A Photo A Day.

Day 25: Believe it or not, I’ve been wanting to photograph nail polish for some time. Today seemed as good a day as any to have a bit of a ‘play’ session.

I need: a bottle of sparkly blue nail polish; a piece of A4 white paper; a light stand; 2 flash units and my camera. I prop the paper up against my light stand and use an external hard drive as a paper weight at the front so the paper doesn’t slip off the bench. I have a speedlite on camera as a ‘master’ to trigger my ‘slave’ speedlite which is balancing from my light stand positioned directly over the top of the nail polish (I say balancing as my light stand is currently broken so I’ve used a rubber band to secure the speedlite to the stand). The distance between the slave flash unit and the nail polish would be approximately 60cm.

My aim is to produce a high key image. I have heaps of fun moving the bottle of nail polish around to capture it at various angles to the camera and with varying numbers of drops. I settle on this one as my photo a day as I liked the minimalist feel to it and all that beautiful white ‘negative’ space.

Camera settings: ISO 160; f11; 1/100th 100mm 2.8L macro lens. Master flash unit on camera set to 1/32nd power and the slave flash unit firing above was set to 1/16th power.


Here are some others that I’m happy with from the session.


I hope that has brightened your day. When I look at this image I’m reminded of the movie ‘Priscilla Queen of the Desert’ 🙂

Live. Love. Learn.

Sheryn Ellis, Portrait Photographer.