I received a call from the nice folks at Girl's Night Salsa (http://girlsnightsalsa.com/) about doing a shoot featuring their 2014 line up of products. I jumped at the chance as I have enjoyed their salsa, they support cancer research with their profits, and -most importantly from the point of view of this here blog - it's an exciting photographic challenge to get that great, naturally creamy light on a glass surface instead of a hot spot look that you would normally expect from a strobe.
I decided to use what is called the double-diffusion technique. The general idea is to take a diffused light, like a softbox, and shine it on a large opaque surface, in this case a scrim, creating a very large and even lighting source. Here is a shot of my set up in the studio.
It’s a little cluttered looking since I just had one large scrim that didn’t want to cut, so I ran it under the background paper the product is sitting on. To the left and right you see the softboxes to light either side. A diffused beauty dish overhead gave it the subjects a little more pop. This worked great on the jars, but cause a serious hot spot on the bottle, so was not used for those shots. Once the light levels where set, the only tweaking involved was with the forward or backward position of the lights to adjust the reflection on the subject. I did have a little trouble with the general orientation of the products. I was shooting alone and a assistant would have been a great help so I could have kept my eye through the lens. With all that glorious glow bouncing around, shadows in multiple product images really weren't an issue.
I was a little bit taken back when the client wondered if I could get rid of some of the "glare" on the bottles!?!?!?! Of course I did, as she is the client and this is the representation of her product, but a little bit of my artist's soul died...
This is a really neat and easy set up. Give it a try and keep pushing yourself!