I love photography. I love to shoot different genres of photography but my favourite is ‘Tabletop Photography’. Under tabletop photography one is required to photograph an object on a table as the name suggest. Though it sounds a piece of cake its not so easy to do considering you’ve to visualise a lot of things beforehand. Sometimes you may get a perfect picture you want within a few seconds & at times you may end up waiting for hours. I like the challenging nature of tabletop photography & that’s the reason why I love tabletop photography. Recently I shot a tabletop photograph to express my love for the badminton sport. Here is an account of the same which will help you to begin with tabletop photography. I advise to begin with minimal equipment & then jump on to complicated setups. If you’ve a good vision then the possibilities in tabletop(or for the matter any type) photography are virtually endless.

Pre-Visualisation:

This is an important step for any type of photography. You need to visualise the shot you want in your mind before you actually beging to shoot. I wanted a shot which would depict my love for badminton. After some brain-storming, I decided to have a shuttle resting on badminton racket as my ideal shot. I also pre-visualised the lighting & the camera angle for the shot in my mind. Sometimes I also scribble my thoughts on a paper & keep the paper handy while taking the shot. This technique has paid me more dividends than spontaneous shots. If you skip this, then you will end up wasting more time during the actual shoot. Sometimes spontaneous shots may come out good but then again sometimes, not always. Hence this step is very essential to get good shots.

Shot Breakdown:

I arranged the racket & shuttle on the table as shown in the diagram. I kept some white A4 size paper sheets below the racket so the black string gutting of the racket is visible in the shot. The shuttle was placed upside down on the racket near the edge. Natural light(on right) from the door of my house served as the key light striked the shuttle at around 70 degree angle while the big mirror of my cupboard(left) served as a reflector which was also at an angle of around 70 degree. This meant the shuttle got illuminated from both the sides. I placed(held) a small mirror near the racket’s rim at an angle of 45 degrees from above to reflect the light coming from the main door on to the shuttle to give it a highlight. The mirror was held very close so the highlight could overpower the reflected light coming from the left big mirror. Eventually, I needed a vignette around the shuttle so I again placed two books on the right side of the racket & left a gap small enough to let light illuminate just the shuttle. The camera was mounted on a tripod at an angle of around 30~40 degree to take the shot.

Post-Processing:

The photograph turned out as I had visualised. For post-processing, I first desaturated the image since I had planned already to make a black & white photograph. After that I cropped the image slightly from the right side & then tweaked the contrast & curve levels a bit. Finally I applied the unsharp mask in GIMP. That’s it & my final image is ready.


Check out more of my Tabletop Photographs

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