You know that your life is a bit
boring quiet when you find yourself photographing kitchen utensils. Actually these shots were inspired by an assignment on a photography blog. The assignment was to use off-camera strobe units to light ordinary items found in the kitchen, but the shots should include some element of a specular highlight. What is a specular highlight you ask?
"The specular highlight is nothing more than the reflection of the light source in the object you are lighting. This reflection is an often overlooked control in lighting design. In it's most basic form, it is simple to grasp and to predict. Explored more fully, it allows you to completely manipulate the tonal structure of your subject."Ok, I had a little time on my hands this weekend.
But looking at these photos now, I'm not actually sure that I got any specular highlights in any of my shots, there are definitely edges that show a glow of the lighting but nothing that shows a the true reflection of the light. Perhaps a knife wasn't the best subject to pick for this assignment. Probably a better example of specular highlights are in the the pictures below of that cute kid Caden. There is definitely a true reflection of the light source in his eyes - perhaps too much. When a specular hightlight shows up in a persons eye like that it is sometimes referred to as a catch light. In any event, the pics got me off the couch for a while trying to learn something and causing some blood to run through the gray matter between my ears. My one confession about these shots is that I kind of cheated a little. The photo blog that I got the assignment from is for learning how to use the small hand held flash units off camera (the type of flash that can attach to a camera body). The lighting that I used was a bit more powerful and that might not have been the best choice either.
Sometimes when one is looking for inspiration the easiest and best place to look is just around your kitchen. Earlier this year I took some picture of wine corks that I had sitting on a window sill. I posted that picture on my Flickr account, but I don't think these will make the cut (the pun was intended.)