It’s a gray day again and I decide to go into the photo studio again. Today a necklace is the subject of the photo. Again, inspired by Karl Taylor Education.
In the shed I had a leftover ceramic garden tile that could serve as a nice surface for this shoot. The pet shops may still be open in the Corona lockdown so I was able to buy some (aquarium) gravel that I also used as a surface material.
The setup is simple this time. The tile goes on my studio block. From a sheet of black foam board I cut two squares that differ in size and on the larger of the two I arrange the necklace that I attach to the back of the piece of foam board with some tape.
Then it is searching for a setup that suits me, with small pieces of MDF I support the foam board and bring it to the desired height. Finally, I sprinkle some of the aquarium gravel around the setup.
Lighting is simple. I hang the frame with diffuser material (Lee Filters 216) from the ceiling and position a ‘bare’ flashlight above it with the giraffe boom arm. By bare I mean that no reflector or softbox has been set up.
As always, I have to figure out which flash setting gives the best result and I also move the flashlight around a bit to find the right position. Then I start experimenting with different aperture settings to see which depth of field gives the best result.
After taking the first series of photos, I change the position of the camera and take a second series from a different angle.
After I have imported the photos into Lightroom, there are two left after the photo selection that I will edit in Photoshop.
The edit recipe is more or less the same for both photos.
First of all I make a selection with the polygonal lasso tool around the foamboard and invert the selection. This way I only have the background with aquarium gravel that I want to make a bit darker than the rest. I achieve that by adding a level adjustment layer to it and adjusting the settings until I get the desired effect.
Then I select the necklace with the pendant and put it on a new layer that also has a level adjustment layer over it to enhance the golden glow. Next, I use the Karl Taylor action to create the dodge and burn layers with the push of a button. On the burn layer I make the edges of the foam board slightly darker. By cutting the foam board, the gray-colored foam appears and you can hide it so nicely by burning it a little bit. On the darker parts of the pendant and the necklace, I work on the dodge layer to subtly light it up.
The last step is to use the healing brush to get rid of some lighter spots and dust on the foam board. My Wacom tablet is really ideal for these kinds of photoshop operations.
Below are two different versions of the end result.
I’m curious which of the two versions you like best. Please leave your opinion in the comment.