Behind the Scenes: Lightning to USB Camera Adapter

It’s always fun to take a peek behind the curtain an see how things are done. Sometimes I forget to grab a shot of my setup, but I’m working on getting better about remembering.

Last week I wrote a post that needed a combination of photos and screenshots. So I headed over to my in-house studio (actually the third bedroom that doesn’t have a renter right now) and set up under the window.

The subject was a fancy USB cable, and I wanted two shots. One by itself and another on a note book.

The final version of just the cable.
The final version of just the cable.
The final verision of the cable and notebook.
The final verision of the cable and notebook.

The setup was about as dead simple as you can get. I put a cutting board on top of a Adorama box near a window. The first shots were ok but the backlighting was just a bit too strong.

The cable with a harsh shadow.
The cable with a harsh shadow.

The solution was just as simple. I propped up a piece of white foamcore to use as a reflector. It was low enough to not interfere with my shooting angle but bounced enough light to soften the shadows.

Foamcore is a lifesaver.
Foamcore is a lifesaver.

The next shot took a bit more work. I wanted to show the cable plugged into my phone and camera. Here’s the final version.

When a camera needs a phone, the world is burning.
When a camera needs a phone, the world is burning.

At first I tried my desk. I thought the keyboard would make a good prop due to the article’s topic. I tried several setups using my desk lamp, window light, flash, and a combination of all of them. Have a peek at the ugly, the note are in the captions.

Window light from the top right, and desk lamp from the lower right. I knew the colors would be far apart, but didn't think it'd be this bad. But I had a starting point.
Window light from the top right, and desk lamp from the lower right. I knew the colors would be far apart, but didn’t think it’d be this bad. But I had a starting point.
Just the desk lamp from the right side. I could torture this one in Lightroom, but it's easier to adjust the lighting.
Just the desk lamp from the right side. I could torture this one in Lightroom, but it’s easier to adjust the lighting.
This is window light with bounce flash. It's still harsh and uneven. At least the color is consistent.
This is window light with bounce flash. It’s still harsh and uneven. At least the color is consistent.
With only bounce flash (through a slip-on diffuser) the light is coming under control. A bit more flash power might bring out the shadows, but with the risk of blowing out the keyboard and making the prominent shadows even harsher.
With only bounce flash (through a slip-on diffuser) the light is coming under control. A bit more flash power might bring out the shadows, but with the risk of blowing out the keyboard and making the prominent shadows even harsher.

That last one isn’t too bad, but the cutting board background works better. It’s a nice organic contrast to the high tech phone and camera and it ties all the photos in the article together.

PS, I did buy a neutral gray desktop on purpose! In case you were wondering.

I hope you enjoyed this behind-the-scenes and find it useful. If you’d like to support the creation of more articles like this please donate with either PayPal or credit/debit card. Thank you.