A New Hope

I wanted a practice session with the Broncolor lighting system and I just happened to have a lightsaber prop on my desk. Shiny, reflective surfaces are relatively challenging to shoot well, and I was certainly looking to be challenged. So here’s what I did;

The concept was to produce an image that looks like it could belong in a glossy advertising material for lightsabers. I envisioned it to showcase the mechanical details on the Graflex with the glass eye as the key focus.

The Graflex replica was clamped upright and I placed a black board behind it as I had planned to add a soft glow on it. My first objective was to achieve a gradient highlight on the left side. I positioned a Unilite 3200 with a 120 x 180 softbox behind the Graflex and angled away towards the camera.

This was the first shot;20180905_ANH GRAFLEX7620

A diffuser was added in front of the softbox to soften the light and to create the gradient.IMG_20180905_210232_blog-res20180905_ANH GRAFLEX7644

For the second highlight on the other side, I positioned another Unilite with a 30 x 180 softbox to establish a hard highlight.IMG_20180905_181933_blog-res20180905_ANH GRAFLEX7653

To illuminate the middle portion, I used a Siros L with a beauty dish reflector in an elevated position. It was mounted in an offset angle from the centre to create dimension in the glass eye. IMG_20180905_210333_blog-res20180905_ANH GRAFLEX7665

This was looking close to how I had envisioned the image and it’s just missing a soft glow in the back to separate the Graflex from the background. I placed a Pulso G with a P70 reflector and medium honeycomb grid on a chair and directed the light onto the black board. The softness of the glow was adjusted by tuning the Pulso G’s focusing feature. IMG_20180905_210312_blog-res20180905_ANH GRAFLEX7677

Here’s how it looks like with all the lights turned on and the power ratios tweaked.20180905_ANH GRAFLEX7729

The hard hairline running down the middle was caused by the reflection of the C-stand holding the beauty dish, so I placed a large black card against the C-stand to block the reflection. Then, as I checked the image at 100% crop, I found a blue lint on the slotted head rivet. It must have gotten snagged when I wiped the Graflex with a microfibre cloth.Screen Shot 2018-09-17 at 3.06.03 PM

The lint was removed with tape and I snapped the definitive shot. The image was processed in Capture One 11 to clean up dust spots, enhance the glass eye, and other general adjustments. Here’s the final image;20180905_ANH GRAFLEX7754

The camera I shot with was a Phase One XF IQ3 100MP Trichromatic with a Schneider Kreuznach LS 150mm f/2.8 lens.

Posted in How-to
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