Once I cracked the nut of photographing red and white cloth, the rest of the garments were a piece of cake.
I've written before about the little photo studio that I built myself. I'm using the 8' fair-weather booth that I made from canvas and lumber as a photo space. It holds the backdrop taut, and gives me a frame to hang the booth walls that I use to diffuse and bounce the light from my one remote flash unit.
This one unit provides three "sources" of light. (...and remember that the light bulb doesn't add any real light to the scene. It's extremely dim compared to the flash, but helps me adjust the reflectors for individual garments.)
1. It shines directly onto a translucent wall panel. This panel becomes a full-height light box giving a diffuse primary light source and preventing the flash from shining directly on the subject.
2. It shines through the opening and hits a full-height reflector, filling in the lefthand side and acting like a secondary diffuse light source.
3. It also bounces from a round reflector on the floor and to the right of the "model". This fills in the shadows in the folds and fringe on the bottom of the garments.
There are a couple other tricks that help, too. See the canvas to the right of the #1? It keeps light from shining directly onto the backdrop. This keeps the garment as the clear focus of the shot and evens out the lighting on the backdrop. Notice that there is white canvas on the ceiling, floor, and all of the walls except the camera slit? This helps ensure that the light in the scene has a chance to bounce around and even out. It's part of what gives that "velvety smooth" feeling to the scene.
And the last trick I employ comes from my photo editing software. I add a very subtle gamma vignette to further darken the background and keep the visual attention on the garments. Here's the final result...
Is there anything I've missed? Do you have any ideas on how to further improve my photography? Please leave a comment and let me know!