It's "Be My Guest Monday," the day of the week that's turned over to a talented guest blogger for a quick tip.
Today's guest: Vered Koshlano
It's all yours, Vered.
I recently posted a photo challenge on my blog. I posted the above photograph and asked the reader: "What was the background material I used for the photograph?"
Now, before you read further, look at the photograph and take a few guesses.
My readers came up with the most wonderful and surprising ideas.
If you haven't guessed, it is a piece of inexpensive fabric - the kind with many small shiny discs sewn into it.
When you angle a piece of fabric like this toward the camera (meaning not directly parallel to camera's sensor plane). and have the light skim past it, rather than light it directly, you get a nice effect of beautifully-illuminated little discs. Then, all you have to do is put the background out of focus (use a telephoto lens and wide aperture) and you get that beautiful bokeh effect.
The photo was taken with my Canon 1Ds ll and a three light setup - one large Westscott soft box with a Dynalite head on camera left. That light illuminated the model's face from above eye-level (look in her eyes, you can see it).
I used a second light with a 20-degree honey comb grid on camera right, lighting the model's hair. I placed a third light with barn doors (to control spill) behind her head. That light is skimming across the fabric in the background.
I have discovered a treasure in the form of fabric stores. Look for what's on sale and imaging the fabric illuminated with colored gels. Get large pieces for a full backgrounds, or just remnants as props (art supply stores are another great resource).
My website has many examples of creative and simple "inexpensive" accessories that are readily available.