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Old May 18th, 2006, 01:15 PM   #1
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Any suggestions for lighting a faucet?

I have done an installation video for a faucet company and they were pretty pleased with the end result but now they want to do a reshoot to show the faucet's beauty as a demo that will play in loop for one of their stores. It's a high end faucet and it needs to look as good as possible.

Problem is, it's also a round faucet and this was and will again be shot at one of the marketing execs's house, in a 'very' small kitchen with white walls surrounding the faucet. I had put a dark fabric on the wall behind the faucet to help seperate the 2 planes. Aspect ratio is 16:9.

I'm joining a frab grab of the installation video I shot for them to show the faucet / vegetable spray assembly in question (click here).

Any suggestions on a lighting setup and while we're at it framing setup that would help make this faucet look as pretty as can be? I must say I lack experience wen it comes to shooting and lighting inanimate objects.

The gear at my disposal: I'm shooting with an XL2, and I have tripod wheels to add a bit of movement but I doubt there's enough room for that as there's only about 3 feet between the sink you see in the image and an other countertop in the back. I also have a small video crane but again, doubt there's enough room for that (I might try it anyway though, that would add a bit production value I think).

As far as lighting goes, I have 2 1K lights with 32" x 32" softboxes to go with them, an other 1K open face, a 600w open face, a 300w open face and a 600w Fresnel (all of those have barndoors). That's all I have to light both the subject and background. I also have various gels and diffusion material and a gold/silver round 40" reflector.

So far what I had in mind for lighting was the 2 softboxes side to side at a 45° angle to the right of the lens/subject axis to create as big as possible of a reflected highlight, a kicker light to the left and facing the softboxes, the gold faced reflector overhead with a bounced 1k light to created a bigger pool of light and additional highlights on top of the faucet as well as warm the sink and countertop area a bit and the rest of the lights to light the background (which I don't know what it'll look like yet but it will have to be as dark as possible I presume).

BTW there will be 2 different finishes that will need to be shown for their product: chrome and stainless steel. The one depicted in the joined image is the stainless steel version.

Thanks for any help.

Last edited by David Lach; May 18th, 2006 at 04:47 PM.
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Old May 18th, 2006, 04:09 PM   #2
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I used to photograph wrist watches for a very picky client (I was the only photorapher who would tolerate his demands and actually satisfy his requirements).

Use the broad sources to give the faucet its brightness. The larger it is the larger the speculars will appear on the surface. It's what makes the metal appear to look like chrome or gold, etc. Anything black or dark grey can also help define the curves.

Placement will have to be determined via experiement.

Use clean, bright white reflectors to fill in dark areas on the product. Some might be needed on the far right and left to fill out the faucet's shape.

To give it sparkle, use point sources of light. Small bright bulbs will create tiny pinpoints of highlights. Placed carefully it'll give it a finishing touch.

And a tightly controlled light hitting the stream of water from behind or thereabouts can make give the water some life, too. Be careful not to use a warm light there or the water's gonna look dirty.

A spash of light in the background through a kookaloris might brighten it up a touch. But not so much to distract the eye from the product.

Good luck!
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Old May 18th, 2006, 04:28 PM   #3
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Thanks for the advices Dean I appreciate. After talking with the client some more it appears we'll be using the chrome finish exclusively for this shooting, which is a concern to me because of the pickier reflection pattern on this mirror like surface (not just the light, but the camera, stands, people and overall surroundings too).

I wonder if there are some additional precautions I should be taking like placing the camera behind a black cloth supported by stands with a hole for the lens maybe.
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Old May 18th, 2006, 04:44 PM   #4
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Tried talking the client into doing the shooting with the stainless steel faucet, they don't like the idea too much for logistic reasons, but I'm really scared about that basically round shapped mirror surface that could potentially reflect the whole room in a 360° manner and that'd be a disaster. Hope they cave.
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Old May 18th, 2006, 04:54 PM   #5
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David...

You might want to put a white cloth in front of the camera and have it shoot through a slot, rather than a hole. That way it'll appear as a stripe on the reflective chrome instead of a spot. Easier to camoflage.

Also, be sure that there's no one walking around or moving during the shot. Only whoever's really needed there.

As you've already noticed, curved chrome reflective surfaces catch everything in a 180 degree sweep. So surrounding the miniature set with a white drape (in front of the light stands if possible) will help cut down on unwanted reflections.
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