Friday, 26 March 2010

L3 Home DIY Light table practice

Decided to see if I could make a small light table using a bit of perspex on top of two stools and my soft box flash unit suspended between the stools, as a first attempt it just managed, the perspex was too small and scratched and I should have put up a black background to remove any reflections from the windows and frame work of my conservatory where I set up this contraption.

 I'm going to make a more permanent product table with a wooden frame work low voltage fluorescent bulbs and a translucent polypropylene sheet. but for now lets look at the result of this shoot.

 The Equipment I used for this was two interfit 150w flash units one slung under the stool with a soft box fitted the other to the left  fitted with a white flash through umbrella.  A Canon 5D MKII and a Canon 24-105mm f4.0 l series lens. the flash was connected to the flash by a cable  and the second flash was activated by it light sensor, all the cable including power were routed around the back of the light table which was positioned against a wall so none was going to trip over anything. I restricted the traffic around the area by putting the kids to bed and put Coronation Street on the telly for the wife.  so the only person in the area was me and the only thing realistically that I could fall over was the tripod, as I knew the hazards this was the control to reduce the risk. I visibly checked all the equipment whilst I was putting it up for faults or damage, thus again controlling any potential risk of electrocution etc.

with all the checks done and suitable controls in place I began, (I hope everyone is sitting comfortably!)

As I didn't have a light meter to check the for the correct setting I had to use my clipping highlight on my camera, the first shot was way over exposed and expected, it gave me a starting point to work from. I set my shutter speed to 1/200 to sync with the flash, my ISO to 100 for maximum quality  and adjusted my f-stops  to suit: and both flash unit on 1/2 power

f/ 6.3f/ 11.0

As I didn't really want to have too much depth of field I didn't close down the aperture any more , so the only other thing I could do was to turn down the flash power. I fired off a discharge flash as the capacitors needed to be reset to the new level of aprox 1/4 power:

f/11.0 1/200 sec ISO 100

I changed the angle of the camera to achieve a better view  added a white reflector the the right of the can to bounce some light back to the can and filling in the shadows. 

I took another shot then imported the shot into photoshop cropped and sampled the background then using the brush tool painted in the black areas at the top:

I decided that I'd had enough of the Coke can and decided to try some other product:

Pips Emirates bag
f/ 13.0 1/200 sec at ISO 100

A slight tweak of the aperture to f/ 14.0 and imported to photoshot, again I used the colour sampler on the background but instead of using the brush I used the bucket fill with some eraser work to bring back the reflection with the opacity and flow dropped to reduce the harshness of the eraser.

I changed to a black card background, turned off the bottom flash and put some perfume on the perspex looking for a good reflection.

Here's the finished result, it's been cropped, spots and marks on the perspex have been cloned out including the rear edge of the perspex, finally the levels were adjusted to get the best look
f/ 9.0 1/200 sec at ISO 100.

Tomorrow we do the first studio shoot with the Coke Bottles.


  1. Hi
    26th March blog shows an in depth account of assignment planning.
    P4 criteria met as per labels.


  2. Hi
    An account of assignment planning has been well recorded and includes all kit and resources that have been used in context to the work you have produced.
    C3 criteria met as labelled.


  3. Hi
    It is clear to see from a range of different blog entries that you are able to draw out the influences from your research and add that value to your own work. D3