Thursday, March 29, 2012


Plums by Bill Gekas

This is a shot which was a bit of an improvisation in regards to where I shot it! It seems like shooting creative portraits with fruit in a scene is sort of becoming a bit of a series for me which i'll continue with whenever the opportunities arise.

I've had this scene in my mind for a little while now and really wanted to emphasize the warmer tones which portray the sense of a golden light type hour. The contrast here and point of interest is the splash of red from the plums which worked well in the scene offsetting the tones and composition in a complementary way to the predominant warmer tones. Normally a scene like this i'd shoot in my small studio space where the elements are placed in front of the backdrop stand and a material stretched out as the background. Not for this one! This was shot against a wall in my hallway entry as I needed the usual shooting space for something else at the time. To camera right which is right next to the table just out of frame is a large frosted window to the ceiling and at camera left just out of frame is a white linen closet door which I swung open and used as a reflector! Although the natural light coming from the window was adequate it was quite harsh being a west facing window and the afternoon sun was coming through quite hard, so what I did here was I placed the softbox outside the window facing directly in and set the speedlight at half power. This allowed me to kill most of the ambient using my shutter with a smaller aperture and come away with a good exposure! The door as a reflector camera left provided some slight fill as I didn't really want the shadow areas blocking up but still wanted detail in the shadows, if the scene was larger I would have used a bounce flash for the fill instead.

Usually after a shoot I like to come away with something new i've picked up, and with this shoot it just reinforced what i've always believed! Unless you're involved with larger scale higher profile commercial type shoots etc. you'll find that in most cases you don't need a dedicated studio space or a large space to create something from nothing. Everyone has a small space somewhere they can use and with a bit of creative thinking you can easily do something, saying you can't shoot because you don't have space to shoot isn't really an excuse and as photographers and creative thinkers the creativity and lateral thinking doesn't just stop at the camera end, it has to flow through to every aspect of the process if needed!

Plums lighting diagram