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Author Topic: How to accomplish a particular photo effect?  (Read 584 times)

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Offline DarklingAliceTopic starter

How to accomplish a particular photo effect?
« on: March 03, 2012, 02:08:33 PM »
So this is on behalf of my other half who, as some of you know, has a food blog. She has been really getting into the ins and outs of culinary photography, but can't quite seem to accomplish a particular effect. Hopefully someone out there will know. The basic effect is that of the subject placed on a mirrored surface with a flawless black background.

Example below:

We are not quite sure if this involves creative staging, photoshop, or both. Any suggestions?

Offline jouzinka

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Re: How to accomplish a particular photo effect?
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2012, 02:47:52 PM »
I will go ahead and say that I -think- that this particular image was photographed that way - some of the tiny details reflected would be impossible to achieve without painting them on.

Moreover you don't have a clear horizon line in there, which would be rather hard to achieve in Photoshop to copy a mirrored image of. Not impossible, but hard.

I'll try to demonstrate on a quickie...


Image 1 (courtesy of is an original and I believe it's similarly done. Image 2 is a Photoshoped reflection. And while it's rather lame, I just wanted to show that the reflection is about perspective - you see that the shadowed area of the garlic head seems bigger on the first image and it's correct. It's closer to further from1 the vertical vanishing point, closer to the viewer, and so it ought to. Likewise mind the wrinkle on the front - how on the original it looks "higher" than the Photoshoped one and how the head is reclining on the original.

So yes, my guess they are staged, but it doesn't necessarily have to be super-expensive studio shot. I think that if you get creative with a black velvet, very soft light, mirror, lower ISO, different angles and long shutter, you may be able to achieve the effect.

Not a pro, though. ;)
1 - this happens when I try to go about it technically and explain things. ;D
« Last Edit: March 03, 2012, 03:57:40 PM by jouzinka »

Online Oniya

Re: How to accomplish a particular photo effect?
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2012, 02:55:04 PM »
My initial thoughts on how to do it would be to get a sheet of clear glass or acrylic, and a piece of matte black fabric (velvet/velour would be nice, but flat-black cotton or fleece might work as well).  Set the glass on top of half of the fabric, then stretch the other half vertically (to make a wrinkle-free background)  I think that the glass would give you that dim reflection (like a scrying glass).

I can double-check with Mr Oniya, who knows more about photography than I do.  (also not a pro)

[Edit - he said he thinks that would work, also.]
« Last Edit: March 03, 2012, 03:09:16 PM by Oniya »

Offline Wistful Dream

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Re: How to accomplish a particular photo effect?
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2012, 03:04:48 PM »
No photography expert but I do know a fair bit about photoshop and perspective. The image you posted was photographed that way, its in the little things like what exactly you see in the reflection. Like the green onions for instance, the reflection part of them is a reflection you would get from down below not from using photoshop to copy and then flip. Pretty cool image too :)

Offline Beguile's Mistress

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Re: How to accomplish a particular photo effect?
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2012, 03:43:55 PM »
Could it be a chroma key (green screen) process photographed on a highly reflective sheet of glass then superimposed against a black background?