Now here is the tricky part! Look at the hammer in this next image. Notice how bright the head of the hammer is? Now look at the shadow side of his face. Two very different brightness levels! How do you light a hammer so brightly and not have that light affect The shadow side of his face? Here is the trick: the hammer is shiny and reflective and we cover more of this in our upcoming product sessions. You light metal with reflections! What that means is what you show the metal, it ‘sees’ in the form of a reflection. Just like a mirror. So you are not really lighting the hammer, rather reflecting light into it.

So I placed an extra large light box on camera right and in this case, NOT next to the camera in a traditional fill light position. I set the level of the flash and tested until I like how it filled the shadows side of his face. I then had him ever so slightly; rotate the hammer until it began to have a full reflection on it from the fill box.

I also raised and lowered the fill box to complete the even reflection across the hammer head. So the hammer is not lit per se, rather, haveing light reflecting into it.

The Board

When the client emailed me the layout for this shot, I immediately raised the RED FLAG. The idea for the photo that the client wanted was a group photo showing 5 members side by side all in the same photo. My concern revolved around several potential problems that would make one photo with all five not work.

First, depth of field! Getting five people stacked up like this, filling the frame tightly, and getting enough D of F so that all five were tack sharp is very difficult, if not impossible.  Medium format cameras have less depth of field than 35mm and you get a different perspective with long lenses as compared to wider lenses. Longer lenses have less depth of field than wider lenses.