Behind an amazing photoshoot:
BTS from a commercial photographer Piotr Polaczyk
My name is Piotr Polaczyk and I’m from Poland.
I’m professional still life and product photographer. Complex projects are the most fascinating for me. I like the opportunity of constructing complicated lightning set ups, and creating unrealistic scenes. Product photography gives me opportunity to show the products in this particular way, in situations they would never be.
In this BTS I’ll show you how I created this image using different techniques.
— Idea —
The photo was made for nail polish and gel manufacturer. This image will be used in promotion and advertising campaign. The main idea was to create picture that will emphasize not only the exclusiveness of the product, but also its character. I chosen golden-brown paint to spill on cosmetics composition, that was creating golden polish running down the bottles and jars. The important aspect during the shooting was not to spill liquid on the ground in any case. That was a quite difficult task to do. The whole composition is shown in relatively dark and mysterious mood, in warm golden colors.
— Arrangements —
I combined together bottles and jars using poster putty. I also used plexiglass cube to put those products higher. All things were sticked to the glass surface. For pouring liquid out, I used common wall paint in orange color.
— Lightning and Set Up —
Setting up all lights and diffusion panel was carefully planned because the product was all shiny and in round shapes. This part refers to the scheme that is below.
In the middle, there is a product (1) which was placed on small, square table on stand. Light (7) was pointed to the black background (3) with yellow gel filter (8).
Light (7) was placed below the product and directed upward. Camera (2) was placed slightly below the horizon level, so the products were presented in hero style. Camera went through the hole in diffusion tracing paper (5), that was placed on a bar (15) above the camera, and hang freely. Diffusion tracing paper in a roll at both sides (4).
Above the whole scene there was also a diffusion tracing paper (6) stretched between bar (15) at the front and background (3). Two stipboxes at both left and right sides (9,10) placed in angle to obtain gradients on shiny surfaces. Light (11) with a grid was placed just behind the camera to get the central gradient on shiny cups. Light (12) highlighted the edges of products. Light (13) is shining through diffusion tracing paper (6), highlighting the top of the composition. Light (14) highlights the top edges and completed shiny elements.
— Shooting —
Final project was combined using many different photos. The first shot was made to get best possible lightning of products. Next steps were slow pouring the paint on the product. A syringe was used to make it with precision control. At the end, the whole composition was flooded by paint to create the wall of polish. I made hundreds of shots, I chosen few of them frot the final composition.
— Post-production —
Post-production was mostly mixing together clean composition with chosen elements of paint poured on cosmetics. The wall of paint was either added to the composition. I removed all defects on shiny surfaces and also in print. All black spots of camera reflection were removed. I created reflection by just mirroring the whole composition due it couldn’t be captured in real because of the angle of the camera.