I was not surprised when my friend told me to photograph two emblems using the white table in the Futures Lab as the background. People have no idea how hard it is to photograph metal, while I either had no idea before I took the photojournalism class.
These are the photos I took today, and I am going to explain why it is hard to photograph metal and how to overcome the difficulty.
Lighting is essential to all photography, and it is critical when the subject reflects light instead of absorbs light. There are the different light patterns on the emblems, and controling the lighting pattern is the main difficulty about metal photography.
Photographing metal requires me to have four hands, and that's why I was assigned to do it with a partner.
We created a box for the little the lego firefighter and the emblems (so only the white background is reflected on the emblems unless we do something to it,) a light from the back of them and a key light in front of the emblems.
At first, it turned out like this:
The left one was reflecting too much light, while the right one did not reflect enough light. So, my partner held a piece of black paper inside the box to have black pattern reflected on the left emblem, and I used my left hand to hold a gold paper to reflect some light on the right one.
Metal photography is about being creative and express the concept with the light settings. Practicing is the key to turn the image in your mind into a photo.