One thing I noticed about stores in malls is that higher end ones tend to use a lot of hard light sources and they try to use spotlights to create pools of light. I tried to use that approach for the shot above.
My wife was bugging me to sell my golf clubs. I didn't argue even a bit. I hadn't touched these clubs in a very long while, and I'm terrible at golf anyway. Once, my friend and I were at the driving range and I hit the ball with my driver so badly that the ball flew perpendicularly from the intended path and hit my friend's leg. If you think that was bad, it happened yet again on another occasion, hitting another friend's butt that time.
Back to the topic...
The sky was overcast, and I could have taken a shot with just ambient light, and the light would have looked very soft like this:
Instead, to add a bit of spice, I decided to create a subtle spotlight. To avoid a harsh look, however, the ratio between the highlight and the shadow would have to be low. The shadowless ambient light was perfect for providing fill. I just underexposed ambient by about a stop.
For the spotlight, I put a flash on a tripod on camera right (the SB-800 was attached to the AS-19 speedlight stand it came with, which was in turn mounted on the tripod). The flash was a couple of feet higher than the clubs and aimed down at a steep angle. To restrict the light, I zoomed the flash to its maximum (105mm). A snoot or grid would have created too narrow a beam for my taste. The flash was in manual mode for consistency (manual mode is ideal for setup shots like this). The flash was controlled and triggered via my popup flash (CLS Advanced Wireless Lighting). I just chimped the power until the histogram was close to the right edge (which would mean that the golf balls would be rendered as white), ignoring the small histogram spike from specular reflections on the clubs.
Hopefully I can sell these clubs soon to avoid hurting more people.
Some related posts:
- Selling Staid Stuff Sexily in Sizzling Strobist Style - Part 1
- TTL vs. Manual: False Dilemma
- Therapy for TTL Addiction: How to Use Manual Flash
- Quality vs. Contrast
- Check out this very good explanation of Fill Light from www.portraitlighting.net