For this exercise I need to find a subject that is shiny enough that I can see my face in it, this needs to be placed on the floor or a flat surface so I can take the images from above.
I used a piece of black velvet as the background and picked out some shiny cutlery that we don’t tend to use as this ensured that I had enough reflection when looking into it. I set up my camera on a tripod and used a shutter release so I didn’t disturb the set up. I made the cone out of a type of baking parchment as I couldn’t find tracing paper in any of the local shops I went into. I placed the cone around the top of the lens and secured this on with elastic bands as every time I focused, the lens moved and disturbed the paper. I ensured that the bottom of the cone fitted around the composition.
1) Composition on velvet with no cone, the lighting is above the subject
2) Composition with the cone around it, the lighting is above the subject
3) Composition with the cone around it, the light is directly from the right hand side
4) Composition with the cone around it and the light is from a small lamp to the left hand side
5) A comparison shot, with no cone and the light from a small lamp to the left hand side
As I took a couple of comparison shots without the paper around the subject, I can really see the difference in the ones with and without. While I like the ones without the cone, where the lighting makes the object very reflective and shiny, using the paper provides a matte effect to the subject that allows the detail to be seen and transforms the object. With a mixture of black velvet as the background and the cone to diffuse the lighting hitting the subject, the cutlery is transformed from a shiny object to almost an art work and with the right item and composition; this technique could produce some great images.