How I shot the Love/Hate Nike Huarache with One Speedlight and a Paper Towel Roll

Last week I posted this image of a pair of Nike Air Trainer Huaraches from the recent Love/Hate pack:

Nike Air Trainer Hurache Love/Hate

So I needed to shoot these things quick, but I didn't really have a plan.  And as cool as the shoes look, there was a problem: no gear.  I was at home, with only a small bag of camera equipment and whatever I had laying around the house.  In the bag, I had a couple of Pocket Wizards, and an old Vivitar 285 speedlight.  Great.  

Literally all the gear I had

Literally all the gear I had

So, given what I had at my disposal, I decided to use a snoot to get a really tight beam of light and illuminate certain areas of the shoes that I wanted to highlight (like the Huarache label on the tongue, the giant NIKE strap across the laces) and then take each image, and composite them into one final image with a light-painted feel, but more precise.

But now I had the problem of finding something around the house I could use as a snoot.  BOOM: Paper towel roll.  I'm a genius.  Here's my rig in action:

Fancy Right?

Fancy Right?

And the individual images look something like these:

Once all the images were shot, I threw them all into one Photoshop document and started merging them into one image.  In this case (since the background and everything else not illuminated by the flash is black) all I had to do was set the blend mode of the layers to Lighten and mask off any areas that I didn't want to show.  What the Lighten blend mode does is only allow the lighter areas of the layer to be visible, and hides all the dark areas (ie everything the flash didn't hit.)  Here's a screenshot of my layers pallet with one of the Lighten layers selected:

The bottom layer is a solid black background layer, and the top 2 layers are retouching layers to clean up dust and seams in the paper.  All the other layers are the individual exposures.

The bottom layer is a solid black background layer, and the top 2 layers are retouching layers to clean up dust and seams in the paper.  All the other layers are the individual exposures.

And there you have it!  In just about 30 minutes I shot and edited the 2 final images which can be seen in my previous blog post HERE. Thanks for reading along, and stay tuned for more BTS stuff from my shoots!