light is being reflected onto the bottom of the background in the second photo and a spotlight is directly lighting that area in the first photo. A black board with a rectangle cut out of it at the same aspect ratio as my camera's sensor is positioned in the exact place in front of the camera to eliminate all flare yet without appearing in the image.

    The following characteristics are different in the two images: The tabletop in the first one is shiny, opaque, black acrylic; the tabletop in the second one is a mirror. (Both tabletops are highly reflective.) The background is a black board in the first one; it is white poster board in the second one. In the second photo, a relatively large white reflector is positioned to the right of the subjects. That light is appearing subtly in the outer-middle areas of the glass that would otherwise be black.
    Last edited by Mike Buckley; 26th December 2012 at 12:36 PM.

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    Re: Four glasses on a shelf

    I'll do some experimenting with the gaffer's tape, James. Since writing my questions about it, I remembered that my mirror has slightly rounded edges by design so they don't cut my hands. I wonder if part of that rounded area didn't get covered by the tape. If so, a certain amount of light could have been directed toward the lens when I changed the position of my camera.

    If I'm right about that, I'm guessing that I need to allow a small part of the gaffer's tape to wrap around the entire edge and onto the top of the mirror. I'll have to make sure the manufactured edge rather than a torn edge is on the mirror to ensure that the edge of the tape is not fragmented.

    I'll do some tests and keep my fingers crossed. I don't like the idea of using black paint because it's more permanent and more time-consuming to properly apply.

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    Re: Four glasses on a shelf

    Now that I've experimented with the gaffer's tape...

    I applied black magic marker to the edge of the roll of gaffer's tape so it would be black after being removed from the roll. I then taped it to the mirror, allowing it to overlap the top of the mirror about 1/4". Much to my chagrin, the mirror reflected the light grey underside of the tape of that overlapped that area. So, I removed it and applied only enough tape to ensure that the entire curved area of the mirror is covered. That did the trick: no more horizon when used with a black background.

    Thanks for your help, James!

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    Re: Four glasses on a shelf

    Glad to hear it worked! Just a quick FYI - I have the book on hold at the library. I checked out a couple of chapters on Kindel sample - looking forward to reading it and trying some of their shots. Thanks for the tip!

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