Still Life with Toilet Paper

Yep. Toilet paper. I won’t say where the inspiration came from because it would be . . . unladylike. But I started wondering if I could make something elegant, interesting, or attractive out of something as mundane as toilet paper. And then I decided that I needed to learn how to shoot white on white, since I hadn’t done that before. And thus we have our bathroom still life.

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I added lights one by one, starting with a single bare speedlight flashed onto my white ceiling at 1/8 power. Then I added a speedlight in a 50-inch softbox behind the set for some back light—set to 1/128, I believe. Added some black cards on each side to give the white something to reflect and define some edges as well as a white card up front for a little more fill. Final touch was a scrim held straight above the set to diffuse the light coming from the ceiling. On hindsight, because the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection, I wish I had left the toilet paper roll standing up in the shot with multiple images—you can see how the single toilet paper roll has both sides clearly defined because it is the correct angle to reflect that black card. Dang it.

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