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blue sky martini
blue sky martini

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Reflections Without Mirrors VI (Advanced Editing VII)
Collection: 2012
Camera: Nikon D700
Lens: Nikon AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Date: Oct 18, 2012
Date Uploaded: Oct 18, 2012

This was a LOT harder than I expected...

The idea came right away. I had the tray, glass, and shaker, but it took almost 3 days to get everything else right. For the sky I thought I'd just use one of my many, many sky images and print it out. But it would have been way too small for the effect I wanted. Then I thought cloud wrapping paper would do the trick, but I couldn't find any. Frustrated, I decided to make a sky, using blue tissue paper and cotton balls mounted on foamcore. I wasn't even sure it would be realistic or convincing...

As the bottom of the tray is brushed metal, I didn't think it would be reflective enough, so I cut out aluminum foil and pasted it to the bottom, then added a thin layer of water over the top and set the glass and shaker on it. I also floated a foil circle on the top of the water in the glass for the same reason. Then came the really hard part, which was getting the angle of the sky just right, as it not only required suspending it, but raising, lowering, and angling it for maximum reflection on both the tray surface and in the glass.

Once that was in place, I set two strobes (one left, one right) aimed at the sky. Both had narrow grids to minimize spill onto the bg and the tray and its contents. Then it was just a matter of shooting until I got the right angle, dof, etc. I did three different shoots. It wasn't until the second shoot that I realized the foil wasn't working and removed it. Then I shot again with just the water in the bottom of the tray and the glass. The reflection, as it turns out, was better without the foil.

convert from RAW
straighten and crop
cloning out spots
topaz denoise and detail
CEP tonal contrast
color balance
selective desat
save for web

Place: 29 out of 106
Avg (all users): 5.8783
Avg (commenters): 8.0000
Avg (participants): 5.8448
Avg (non-participants): 5.9123
Views since voting: 462
Views during voting: 255
Votes: 115
Comments: 9
Favorites: 0

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10/29/2012 11:30:07 PM
Johanna, under-rated in my opinion! Very nicely done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/29/2012 09:08:39 AM
silly me! I thought it was a lucky capture. What do I know about right angles, strobes, CEP tonal contrast ....
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/29/2012 12:07:29 AM
Worth the effort.... wonderful creativity!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
10/28/2012 11:13:51 PM
Very nicely done, and a very different approach.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/28/2012 10:55:33 PM
A very cool way to capture the sky...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/24/2012 06:33:47 PM
Not a martini drinker so I had to search this - what a terrific idea for the challenge. Voted earlier.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/23/2012 02:33:27 PM
I'll take one of those!

Very nice. I love the blue sky reflection.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/22/2012 02:06:28 PM
My top pic. Unique and attention holding.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/22/2012 10:02:32 AM
What a lovely way to create a photo!
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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