Practice Makes Perfect – Hone Your Photography Skills With Everyday Objects

Jan 22, 2014

Laya Gerlock

Laya Gerlock is a Portrait and Product photographer based in the Philippines. His passion is teaching and sharing his knowledge in Photograpy and has been doing this for 6 years. You can follow his work on his web page, follow him on Flickr and if you happen to come by Cubao, Quezon City (To Manila, Philippines) he gives a great workshop!

Practice Makes Perfect – Hone Your Photography Skills With Everyday Objects

Jan 22, 2014

Laya Gerlock

Laya Gerlock is a Portrait and Product photographer based in the Philippines. His passion is teaching and sharing his knowledge in Photograpy and has been doing this for 6 years. You can follow his work on his web page, follow him on Flickr and if you happen to come by Cubao, Quezon City (To Manila, Philippines) he gives a great workshop!

Join the Discussion

Share on:

Practice Makes Perfect

I regularly teach a workshop here in The Philippines and I always tell my students that I learned photography because I practice and shoot almost every day. I normally work in organized chaos, I have so many toys lying around my home studio, but there is a reason for each and every item. I regularly practice my photography by shooting everyday objects that I find in the house. I think this is the best way to practice your photography, by looking at your surroundings and making them your subjects, things, people, or even your environment.

I like to shoot products, just simple products that I use and see every day in my house but I try to light them to make them more presentable. This is how I practice my photography so when the real job comes I know what to do. It is also a nice way to add stuff to your portfolio. Here are a couple of simple products that I practice with and try to light.

The Book

One of the best books about photography is Digital Photography Book by Scott Kelby. I regularly search websites and magazines and look for inpiring photos. When I see a shot that I like, I want I use as lighting inspiration for my photography. But I also want to add my own spunk to it. For this one, I wanted to challenge myself by trying to replicate the photograph in the cover of the book.

Practice Makes Perfect

For this shot I had two studio stobes with softboxes, one upper left of my subject and one right of my subjects. Then a speedlight with red gel for the background (I explain the red gel thing here).

Practice Makes Perfect

The Guitar

Before I became a photographer I was a lead guitarist in a band. I had a couple of guitars but my first electric guitar was a Wasburn strat.

I wanted to highlight the curves of the guitar so I used two softboxes left and right of the subject. My problem was that my mainlights were hitting my background – so I used some black cloth to flag off the light. Then I added a flash with CTB gel on the background.

The Boxes

You don’t need a studio to practice your photography! I shot this in our living room. For some reason I don’t like throwing boxes of the things I buy, so I have them piled up in my room (If you have a similar situation, make a small giggle now). I used an old 85mm 1.8Ai lens for this shot.

For my mainlight I used my diy beautydish camera left. For the kicker light I had a studio strobe with snoot and CTB gel back right of my subject. Lastly, for the background I used some plastic and a car reflector to get the bokeh (explained here) and flash with CTB gel again to get the blue color.

The Chocolate

I had this piece of local chocolate lying around and wanted to play with it. To make it look like it’s floating I used a steel wire and taped it at the back of the chocolate and edited it out in photoshop.

For the mainlight I used a shoot thru umbrella camera left. For the rimlighting I used two softboxes back left and right of the subject. I needed a little bit of fill so I placed a silver reflector below. And lastly, I placed a flash with CTO gel on the background.

The Flashlight

You don’t really speedlights or studiostrobes to practice your photography. I lit this only using a piece of flashlight. I used the flashlight to light the subject, and then using long exposure to create the lightstreaks.

The Drink

My girlfriend and I love coke. So normally I have coke in cans in the ref for my stock. I really liked this black can and wanted to create a black on black shot. I used my granite tile again for this shot. To make the can look more apealing, I sprayed water on it and gave it some moisture.

For rim lighting I used two softboxes facing each other back left and right of the subject. And had a sb-600 with DIY honeycomb to light the can itself.

 

Filed Under:

Tagged With:

Find this interesting? Share it with your friends!

Laya Gerlock

Laya Gerlock

Laya Gerlock is a Portrait and Product photographer based in the Philippines. His passion is teaching and sharing his knowledge in Photograpy and has been doing this for 6 years. You can follow his work on his web page, follow him on Flickr and if you happen to come by Cubao, Quezon City (To Manila, Philippines) he gives a great workshop!

Join the Discussion

DIYP Comment Policy
Be nice, be on-topic, no personal information or flames.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

13 responses to “Practice Makes Perfect – Hone Your Photography Skills With Everyday Objects”

  1. sgs2 Avatar
  2. wahwahtremelo Avatar
    wahwahtremelo

    Good stuff…great ideas…my guitars will soon be getting some well crafted lens time. Muchas gracias!

    1. LSG Avatar
      LSG

      cheers

  3. CB2001 Avatar
    CB2001

    I practice a bit, taking photos of objects I plan to put up on eBay, some craft stuff I’ve been working on and, one of my areas of interesting: my collection of action figures (some vintage and some new stuff I’ve got).

    1. LSG Avatar
      LSG

      practice makes perfect ;)

  4. Ann Mehrman Avatar
    Ann Mehrman

    Great creative work with very professional results. You have a great ability to pre-visualize and get the results you want. Keep up the good work.

    1. LSG Avatar
      LSG

      Thank you so much for the comment :)

  5. mskutispwet Avatar
    mskutispwet

    mabuhay

    1. LSG Avatar
      LSG

      Salamat! Mabuhay din :)

  6. Lucas Avatar
    Lucas

    Mediocre product shots……an this article is published here…..why?

    1. LSG Avatar
      LSG

      just because.. :)

  7. Successor Avatar
    Successor

    Most stuff were nice, but the guitar lightpainting weren’t appealing at all. The biggest reason was the shaky light trails

  8. Muhammad Farooqi Avatar
    Muhammad Farooqi

    excellent gel light idea.. ;)