Low Key Pen Photography?

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jrista

Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2021
Messages
1,261
Location
Colorado
The blockers are refferd to as "GOBO" for "go between". I am sure you have heard that term before. THe other way of doing that is "barn doors" THose are attached to the lights, and literally look like doors.....The gobo's are not attached to the light. They work better but are a PITA to mess with!
Yeah, GOBO. Some of the people I've watched have referred to them as that. Its just a way of constraining the light as I gather. I have wondered if a black card with a small rectangle cut in it, with a light above it, and the whole thing adjusted to try and focus that overhead light directly on the tops of the pens, but otherwise avoiding as much reflection as possible, would help. I have some stands with clamps now, so I could hold such a GOBO now, whereas when I took these photos, I could not. :p I'm going to give it a try next time I do some photography.
 

moke

Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2009
Messages
1,144
Location
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
I doubt a hole in a gobo will work well, maybe more of a slit.....but that may really focus the light and give it hard defined edges if it is too close......but hey, what ever works...this is no holds barred
 

MedWoodWorx

Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2021
Messages
423
Location
Greece
I've been trying to take my pen photography to the next level. In particular, the next level of low key photography. I've been watching a ton of videos on still life/product photography, particularly lighting, and have invested some money in reflectors, boom arms and clips to hold and position reflectors. Don't have the booms in yet, but I gave the reflectors a try. It definitely gave me much more exacting control over the position, size, and scale of highlights.

I also liked how some photographers used simple reflective things, like a piece of perspex (or plexiglass, or optix which is what I used as it was cheap and this was my first try) painted gloss black on the back side, producing a very nice darkly reflective surface. I liked how that dark reflection worked for many of the videos I watched, and gave it a try. My lighting control needs work, for sure...but I'm curious what people think of this result. This is one of 15 pens made for a client, sets of 5 each with different woods:

View attachment 326383

(Accidentally left a bit of a fingerprint smudge on the nib, hence the imperfect reflection)

Had to do a bit of post-processing work to clean up the reflections of the reflectors, which were apparent in the upper part of the photo. So I selected the pen and its reflection, then just made the rest of the image black. Took care of the never-ending scattering of dust as well, which seemed to just form out of thin air and land on my freshly cleaned highly reflective surface illuminated by a very bright white light! Dust!! Meh!
Very nice job and extremely useful, many thanks. What these letters mean? Is a college fraternity name?
 
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