Thursday, December 17, 2009

A day with Tiffany & Co.

It was cold outside yesterday, and since I felt like doing some photography, yet still not freeze, I decided to set up for some close up product shooting.

Shooting in an apartment limited the amount of space you have, both to shoot and to store equipment, so I tend to go minimal, which means shooting small objects. Jewelry tends to be my favorite subject, and I am well equipped here to photograph it.

The subjects for the day were a couple of Tiffany & Co pieces that my girlfriend Brooke has bought recently. The first is a ring that she bought. My favorite image of the day paired their holiday red bow on their signature box, along with the pouch and ring on a glass table.

For lighting I used natural lighting from a window,, which came in at a fairly low angle and used a small macro flash (SB-200) hand-held above the scene to fill in the shadows. I was using my D700, as normal these days, and for a lens I used the 85mm f2.8D PC Nikkor. For those not familiar with lenses, this is a lens that allows up half life size magnification and provides movements to control depth of field and "keystone" distortion. This lens is ideally suited for this sort of table-top photography and offers excellent flexibility and image quality.

The second piece was a cross necklace that Brooke gave me for my birthday. Since it was much smaller, I opted to use the pouch for the back ground and concentrate on just the crosses. I used a similar set up, but instead of using natural light, I used two macro-speedlights for the lighting. One was positioned to the right side to fill in shadows with the main light above and to the left a bit. I needed a bit more magnification than my 85mm could offer naturally, so I used my bellows set to get a bit more extension. DOF was controlled by stopping down the aperture as well as a bit of tilting. Exposure was first guessed, and then fine tuned, but the iTTL flash feature of this camera does an excellent job despite no information from the lens.
I was quite pleased with the results and posted them to Flickr as well as here.

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