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Class In a Box: Silhouetting Subjects for Insertion into New, Different or Better Environments.

One of our advanced DPA classes focused on shooting small objects (tabletop photography) for use on eBay and other straightforward presentations.

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© Frank Siteman

We made a small box, 13 inches wide, 12 inches tall and 24 inches deep, with sections of the sides removed and replaced with translucent sheets of vellum (note that simple copy paper would work just as well).  Obviously, making a larger box of similar proportions, would allow us to shoot larger objects, say a football or toaster oven….or that lamp which aunt Sally wants you to help her sell on eBay.

This set-up allowed us to create a soft, yet directional, source of light, which effortlessly enabled us to illuminate our subject.  Moving our light source (we used regular 60 watt household bulbs) nearer or further from the sides of the box gave us control over the ratio of the lighting on our subjects. Shooting in RAW allowed us to achieve a perfect white balance.

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© Frank Siteman

Another piece of paper, taped inside from the base of the box to the back of the box, served as our sweeping seamless background, resulting in an expensive professional look with a budget of mere pennies.

After a fun and informative afternoon of shooting bowls of shells, dolls and other small objects which fit in the box, we concluded our day with a portrait of the class, shot outdoors.

It was a nice portrait with everyone standing in a group.  But we take photographs to have fun, and to that end, it just felt right to put the class into our box.

This is where a little knowledge of digital manipulation can bestow on you great amusement,…or get you into great trouble.  I opted for fun, and after outlining the group with the pen tool, created a selection, which I then placed on it’s own layer which was itself then placed onto (or into) the photo I’d taken of the box.  Voilà, “class in a box”!

Just another way to have a lot of fun with friends and photoshop!





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