Sunny Day – Chasing The Clouds Away…

DSCF9601Okay. There is your earworm for the rest of the day. And you know which street you will be mentally walking down now…Hahahahaha.

The first night of serious experimenting in the studio ( as opposed to the nights spent wearing a white lab coat and doing Mel Brooks impersonations…) was concentrated on how to light the sky up for a sunny day.

I had doodled for days at work trying to devise a way of illuminating the tabletop set from above with a big blue fill light from an invisible sky. I thought of a giant fish fryer, a giant soft box, a giant umbrella…but in the end had to admit that the ceiling of the studio was too low to permit this. Then it hit me – the ceiling is big, broad, low, and flat white. If I can illuminate it with a bright blue it will function as the fill light.

Fire up a flash? Fire it with a soft box? Tried it and the results were pretty good. But why a soft box? It is hard to position and takes up a fair bit of space. Then tried it with a small 18cm reflector – too central – hot spot. Then tried it with the 44cm Elinchrom beauty dish tilted up at an angle. Perfect coverage. Add a sheet of heat-resistant blue gel and the effect is complete. Spill off the ceiling goes to illuminate the backdrop – which is blue paper – and the sky is complete.

The effect as it comes down is to soften up the under-car shadows and blue them up. The main sun strobe overpowers this to some extent but you can adjust this by fiddling the power level.

The sun is a problem. It needs to be small for some bright days and bigger for hazy days. The background image seen behind the main car subject should dictate what the sun is doing. I suspect that the strobe fired into a diffuser disc that has different diameters will be the way to simulate this effect. Watch this space for very tiny solar experiments…


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