Thanks to a dizzying array of reflective surfaces both metallic and fabric, this art piece has been my most vexing project ever. I had to tear down the first lighting setup and start again, but results now look pretty good—after three days. I'm aiming for a Nordstrom catalog look. Result first:
Artist calls it "50 Shades of Gold". This is my first shot on glass and it makes alpha-channel generation much easier. See my past posts on this technique. The numerous reflections off this subject onto the glass from the lighting tableau were automatically suppressed by the alpha channel. Easy peasy! A large key was required to wrap the specular around the two globes of the kissing lock. Those damned things can see the whole studio, so light placement must illuminate the piece and create an aesthetically pleasing catchlight:
Those globes can even see the floor and the velvet used for alpha generation (seen as green coloring over white paper).
Points of interest: (A) left backdrop stand; (B) overhead stand w/top-hinge floppy; (C) stand with Speedlight for accent; (D) Photoflex panel w/silver reflector fabric; (E) stand for subject; (F) foam core for frontal fill; (G) stand with diffuser panel for key; (H) stand for boom holding striplight key.
The paper b/g was initially lit by flash but glare off the glass made alpha generation nearly impossible. I then used the overhead fluorescents and those gave glare problems, too. The 4'x4' floppy is hard to see but is quite huge when unfurled and blots out all direct light overhead. 32 sqft of Duvetyne is the heavy artillery of flagging.
Ensuring that everything sparkled nicely required tuning light sizes and placement. For the key, that involved swinging the strip light (no problem with a junior boom), and adjusting the barndoors. For the accent, I needed to find the right altitude that caught the metal bits but didn't generate secondary shadows. Key energy was 150J, accent was under 1J. I also had to find the best cant for the table. The table, BTW, was constructed from a picture frame as supported by grip arms. Closeup:
Points of interest: (I) world's smallest V-flat at 1" tall ; (J) black velvet on the side; (K) diffusion panel of Rosco Tough Rolux taped to $20 MSE 2'x3' frame (love those things); (L) Profoto StripLight (more than $20).
I'm particularly pleased with that table—you can never have too many grip arms! Okay, I should get a proper shooting table with a big sheet of glass or acrylic.