I’ve been photographing various household objects to add to my business portfolio, as it is necessary to start with what is right in front of me at the moment. Today I tackled a polished nautilus shell, which I thought would be a pretty straightforward shoot. Into the cube, a light on each side, maybe a little flash and we’re done.
It took me literally, no fooling, 99 shots to get the one image I wanted. Here are a few of them that didn’t make the cut.
The red background is too dark, while the light reflection is blown out.
The background looks better, but there’s too much light on the shell. I couldn’t get the balance right with this background.
Here the shell is set up right in front of my brightest light, and I took many, many exposures at different settings to see how this would work. Kind of interesting, but not quite.
Perhaps a different angle? I like this composition, but am still unhappy with the glare on the shell. This is in front of a window.
Better. I feel like I’m getting closer; I’ve captured the iridescence. I need to figure out how to use reflectors to help fill in shadows because lights and flash are often overkill.
I placed the shell back into the photo cube, which I placed in front of the window, and used a flash. That was a bad idea.
At last! Here the shell is still in front of the window but out of the photo cube, with only the overhead incandescent light on. I had to do only the most minor retouching to even out the tones in the background but didn’t otherwise alter the image.
What do you think? Did I pick the best one, or do you like another version better than the one I chose?