How To Photograph A Bokehlicious New Year’s Photo Using Black Paper And An Ironing Board

Dec 17, 2015

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

How To Photograph A Bokehlicious New Year’s Photo Using Black Paper And An Ironing Board

Dec 17, 2015

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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Sometimes it does not take much to create a wonderful shot for new year, it only takes a punched black cardboard and two champagne glasses.

Moldova based Photographer Alex Zatsepin provides a detailed explanation on how he took the photo above using a punched black cardboard, an Ironing board, 3 strobes, and a good understating of how light and lenses work.

This photo, while stands on its own, is even more amazing when you realize the amount of “tricks” that went into making it:

Settings

Gear: Alex was using the Sony a7r II, an old Exaktar 135mm f2.8 lens (which gives a nice long focal length even on full frame cameras) and three strobes.

Lighting Setup: There are three lights on the setup: a big softbox on the back, covered with a punched black cardboard. A strip light on camera right to generate the nice elongated reflection, and a yellow gelled strobe behind the glasses on camera right to provide some champagne back light (you can not light fluids from the front)

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Tricks in the bag

Bokeh Background: This is a cool trick, right? We shared a method for creating a nice bokeh using some crumpled aluminum paper, but it is not as controlled as what Alex did. Alex punched tiny holes on a cardboard and used a soft box to provide light that goes through them. Along with the wide aperture from the Exaktar and the camera to glass to background ratio, the holes were blurred enough to provide a very pleasant bokeh.

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Tilting Glasses: both glasses rested on a small pieces of cardboard. The cardboard is v-shaped and lying on its side. This provides a way to control the glasses tilt. So the more open the V, the more tilted the glass.

Table Top: I know it looks like a table, this is actually an ironing board. Why? because it provides easy means for height adjustments.

Spilling Champagne: If you look at the photo, you’ll notice that the right glass has some spilling champagne. Alex shares how he achieved that: “I poured the champagne, then pushed the edge of one of the cardboard glass holders, and released)

Final Photo

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Alex Zatsepin is a Moldavian photographer specializing in dark art, fetish, psycho styles. You can see more of his work on his website and Facebook page.

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Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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One response to “How To Photograph A Bokehlicious New Year’s Photo Using Black Paper And An Ironing Board”

  1. Gvido Mūrnieks Avatar
    Gvido Mūrnieks

    Idea is cool, but result is kind a spotty….
    I would suggest to place background at least twice as far, to make the bokeh balls a bit bigger.
    Either way – good idea. A lot better than christmas lights.