Friday, July 28, 2017

Ring Shots

Weddings are typically a high paced event. However, sometimes you have some free time on your hand because the makeup/hair process is late or let's say the same six people dance on the floor while you are waiting for the end of the party to do the sendoff.
So what do you do with your spare time? You can rest, that is a valid option but frowned upon in some circles. You can take photos of details, signs, food, etc, or you can take photos of the rings.
My specialization is portraits, and that is the main reason for why I get hired, but that said when approaching the rings I wanted to do the best I could, because I didn't want to be limited by what I am naturally good at.
I got this recommendation to put the rings on a mirror, but I couldn't find one and didn't bring one with me. Luckily for me I brought a shiny dress to do this, a dress I used before on an artistic photoshoot because I liked how it looked when using a shallow depth of field in the sun.

I also brought with me a Tamron Macro 90 2.8 lens and a portable light tripod. For the lighting I had an assistant hold  a Westcott IceLight for me. I put the ring on the dress, set the aperture to 8.0 or more and took the photos. It is important to know that you use a much more closed aperture setting that you would use for let's say closeup shots of a face if you want the rings to be in focus. A good tripod definitely would come handy here as you can set your shutter speed to a slow exposure so you wouldn't have to use high ISO for these shots.
I used the same technique to create the couple's save-the-date video using a different more velvety dress to create a more subtle in-camera effect.
The into the light effect is simply done by having my assistant wave the IceLight on top of the objects including the ring.
I decided to use a different backdrop for my last rings photoshoot. My assistant brought her tablet with her and we placed the rings on it. At first i used a black background.

 It kind of looks like a mirror. Then we switched to a white background.

I did like the IceLight reflection on the tablet and decided to use it.

Then we loaded some photos from the client's Facebook page to serve as a background.

It's important the clean the tablet before placing the rings, and also have something to wipe it between background changes because tablets are notorious for attracting fingerprints.
You could probably also use a phone, especially if it has a large screen, and even your laptop, especially if it is as flexible as my HP Envy x360. Potentially you can also do this without a Tripod as long as your hands are stable, your shutter speed is around 1/200, your camera or lens has a good stabilizer and your camera handles high ISO well.

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