KYU-6 light wraps are a great way to add product photography lighting to any kind of image, being so flexible and controllable. You can use them to add distinct pops of light or color to your scenes, directing attention precisely where you want it to give depth and dynamism to your shots. This is especially true of photos involving bottles when you might want to light through them or create interesting highlights to capture people’s attention.
As a quick reminder: an accent light is a bright, controlled light that illuminates a very specific area of your shot. It should be brighter than your key light and carefully controlled so that it doesn’t spill beyond where you want it.
We’re really grateful to professional food photographer Jena Carlin for demonstrating how she used both bi-color and RGB KYU-6 light wraps to add interest and intensity to her Blue Moon beer stop-motion sequence.
As well as the bottle of Blue Moon beer and the sand it was sitting on, Jena used the following:
- Two RGB KYU-6 light wraps
- Two Bi-color KYU-6 light wraps
- Canon EOS R5 with 100mm macro lens, tethered to MacBook Pro running Adobe Lightroom
- BenQ monitor with carousel background
- Octabox with grid and two layers of diffusion
- Strip light
- Bare bulb
- Black foam core for negative fill
- White foam core for bounce light
The Product Photography Lighting Setup
Jena arranged her bottle of Blue Moon beer on a bedding of sand. As a background, she used a night sky timelapse of a mountain and lake shown on a BenQ monitor. Using a monitor to display a background is a great option: you can choose from literally millions of different backgrounds and it won’t cost a fortune.
Her camera settings were ƒ/7.1, 1/10 second, and ISO 320. These were chosen to get the depth of field that she wanted, but still let in plenty of light, too.
For her lights, Jena used an octabox fitted with a grid and two layers of diffusion at about 135º camera-right and a strip box 135º camera-left. These both illuminated the scene from behind. A bare bulb was used to add light beneath the scene camera left, along with a bounce board between the camera and the table holding the beer bottle to reflect light back onto the scene. Black foam core was used to provide negative fill around the setup, preventing any stray light from bouncing back onto the bottle.
And then came the accent lights: four KYU-6 light wraps. Jena used two RGB light wraps, one to the left of the bottle and another to the right, but both out-of-shot, which focused colored highlights on the sand. The two bi-color wraps were positioned to illuminate the amber bottle directly from behind it.
How Jena did it
The bi-color light wraps were positioned directly behind the beer bottle, providing light through it. The lower one was curled up and provided light at the base of the bottle. The second bi-color light wrap was positioned upright, directly behind the bottle, providing light all the way to its top. Neither of the KYU-6 light wraps were visible, being concealed by the sand and the bottle itself, but both offered a perfect glow through the glass bottle.
The RGB light wraps, placed to the left and right of the bottle and positioned to highlight the sand were initially set to blue. However, the color of the night sky timelapse video changes as it cycles through its run: it starts blue but then goes more purple and eventually into red and yellow tones. The background also grows darker as it progresses. This is where the flexibility of using RGB light wraps, with their 15 different colors, and the control of shooting a stop-motion sequence while tethered comes in.
First, Jena was able to adjust the color of the light wraps to reflect the overall look of the background scene. As a stop-motion sequence, pressing play and pause while she adjusted the color wasn’t problematic to its flow. Second, shooting tethered meant that she could select an accurate color on the light wrap, and furthermore, as the background steadily grew darker, it helped her to decide when it was time to remove the KYU-6 light wrap that sat camera-right. By the end of the sequence, using two light wraps was too bright for the scene, just one light wrap provided the perfect accent light.
All that remained was to stitch together the series of images to create the stop-motion video!
Give it a try!
We hope that Jena’s stop-motion and this explanation have given you some inspiration for how you can try using your KYU-6 light wraps to provide some pop and drama to your photos, especially when it comes to shooting beverages.
About Jena Carlin
Jena Carlin is a commercial brand photographer, videographer, and cookbook author specializing in food, fashion, product, and lifestyle. Jena can be found on Instagram @littlerustedladle, Facebook at facebook.com/LittleRustedLadle, or her site at littlerustedladle.com.