Today’s picture is inspired wholly by the word BULB which, as it happens, is also today’s Photo Challenge word! It’s also a shot that required leveraging quite a bit of technical know-how. See below for the details.
The key to this shot was the manipulation of light to create a 5:2 light ratio — which is to say that the lighting was set up to intentionally create a 2 1/2 stop difference between the highlights and the low-lights in the picture. To achieve this effect, two flashes were pointed at a downward angle toward bounce cards, which then directed the light to a pair of gobos, aimed at a 45 degree angle to the subject, and positioned to create the desired lighting for the shot. In addition, fill cards were placed around the subject, to avoid loss of light from around the subject. A Minolta IV flash meter was used to measure the incident light, the main flash was set to 1/4 power, and the fill (second flash) was set to 1/32 power. The image was captured in monocrome with a 50mm macro lens, using a three shot flash bracket to maintain depth of field (+1 GV selected for the final product), and with the camera off axis by 90 degrees. Post shot, the image was inverted in Phase One Capture 9. This method, in its entirety, allowed for an image in which detail was captured that would have otherwise been overlooked (e.g. the inner workings of the narrow bulb, and the silver filaments in the old-timey flash bulb). Also of note is the fact that there are six kinds of bulbs in this picture.