Brazilian Storm

ok this is how it is here at the moment. Big dramatic storms and this is one that came yesterday. I managed to take this image just before the heavens opened and the lightening came 😀

Brazilian Storm

Brazilian Storm

Today it should be dry and hot 😀


Terry Croom (In the Jungle)


Google+Carlsberg Shot

This is really cool – a great shot by Paul Whittingham please check it out 😀



Even though the Workshops are finished for this year, there will still be more to come of How To’s, Video’s and Tips n Tricks – So keep coming by and make sure you don’t miss any thing 😀


Terry Croom


Well, that’s it for this year – no more workshops until Feb 2013 and they start on Saturday 2nd onwards. So if you’ve missed out on this years, why not get in early for 2013 and BOOK NOW 😀


Terry Croom


Hi everyone and apologies for the lateness of this Blog but as promised here it is. Also at the bottom of this Blog is a link to a video of this summary complete with an added review of the post production technique used to achieve the final image 😀

In my last couple of workshops, the assignments have all been about shooting glass and liquids so this latest assignment will cover some of what’s been done already. The remit for this assignment was to shoot two glasses of liquid against a pure white background. Sounds simple but is in fact quite technically challenging. So, let’s get started.

Here’s the finished image:

Finished image

And here’s how we achieved it:

Take two glasses of coloured liquid and place them on a black plexiglass shooting table (fig 1).

The two glasses on a shooting table

(fig 1) The two glasses on a shooting table

It’s probably a good idea at this stage to make sure the glasses and table are clean (unlike the ones in this demo setup) 😀

(fig 2) Softbox as a background

Now, the background needs to be pure white, so we used a large softbox for this (fig 2) which gives us the flexibility to adjust the light and we can do that in two ways. We can either increase or decrease the power of the strobe or we can move the softbox nearer or away from the subject.

Let’s now introduce a softbox and difuser panel combination to create the gradient highlights on the left hand side of the glasses which you can see here (also note that the highlight goes all the way up the sides of the glasses.

As you can see in (fig 4) I have placed a stripbox behind a difuser panel at about a 45 deg angle which creates the desired results.

(fig 4) stripbox & difuser combination


The only other thing I added to this setup was a reflector panel (white foamboard) to the right hand side of the subject (fig 5) just to bounce a bit more light into what was otherwise a slightly dark area.

(fig 5) Reflector

Well, that’s the set up, but it’s by no means the end of the story. As I mentioned earlier, the background needs to be pure white. Ok, we can do that – but when we do, what happens? Unfortunately, we loose the gradient highlights we created at the top of the glasses where there is no liquid and we loose the definition of the glass edges in this area too (fig 6).

(fig 6) lost highlights and definition on top of glass

So what’s the solution? Well, the stark reality is, that we can’t always achieve exactly what we want in camera. Sometimes there has to be a compromise and we have to finish the image in post production and in this case, it’s got to be the background that gets edited. It’s more important to make sure that the product, the glasses in this case, are correctly exposed and the background then becomes slightly under exposed (not pure white). It’s going to be  much easier to adjust the background in post production than it would to adjust the product.

The video link which you can find below will take you to the video summary of this workshop and also includes how we did the post production to achieve the final image. So I hope this will be of help to you in your photography 😀



Terry Croom


There are still a few places available for my October workshops so get in touch if you’d like to get involved and have a play in my studio. It’s great fun and very informative 😀


Terry Croom



This is a link to my October Workshop Video where you can see behind the scenes of a product shoot 😀


Terry Croom


As promised, here is the “Behind the Scenes” images and explanation of the shoot, as it was done, at my October Workshop.

1  We started with just a shooting table which is basically a piece of plywood about an A4 size. A quick release plate is screwed to the back which makes it easy to fit to a tripod and a piece of black Plexiglass sits on top.

We start with just a shooting table

2  We used a diffuser panel as a back drop

Diffuser panel as a back drop

3  This is where the fun started. We arranged and then rearranged I don’t know how many times to get our subjects looking just right. It’s important to spend some time here and experiment so as to get the best from your subject.

We had some fun arranging and then rearranging our products

4  Now we added that blue to the background using a blue gel and honey comb grid (10 %) on a strobe aimed at the top of the diffuser panel. This also created a blue reflection on the shooting table. Here you could if you wanted, change the colour of the gel, or move the strobe to create different gradients. There are limitless possibilities.

We created the blue background

5  Now we introduced a stripbox to the front of our subject. At this point, we found that the reflections from the products were quite harsh when the stripbox was placed immediately in front. But with some experimenting, we discovered that with the stripbox tilted away to the right, we got some striking highlights. So we decided to keep it there. This did however, render our subjects dark and unclear.

6  In order to illuminate the front of our subject, we used a combination of a strobe, again with a honeycomb grid, and a reflector panel. By placing the reflector in front of and to the left of subject we could aim the strobe at it which in turn filled the front of the subject with nice soft light.

7  Here is the end result which the students were really pleased with as was I 😀


Terry Croom

The end result


Well – what can I say!! I was going to shoot the bottle of Head and Shoulders but having thought about it for a while I decided it wasn’t very challenging for my attendees. So off I went prop shopping at my local super market and picked up a few branded products which posed some fundamental problems with regard to shooting. That said, the out come was very rewarding and once again I think my very enthusiastic students excelled!!! Here is the final image –

I have done a bit of post production which was a crop and a clean. These products are oozing curvatures and it was this which made it quite interesting and very challenging. But by the end of the workshop, my students were delighted with their efforts and I take my hat off to them all.

I will very shortly be doing a video tutorial on how this shot was done from start to finish so keep watching 😀


Terry Croom