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Chinese New Year (Love) Nail Design

Chinese New Year (Love)

The latest photo of Karen’s nail art, this time a design in honor of the coming Chinese new year, featuring a red base coat, the Chinese character for "Love" from a stamping plate, and gold glitter.

The lighting is a single 45˚ AlienBees B400 strobe shot through a umbrella, triggered with a sync cable.

The trickiest part of this image is the shininess of the nail polish. I wanted to suppress the shine on the toenail with the Chinese character so that it would be visible, while still allowing for it it on the other toes. Since the subject’s nailbed on the big toe naturally has a nail that has a slightly different curvature pattern and orientation than the other nails, it was possible to pick a location for the light source and camera that kept the family of angle for direct reflection of the light off the big toenail away from the lens, while still allowing for direct reflections on the other nails, so no gobo was necessary to achieve the effect. Since I was using a studio strobe with a modeling light, I could actually see the reflections as I moved the light, subject, and camera, making it easy to identify orientations that would work without trial and error nor calculation.

Tagged: , toes , feet , tonails , toenail polish , nail polish , pedicure , nail art , toenail art , chinese new year , chinese character , han , love , red , gold , glitter , shoot through umbrella , umbrella , flash , shine , shiny , lightscience , light science and magic , lighting