Shooting Origami for a Book

Sometime last year while at a mutual friend’s house, John Szinger was talking about photographing his origami.  We got to discussing this topic and he asked for some advice on how I might do this.  I happily offered to help and expected nothing more than some time together showing some basic lighting ideas from the “this is how I would do it” perspective.

When we discussed it again sometime later, I found out that he was writing a book on origami (“Origami Untamed” from Tuttle Publishing) and actually needed pictures for the book.  I was still interested in helping and we found an evening where I could stop over and take some shots.  The process he had been using for photographing his (quite amazing) creations was to position them on paper backgrounds on his kitchen table and shoot them with the camera on a tripod. While the mix of fluorescent and incandescent lights might have played havoc on a human subject, his results were not too bad for the paper subjects.


With that said, I was pretty sure that with some strobes and light modifiers, a much more flattering image could be created.  We had dinner together and then I set up several lights and modifiers.  After several hours of shooting, we came to some realizations…
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