TL:DR - is there a better/smarter/easier/more convincing way to light this?
I've taken on the challenge of photographing a friend's guitar collection.
I don't anticipate difficulties with most of it. I'll be doing some 'catalogue' shots; square on, then in tight to pick out details, and then some 'artistic' shots; at odd angles, against 'fun' backgrounds etc. - however I decided to start with the tough one.
A 1930's Regal Dobro - essentially a curved, engraved, box made of chromed steel. Let's assume for now that I can't take it outdoors & emulate the Dire Straights Brothers in Arms cover [& if only this Dobro was as simple a form as that one, but it's not]; that it's studio, black background.
I have 4 lights to play with. 2 speedlights in soft boxes & 2 constant video lights, with optional extra diffuser clipped over.
This is what I have so far...
This is lit using...
- One video light high over the head, which is also providing the highlight on the top right of the neck.
- The other slightly behind to the right, giving the 2 highlights on the side of the body at the right.
- The 2 speedlights are to the left, both in softboxes; one in close at 45° & is responsible for most of the 'white' reflected in the body; the other at maybe 15°, further out & attempting to cover off the right-hand hump in the 'resonator' [the circular bit that looks like a speaker]
The shadowing in that area is partly the softbox surround & partly just darkness from the rest of the room.
Quick phone snap to try show just how much movement there is in that area
The only way I can think of to flatten out the light a bit without losing the shape would be to try surround it all in white sheets, then fire the flashes into those instead of just through the softboxes - but I cannot think of a practical way to actually achieve that.
So, any hints as to lighting or, heaven forfend, is it getting towards 'good enough' as it is?
Phone snap of the setup, from a metre camera-right so both speedlights can be seen - heavily punched up in Photoshop so you can see what's going on. 'Scuse the mess ;)
I've since tried surrounding it in white - or as much as I can with limited resources. Unfortunately all that is doing is 'flattening' the image & losing 'interest', so I'm still open to other ideas.
This is just work in progress, so hasn't had much tweaking.