I have a stash of DIY reflectors that I've collected over the years. That's right, I like shiny objects.
Recently I used the salvaged guts from a non-working portable lightbox (see illustration at bottom of the article) to help illuminate this popular gear shot of an Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II. I wanted to show off a few accessories for the camera to illustrate the journal post, Pimp My Ride.
I could have gone the standard softbox route, after all, I do work in a photography studio. But I wanted a different look, something that better connected the camera to the outside world.
"Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II Decked Out" by Derrick Story on Flickr
So I put the OM-D in a window box (you know, the kind for flowers and herbs) and used two of my funky reflectors to kick light back to the front of the camera. Often I find myself propping up these fill lights with coffee cups, rolls of gaffer's tape, and anything else that happens to be within reach.
I then increased the exposure compensation to +1 to ensure a good rendering of the highlights, and squeezed off a few frames with my original E-M5 sporting the 25mm Leica f/1.4 prime set to f/5.6 (to ensure enough depth of field).
Since publishing the shot on Flickr, the image was picked up by Explore and has garnered more than 28,000 views and 345 likes.
I first learned about these do-it-yourself reflectors when I was apprenticing for a commercial photographer in Southern California, Dennis Tannen, who wrapped empty Polaroid boxes in aluminum foil and used them as kick lights for his product photography. I was so impressed by his cleverness, and the quality of his work, that I've continued the tradition of using "shiny objects" for my product work.
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