I'm wanting to take a series of photos black and white zebra stripe and other various patterns and can't really seem to find much information on the net about it. I dont know whether in this image they have used solid or printed gobos, or a projector of some sort. I'm thinking gobos and studio lights would be better, so as it would be better to get the aperture correct. But what kind of gobo? Doesn't look like the standard blinds to me. Could one be printed on a transparency?


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    Please read Important information for asking "What's this effect?" questions and edit this post accordingly. Make sure to use a descriptive title, too. Thank you!
    – mattdm
    Jan 2 '16 at 6:13
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    Have you considered asking the photographer? HIs email address and even phone number are on his web site.
    – Caleb
    Jan 2 '16 at 7:16
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    I'm guessing you copied and uploaded this image without permission of the copyright owner? You're not supposed to do that.
    – Michael C
    Jan 2 '16 at 11:58

You can use a cookie, but you won't be able to get the edge definition you want. (Well, unless you can find a way to get to the moon to take your pictures under natural sunlight.) Cookies are great for dappled lighting, but they're not very good at producing sharp patterns.

You really do need a projector (optical spot) and gobo to get where you want to go. Unfortunately, they're not cheap unless you can get by with something like the LightBlaster or similar speedlight attachment.¹ Most "serious" studio lights have some sort of optical spot available, though, and you may find that renting is a very good option compared to purchasing. You'll probably want to rent space as well, since trying to use a projector and gobo in a small space will give you distinct divergence across a human-sized subject, which may spoil the geometric effect you're trying to produce, along with depth-of-focus issues (it's like depth of field in reverse).

¹ There is some serious light loss using a projector, but fall-off isn't all that bad if the beam is tight, and if you're using a relatively recent and relatively capable camera, you can raise your ISO a bit to compensate for the light loss and the smallish aperture you're likely to be using. That said, the speedlight attachment approach is quite limited compared to studio lighting with a dedicated optical spot.


You could also use projection mapping software. VPT7 is a popular free projection mapping tool


1) You can use a simple black cardboard with cuts and shoot any speedlight or flash thru it.

The closer it is to your subject, the bigger it needs to be and the sharper look will be.

If the shape is complex you can hold it with a thin and clean transparent acrylic.

2) For that specific pattern you can make your own blinds with wood sticks. If you paint them in black the better.

3) There is an interesting option for complex patterns, including images themselves. http://www.light-blaster.com/ BUt try to be creative without the need of that much tech.

In general you need just to mask the exceeding light.

For the exposure, I would read the incident light without the blinds and start playing bracketing from there.

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