How I shot it: NXS on Green
For this post I would like to share some steps on how I got this “NXS on Green” photograph. It wasn’t very difficult and in fact it was one of my easier shoots to date. I start a shoot by thinking about what color I would like to use as my background. I usually like to match the color, either same color as the one in the label or a complimentary color to the label. Red would have been the complimentary for the green bottle ink but I knew a green light was going to pop a little bit more for this “NXS on Green.” Plus its hard to not think Christmas when you see red and green.
Once I had my colors figured out all I had to do was put my set together, get my gear and click the shutter. In my images with color I like to bounce the color off of the tabletop so I need something reflective. I made a high glossy acrylic very easily. I bought a sheet of acrylic at Home Depot and some black glossy spray paint. I sprayed the underside with the glossy paint and I use the side that was not painted to place my objects on. I did this so that the paint would to chip off. As for the rest of my gear this is what I was dealing with.
- Surface Tablet – this is incredibly helpful for product shots as you can review multiple files side by side and you have a huge screen to see the details on. If you don’t have one, make it a priority its a time saver and a great tool. I can remote shutter release through Lightroom, images go straight into Lightroom (on a full version of Lightroom by the way with a Surface) and into the right folder and clients can hold it and see the images without crowding behind my shoulder.
- 600EX-RT – The flash units are what I put my gels on to color the scene.
- CCL-600EX – BackflipPhoto flash gels. I used the CalColor Green 90 and 30 for an intense green color. More on colored gels HERE
- Powerex batteries – for my flash units. Blog post on the quality of those HERE
- Shutter release – I had both my remote that stays in my pocket when I am near the set to fire off the shutter and a cable release attached to my camera that hangs on my tripod, I have a third release with my Lightroom tethered program
- USB cable – I have a lot of cables I buy them from Cablewholesale.com (complete transparency, I have done work this company before) they are extremely reasonably priced and all cables come with a lifetime warranty.
- Flash light – When I am on set and don’t want to go fumbling around in the dark. A pretty good tool to have in your camera bag.
- My subject – Of course my bottle of beer.
- Triple Threat Flash Adapter – Westcott adapter that can be used to mount 3 flashes to a single stud HERE
- Tripod – I use a Manfrotto MT055CXPRO3 carbon fiber tripod and MHXPRO-3WG head. You can see my unboxing HERE
- Canon 6D camera body
- Canon 70-200 2.8 II
- Westcott TD6 Lighting – Huge, beautiful florescent light. Love working with constant lighting. Unboxing HERE
My lighting was fairly straight forward. I had 1 of my Westcott TD6 lights outfitted with a strip bank. That was going to be my sculpting light that would trace a thin light down the side of the bottle opposite my key light. My key light was another Westcott TD6 sporting a huge 36×48 inch softbox. I had to flag both of those lights with some clamps and black Styrofoam board in order to keep them from spilling onto my white background where the gel was going to fire at. If I had not flagged them they would wash out my green flash. My green flash was laying sideways on a table directly behind my subject. Its whole jobs for this NXS in Green shoot was to put that green color in the background, it would help to carve my bottle out from the background and make the whole image POP.
You can see my green gelled flash at the bottom of the picture above laying on its side. To the right and left of the bottle are my Styrofoam boards to flag off the light from my TD6 lights.
Here is a picture of what the lights were doing to my bottle. I have a narrow strip of light on the left, and large softer light on the right which is exactly what is reflected on my bottle.
Once all the lights come together the image out of camera is almost perfect. Only minor tweaks were done in Lightroom to bring out the contrast.
Thank you for joining me for my NXS on Green tutorial. I hope you have learned how to turn some simple objects into a beautiful, impactful image using colored gels.