The Real Thing Setup

The Real Thing Setup
Place Card Holders
Image by nickwheeleroz
Strobist Information:

What started out as a simple exercise in bright field lighting ended up as the monstrosity you see in the setup shot above. I had purchased the bottles of coke to redo my Make Mine a Frosty One (no ice so I couldn’t do that tonight) shot and thought it would be interesting to try and get a shot of all the bottles at once. This also let me try out some sheets of glass I had lucked upon on a recent trip to Ikea. I was having a rummage round in the clearance corner when I came across a cardboard box with the three sheets of toughened white frosted glass in it. The price tag said so I popped it on the trolley and took it to the check out. The lady with the price gun somehow came to the conclusion that the glass should be per sheet but after a short exchange of "I don’t think so’s" she agreed with my assessment that the price was on the box and not on the glass so I got all three for . Result! 🙂

Anyway for this shot, I placed a sheet of glass on top of four chairs and arranged the coke bottles on this. I placed a second sheet of glass vertically behind the flat sheet and held it in place with a reflector holder. I also added a black sheet of card to each side of this to act as a flag from the background light (the bright field setup).

Under the glass I have two Elinchrom D-Lite 4’s. One is pointing straight up towards the base of the coke bottles and one is pointing towards the background.

To light the coke bottles I have one SB-28 acting as a rim light and two SB-28’s on either side at the front. I initially had these firing through translucent umbrellas but the reflection of the umbrellas was showing in the background glass and the specular highlights in the bottles did not look very good. I replaced the umbrellas with two large sheets of white fabric supported by poles held in place with super clamps. These gave a much better highlight and also reflected some of the background light back onto the edges of the bottles.

Finally, I stuck a cardboard box under the glass and used one of the flaps to flag off some of the front light from the flash pointing up as it was creating a horrible flat highlight on the front of the bottles.

In the end a simple exercise morphed into a lighting monster but it made for an interesting diversion and I’m not totally unhappy with the final result. It would have been nice to get a bit more colour in the coke in the front bottles and the bottle at the back right has a number printed on the cap that I didn’t notice until I had uploaded it.

Picture here: The Real Thing

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13 Responses to The Real Thing Setup

  1. Shutter Moments says:

    Very interesting. Thank you so much for sharing your expertice. A great source of inspiration.

  2. UK-Wookie says:

    It is frightening how these things gain a life of their own like Fankensteins monster! Great shot.

  3. RAUL/Imagina says:

    "See This Wonderful Work in Iluminacion Set up "

    White heart


  4. nickwheeleroz says:

    That’s for sure Wookie, by the time I had finished I think I had used just about every piece of photographic equipment I own. I am sure there is an easier way to do this, but you just kind of keep building up on what you started with. It probably needed more thought and less light stands! :))

  5. blacktryst says:

    really nice and neat explanation,! Wait till i raid my local Ikea for frosted glass

  6. garylwk2005 says:

    wow…it’s a really fully detail and clear explanation…great work

  7. Greg Cee says:

    Nick this is bigger than Ben Hurr! It was worth it as it’s an awesome shot. In fact the more I look at it the original shot the more I like it. You’ve got a lot going on in it and it takes your eye all over. Really, really great shot

  8. Jonathas - jonpsbrasil says:

    Thanks… nice job…that is great!!!

  9. renquedochan says:

    Hi, I’m an admin for a group called Things / Cosas / Choses [Add 1+ Award 1], and we’d love to have this added to the group!

  10. sunnyivon says:

    Interesting! Thanks for your sharing!

  11. ɧoℓℓу says:

    Hi, I’m an admin for a group called Coke Zero ♥, and we’d love to have this added to the group!

  12. Jimmy - says:

    Hi, I’m an admin for a group called Strobist studio and setup photos, and we’d love to have this added to the group!

  13. Soumen Nath says:

    Thanks for sharing the knowledge and know how.

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