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Product Photography

With Brian Rodgers Jr.
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2.97 - "Solid" 

This was a shoot I did as a kind of experiment. I wanted to shoot a Koi Pond with the sword, but I wanted to control it in the studio. It's kind of an illusion. The "pond" is actually a back lit transparency, with styrofoam painted "rock" tops and plastic resin "water". Everything was complete still life.

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It's a bit to much for my taste. The knife/blade blendes in the background a bit

Im kind of blown away with the transparency and fake rocks. Pretty cool idea.

Let me understand if I got it straight: a layer of something transparent, than real water + real fish with fake rock and a layer of fake water all back lit?

You almost have it. There is no real water and no real fish.
I found this clear acrylic 24X 30 inch frame at the art store. It had about 1 1/2 inch walls on the sides. I think it was designed to sort of encase a picture or something. But I saw it as a shallow tank. So I made the just the tops of the rocks from styrofoam and sand/paint, and then made a Photoshop pastiche of rocks and fish, and specular water highlights that lined up with my fake rock tops and had that printed out as a 24 X 30 transparency.
I could not use real water because the blade was a prototype made of high carbon steel and rusts very fast if a drop of water gets on it. So I used clear plastic resin for the water. I poured it into the shallow tank and waited for it to start to set, then I dragged a stick through it to create bubbles and waves on the surface. I mounted the transparency on the back, lit it from below and shot the photo.
I had to do it this way because Koi fish are skittish around strobes and would not have "performed" on que.