One day as I took out an egg from the fridge, I looked at it and thought about the painted egg in my living room. This is how the story of the conceited egg came about. The characters where already there in my home. All I needed was a suitable mirror. I tried for months to find one to no avail, until I visited a nearby town as a tourist and stepped into a small shop and found “my” mirror on a shelf.
"The concave surface was perfect for my purpose since it magnified the egg's reflection to the same size as the egg in front of the mirror."
Back home I started experimenting with the two eggs in front of the mirror. I tried different distances and angles to get a better balanced image with the subjects well distributed in the scene. I noticed that the mirror was composed of two reflective parts; one side was concave and the other side was flat. The concave surface was perfect for my purpose since it magnified the egg's reflection to the same size as the egg in front of the mirror.Even after setting the aperture to f/22, I realized that I could not get enough depth of field because the three focal planes of the two eggs and the mirror were too far apart. It was therefore necessary to take several pictures and combine them using a focus stacking technique in post-processing.But first I had to create the environment. I thought that the most suitable background color would be ochre yellow-brown, not as a flat color but mottled. I used a sheet of 28×40" (70×100 cm) drawing paper and applied tempera paint to it using a folded, crumpled sheet of paper. First I painted with yellow and light brown, then with yellow and darker brown.
"In front of the light I mounted a snoot made out of aluminum foil to direct the light. This created a kind of vignetting around the image and a stream of light on the background that guides the eye from the egg toward the mirror."
I hung the colored background paper into position with two Plamps. The mirror was placed close to the background and the painted egg was placed about 7.5" (19 cm) from the mirror. I mounted the camera on the tripod a bit higher than the base and positioned it in such a way that the reflected image was visible in the center of the mirror. I decided to use a small, circular halogen light, about 4" (10 cm) in diameter and with 12 watt power, supported by a Plamp. In front of the light I mounted a snoot made out of aluminum foil to direct the light. This created a kind of vignetting around the image and a stream of light on the background that guides the eye from the egg toward the mirror.
I estimated that for the three stacked images an aperture of f/18 would be optimal, so I set ISO to 200 (for the highest image quality) and used Aperture Priority mode, which resulted in an exposure time of 2.5 seconds.I checked the camera display for areas with burned highlights. Then I took the photos in this order: Photo 1: Painted egg, focus on mirror frame. Photo 2: Painted egg, focus on the mirror image. Photo 3: Chicken egg, focus on the egg.To place the eggs in the exact spot, I made a mark with a pencil on the paper.