Be My Guest Monday 12/13/10: Vered Koshlano

It's "Be My Guest Monday," the day of the week that's turned over to a talented guest blogger for a quick tip.

Today's guest: Vered Koshlano

It's all yours, Vered.

I recently posted a photo challenge on my blog. I posted the above photograph and asked the reader: "What was the background material I used for the photograph?"

Now, before you read further, look at the photograph and take a few guesses.

My readers came up with the most wonderful and surprising ideas.

If you haven't guessed, it is a piece of inexpensive fabric - the kind with many small shiny discs sewn into it.

When you angle a piece of fabric like this toward the camera (meaning not directly parallel to camera's sensor plane). and have the light skim past it, rather than light it directly, you get a nice effect of beautifully-illuminated little discs. Then, all you have to do is put the background out of focus (use a telephoto lens and wide aperture) and you get that beautiful bokeh effect.

The photo was taken with my Canon 1Ds ll and a three light setup - one large Westscott soft box with a Dynalite head on camera left. That light illuminated the model's face from above eye-level (look in her eyes, you can see it).

I used a second light with a 20-degree honey comb grid on camera right, lighting the model's hair. I placed a third light with barn doors (to control spill) behind her head. That light is skimming across the fabric in the background.

I have discovered a treasure in the form of fabric stores. Look for what's on sale and imaging the fabric illuminated with colored gels. Get large pieces for a full backgrounds, or just remnants as props (art supply stores are another great resource).

My website has many examples of creative and simple "inexpensive" accessories that are readily available.


Vered Koshlano