This shot was taken for an assignment for a photography hangout I take part in on Google+. The idea was to shoot a creative book shot. I had some ideas in my head and immediately knew I wanted to shoot my leather bound edition of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’.


When trying to realize the shot in my head I first off knew which books I wanted to shoot. The leather bound edition has some great texture and the writing on the binding and details on the covers is some sort of metal foil which really adds to the shot.

I also wanted to somehow incorporate some rings into the shot since that is a major character in the books. To make things interesting I decided to make the rings appear as if they were floating above the books.

To capture this shot I used 3 studio strobes and my Nikon SB-800 flash. I have a little DIY shooting table that I had made out of a piece of plywood and screwed that to an old tripod I had. Then I laid a piece of glass that I had spray painted black on one side to place the books on.

For the rings, I used a boom above and out of frame and hung them from that using fishing line.

For the lights, I started with the SB-800 on the ground behind the little table and put a blue gel over it and aimed at a piece of white foam core that was about foot behind the subject. Next, I had 2 studio strobes that were place right and left in front and level with the subject with DIY strip boxes. The 3rd studio strobe was hung above the subject by about 2 feet from another boom with a soft box on it.

Initially when I took the shot the blue color was totally washed out with barely a hint of color. That was due to the strip boxes that had over spilled the subject and blasted the white background. To remedy that I flagged each side of the table with a piece of white foam core and also used a little strip of it across the top.


To get the final shot I made one exposure. I did a little color correction in Lightroom for white balance and then brought the image into Photoshop and spend about 1.5 hours cleaning the image. I removed a few spots that I had on my sensor, some random dust I has missed while cleaning the area for the shot and also removed the fishing line. Oh, and of course I added a few sparkles to top it off with.

All comments are much appreciated. If you like what you see, please consider following my blog and passing it on to others who may be interested in learning how to do these types of shots. I do hope you found this post to be helpful for you in your own photographic endeavors.

Please also find below this final image a few bts(behind the scenes) shots I took.

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Here are some BTS (Behind the scenes) shots of my setup. This first shot below shows the strip boxes from front and either side of the subject and the softbox above. You can also see the white foam core flags I used. That little black area to the bottom back of the tripod is the SB-800 with blue gel aiming up.

Here is another angle showing more of the same, but gets you a better idea on the overall setup.

This shot shows a closer view of the little DIY table I made. It’s just a a small piece of plywood I cut and drilled a hole in middle where I put a 1/4″ blind nut to be able to screw to the table.

This final shot shows a closer side view to better see the position of the back ground.

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