I had another article in mind for this week also using perfumes as my subject but I thought about making this article instead because I haven’t been using my El-bokeh wall for a long time now. This is a step by step tutorial on how to create a perfume product shot with bokeh backgrounds using the el bokeh wall.
What you will need:
- A Camera (duh)
- A fast Prime lens (preferably a 50mm or an 85mm)
- Triggers and flashes
- Aluminum foil OR Silver wrapping paper
Step 1. The first thing to do is the getting the background for the El Bokeh Wall. In the previous article I used aluminum foil which is quite expensive (ok, it is not, but if you don’t have handy then…), I used silver gift wrapping paper instead for this shoot. Just crumple the wrapping paper and tape it onto your background.
Step 2. As the display base for the subject I used my good old granite tile. Start by placing a flash pointing at the El Bokeh wall. I used an sb-600 with a pink gel just below the table, pointing at the background at 1/64. I’m shooting at a really low power because we I am planning to shot with a wide aperture.
I was using a D7000 and a 85mm 1.8 lens. I was shooting at 1/160, ISO 100, f1.8.
Step 3. Next, add a main light for your subject. I wanted a gradient effect on the silver part of the perfume so I used a studio strobe with a softbox and shot it through a DIY Scrim.
The studio strobe had way to much power for shooting at f/1.8 and way to much spill, so to cut the power and light a little I placed a black cloth over the softbox and converted it into a strip light.
I was shooting first at f1.8 but didn’t like the bokeh in the photo, so I changed my aperture to f3.5
Step 4. Once I got the light on the right side the way I wanted it, I added a tracing paper for my DIY scrim on the left side. I lit that with a YN-460 speedlight with a lumiquest softbox.
Final Setup shot:
The Scrims are very important in the setup because it adds a gradient effect on the subject, I will have another article about this method this month. Here is a photo without the DIY Scrims and only using the softboxes. Notice the hard light hitting the subject.
Step 5. Next step is a quick editing for the final image. I shot in RAW so I played with the tone in lightroom and exported two photos of the same image, one with the colors of the bokeh straight out of the camera, and the other with the correct tone of the subject.
Step 6. Start of by merging the two images together in photoshop.
Using layer mask, brush the part of the subject where so that it has the correct tone.
After getting all the tones right, clean the dusts and add some highlights and shadows to your subject to make it pop. You can use levels/curves or contrast for the highlights and shadows.
Here is another example of this technique, this time for Kenneth Cole REACTION