How To Create A Land Cross Section Photo In The Studio

Jan 15, 2016

Simon Ellingworth

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How To Create A Land Cross Section Photo In The Studio

Jan 15, 2016

Simon Ellingworth

We love it when our readers get in touch with us to share their stories. This article was contributed to DIYP by a member of our community. If you would like to contribute an article, please contact us here.

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Salomon Speedcross 3 by Simon Ellingworth at Amersham Studios

When we were asked to produce some creative product shots for a new client, I thought Challenge accepted! The product was an awesome high end cross country trainer with incredible grip on various surfaces and was to be photographer while not been worn.

I wanted to show multiple surfaces, but from a different perspective so decided to create a quick and dirty land cross section to sit the trainer on.

Here’s how to do it and it only cost a grand total of £10 to build.

What you will need:

  • A large plastic box (mine was £6)
  • Sand (mine cost £4)
  • Duct tape
  • Wood, or polystyrene, or any semi ridged sheet material you have laying around
  • A saw or jigsaw
  • A rock (found mine in our garden)
  • Shovel to dig up some soil and grass
  • Carving knife
  • Spray bottle with water in

Step 1:

cross-section-04

Take your box and cut two vertical lines where you want its front to open.

Tape these closed with duct tape

(With foresight, cut a line at the bottom to join both vertical cuts)

Step 2:

Place your rock inside and then cut any semi ridged sheet material (I had some polystyrene to hand) to fit behind the rock. This will create a divide so it will take up less soil and sand to fill it.

I cut this so it fitted snuggly and the duct taped it in.

Step 3:

cross-section-05

You need to create some divides for the soil and sand – I had some transparent plastic material lying around, but cardboard, wood or plastic would work just fine.

Cut them and duct tape them in to create compartments

Step 4:

cross-section-06

Fill with your materials. I used more pieces of broken polystyrene to at the rear of each compartment so it requires less sand and soil.

I literally dug a small hole in the garden and filled it with that, I saved the worms and popped them at the front and used a carving knife to trim the grass sod.

Step 5:

Place your box where you are going to shoot it, setup your lighting and get ready to open your box front.

TOP TIP:

If you slope your box back backwards the cross sections are less likely to fall out.

I used a bit of wood to do this.

Step 6:

cross-section-08

Carefully remove the tape and open the box, I sprayed the surface of the soil and sand to keep it moist. You’ll need to snap out your section or have the foresight to cut between both vertical cuts.

Step 7:

Process and tidy up, by which I mean turn down the visual noise. If it’s light or bright and not adding value to your image, get rid of it!

Here is the Final photo:

Salomon SpeedCross 3
Salomon SpeedCross 3

About The Author

Simon Ellingworth is the architect of The UK’s premier training centre and hire studio – Amersham Studios.

In 2013, he was a finalist in the ‘International iPhone Photography Awards‘, ‘Mobile Photography Awards‘ & ‘Professional Photographer of the Year‘, previously runner up in ‘Professional Photographer of the Year‘ and ‘Sony World Photography Awards‘.

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