|by Walter Graff|
In a past articleI did a set-up of a wine bottle and glass to
show the possibilities of a table-top shot. Here is another example. In this
case its for one of my clients. I run the production
department of a large car group in Massachusetts. It’s a
great relationship as I have creative freedom. But creative
freedom comes at the price of budget and often talent.
It’s not easy to find talent in an area where no one knows
what a headshot is.
And being I am on a small budget, I don’t do such a
shot in a studio, rather in my barn. It’s a great
space on my property. It has room for two cars, and
I have a wood and metal shop in the back where I
make all sorts of things. I hope one day to make my
office upstairs if I ever get time.
So I decided to pull my boat out and give the space
its first test. It was a great space for such a spot
because all the props I needed for such a
My ‘studio’. Seeing this makes me realize how much I have to clean this place up before the winter sets in.
First I need the table. A nice piece of
fresh plywood does the trick. I then
collected my props. I actually started out
with more items then reduced what I
had till it was enough but not too much.
It’s often easy to over prop something.
After it’s done I step back and simply see
what I did wrong and make it look right.
And as I have said a gazillion times, my
lighting always starts out simple and
ends up being simple. For this I have
also added a white/grayish backdrop that
I will use. This will cover-up my mess of
a barn. I stretch it tight between two C-stands.
Actually I had to buy it because I
forgot to bring some material I already
had from NY up to my house. Walmart
has about every color and material
made, so I found some that worked and
had a few feet cut off a ream. In fact
Lighting wise, I am going to need to light
the table, rim the table from behind with
both color and just white light and light
the background. Four lights as I see it.
First I start with my tabletop. Shadows
are my friend in this case as I want to
create a look that represents
I needed some sort of blueprint to place on the table as if this was the foremen’s work table. I went online and did a search in Google under the term “Blueprint”. I came up with some blueprints, found one that was generic, took the file down to my local print shop and had them make me a 3 foot blow-up. I had my blueprint.
|Below are two angles (front and back) showing the fixtures used and their placement. From camera side above and from behind table towards camera below.|
And finally I wanted to rake my background with a
texture of light. I took my favorite apparatus out of
my kit. You’ve heard me talk about it 1000 times
and here I use it in the 1000th example, my
Using a 600 watt omni I let it wash the white
A piece of foam-core cut with random patterns makes for a great tool.
You may also notice in one of the photos above that my camera is rather far for the tabletop shot as to being close. B doing so I force the elements to squeeze somewhat together when I zoom into them. Had I placed the camera close I would have had to