Project 365: Day 81 – Jelly Beans

by matt on May 11, 2010

Today I decided to shoot a bowl of colorful jelly beans.  Mmm…jelly beans.  So sweet and tasty.  OK, now that we have that out of the way let’s get to how I set this shot up.

Step 1: Obtain jelly beans.  I got mine in the bulk section of Market of Choice but seriously you can get jelly beans just about anywhere.

Step 2: Setup the area where I would shoot the photo.  I used the back of a speaker box as my base and taped a sheet of heavy white paper on a wall so it hung down and then rolled out onto the speaker box.  This gave me a seamless white background.

Step 3: Setting up the lighting and camera.  I used 2 flashes for this shot.  I had a bare Canon 430EXII directly camera left that was directed at the background to keep the lighting fairly even.  I also had a Canon 580EXII with a Lumiquest Softbox III to provide even and diffuse lighting on the subject.  The camera was on a tripod and setup with a wireless remote trigger as well as a Cactus V4 transmitter to trigger the flashes.

Step 4:  Take a few test shots and get the lighting and exposure correct.  For this shot I ended up with the following settings: Canon 5DII | Tamron 28-75 | f/14 | 1/125th sec. | ISO 200.  I also set the drive mode to continuous shooting so that I could take continuous shots as the jelly beans began to fall.

Step 5: Start shooting.  Using my remote trigger I dropped a handful of jelly beans into the partially filled bowl and triggered the shutter which continuously shot as I continued to drop jelly beans.  I shot almost 200 images to get this final shot.  I think if I do this again I will rig up a system to drop the jelly beans and probably drop a larger quantity.  While I like this final shot I want to see what it would look like with a larger stream of jelly beans cascading down from above.

Step 6: Clean up all the jelly beans that have now bounced all around the room by eating them.  It turned into a sweet shoot.

In the future I am going to try and take a photo of the setup that I use and post that along with the final image so that you can see exactly how images like this are made.  Sometimes they involve quite a bit of prep before the actual shooting starts.

Thanks for taking a look.

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