Thursday, January 20, 2011

Scent of a PromGirl

No, no, it's not a new Al Pacino movie. I was recently asked to photograph a new perfume that PromGirl put up for sale on their website. It's the company's official scent which it describes as such:
The official perfume from PromGirl is a signature scent for every girl! It 's a fun and flirty fragrance that will compliment your prom look perfectly. PromGirl perfume is light enough to wear everyday but fragrant enough to last you all through your special event. The main component in this scent is fruit top notes, floral heart notes and a combination of cedar and vanilla base notes. The perfect combination for prom perfection!
You can see some of the photos I submitted, as well as purchase the perfume here 

Hit the jump for shooting specs:

It was a slight challenge to shoot because even though I've done lots of photos of subjects on a seemless white background (with or without a reflective bottom surface), I'll admit I've never shot glass this way. I had to rearrange the way I thought about the lighting and the way that the light would reflect through the faceted surface of the bottle and cap.

You start with the tried-and-true seemless backdrop paper, add your background lights, in this case I used a Canon 430 EX and a Canon 580 EXII, both fired using PocketWizards. Then I put up my foam-core blockers in front of them, leaving a window of space large enough to view the backdrop against the item when viewed through the lens. I lit the bottle with my new LumoPro LP160 (Thanks to Strobist author David Hobby for turning me on to this flash) in a Westcott Apollo softbox.

What I found initially with this setup, though, was that even at low power settings with my aperture at f/1,000 I was still blowing out a lot of the edge detail of the bottle, leaving a white background with pink liquid and a spray top just kind of hanging there in space.

So how do you fix a problem like that? Well first you have to realize that the reason you are getting so much more light thrown to the bottle is because the foam-core is white on both sides. Once you put some darker material, in my case some black construction paper, on the outside (facing the subject), it will not only stop all that reflecting overspray of the light but will also add the black reflection to the rim of the glass. Problem solved.


More soon,

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