I’ve been keeping busy during lockdown with a daily “stuff I found in my house to photograph” challenge. It’s been particularly challenging as we were supposed to be moving house a few months back and most of our belongings including the majority of my photography equipment are packed away in storage ready for the move. At the time of writing, we still have not moved and still don’t know when or if we will be (been waiting since mid-Feb). It’s been interesting working with a single light stand, two speedlights and very little in the way of modifiers. I’ve learned a huge amount about making my own light modifiers out of kitchen utensils, packaging materials and anything else that comes to hand (although in truth I am desperately hoping I can have my proper equipment back soon). Although the ‘daily’ challenge has now slipped to ‘when I can find the time’ it’s still something I want to keep up going forward; what interesting things can I photograph on a 2′ x 3′ wooden board balanced on top of a couple of packing crates?
The limited equipment has also really stretched my imagination with product photography. I have some beautiful custom D&D dice I’ve been photographing for Superior Rolls – https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/SuperiorRolls I wanted to try something a little different in my limited space so I created a miniature forest scene. It took a little bit of trial and error but I like the result, there are a few bits I’ll change if I do it again, but overall I think it works nicely.
I picked up a couple of chunks of bark on a walk around the local woods to rest the dice on and decorated with some reindeer moss, mostly to hide the gaps. This was the most difficult part, the dice kept rolling off the bark. About a foot back I used an A3 sheet of dark green card which I repeatedly stabbed with a bradawl, hung some decorative fake vines over the top of it and placed a speedlight behind it to replicate sunlight streaming through leafy branches
Up front, I used a speedlight with a sheet of greaseproof paper hung in front of it to soften the light (in a couple of shots I used a light orange gel to modify the colour a little).
Which do you prefer, the orange gel versions or the more natural light?
Here’s a selection of the final shots (bear in mind these were sample test shots not commercially ready) and a few process shots.