Nicely lit Brian. Do they call them Kiwi fruit over there too?
I had better not make any Kiwi jokes- you never know who may be looking in...... john We're off to see the Lizard~~the wonderful (sic) Lizard of Oz~~
Thanks for the comments. Yes, they're called kiwi fruit here, too.
Lighting here was interesting: I shot the photo with very little natural light (only the tiniest bit of daylight left, coming through a window). I left the shutter open 30 seconds, and I fired a separate hand-held flash in various positions 5 or 6 times during the exposure. -Brian
Nice effect, Brian. Is the reflection on reflective material, or accomplished with a photoshop manipulation? I know some people can be very convincing with PS, but I've never even attempted that. --Chris
Thanks, Chris & Julie. The reflection is actually a Photoshop creation; the kiwis were on a towel when I photographed them. I was going for that "sitting on a polished glass surface" kind of look here. -Brian
Here are specifics on the Photoshopping portion of this photo, for any who care. (I already explained how I lit the fruit, above.) I adapted this approach from various tutorials I've read here and there.
Using a combination of the new CS3 Quick Selection tool and some careful hand selecting, I cut the kiwis from the original background.
Underneath the kiwi layer, I created a pure black background layer and named it "Table".
Right on top of the Table layer (again, under the kiwis), I overlaid an almost black layer. The almost-black color extends about a third of the way down the image; the rest of the layer is transparent. The slight color difference between the Table layer and this almost black layer creates the illusion of the table's edge behind the kiwis. I named this almost-black layer "Wall".
I added a gradient adjustment layer, applied to the Wall layer only, using a black-to-transparent gradient and a layer blend mode of Overlay. This layer causes the "wall" to be a tiny bit lighter near the "table" edge and a tiny bit darker near the top of the frame, enhancing the lighting illusion.
I dup'd, then flipped the kiwi layer, and moved the mirror-image kiwis into position. I named this layer "Reflection". At this point, the reflection was too sharp and too bright, of course, so it didn't look real.
I used a Gaussian blur on the Reflection layer. I think I used a radius of 20, but I'm not sure, and I didn't write it down. Anyway, the right value for the radius will vary, depending on the subject, so be prepared to experiment a little.
To the Reflection layer only, I applied a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, boosting the lightness +8 and dropping the saturation to -20. Again, those values are suitable for this photo, but different values might be necessary in other circumstances.
On top of that layer, also applied to the Reflection layer only, I added a gradient fill layer, black-to-transparent, with a blend mode of "Overlay". This layer causes the reflection to fade out a bit toward the bottom of the frame.
As with most things Photoshop (especially in the hands of a non-graphic artist like myself), I find that the trick is to keep the adjustments as simple and straightforward as possible. Otherwise, I find myself running down all kinds of Photoshop blind alleys, none of which seem to be heading toward my goal. For now, anyway, I leave the truly sophisticated Photoshop trickery to the pros...
Well, I don't know about that Brian....I am pretty impressed with that, will copy it and have a go sometime! The image is weird...in a really good way mind you...I love it! It's got a really odd sense of material/immaterial about it....It was an excellent idea, as the reflections add to this dilemma!mmm! very inspiring! Jenny
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