I have been wanting to take some particular shots with my swords and I finally got the chance thanks to a little help from a friend who loaned me the gauntlets from their suit of armor.
I knew that reflections and light flare in the swords and gauntlets were something I needed to avoid so there was a bit of contemplation on how to position them and how to light them. This was a situation where I did meter the light rather than setting exposure purely by eye.
In the trial and error of finding how best to arrange and support the swords and gauntlets my wife came to the rescue with the solution - the stand from a vase we keep full of potpourri in our front room. She had the idea of putting it in from behind and under our backdrop. The equipment I used (shown below) was two Godox AD200 units with bare bulb heads - one with barn doors and a red gel and the other with a small 9x36 strip softbox. I shot with a Sigma 28-70 2.8 on my Pentax K1Mii - hand held - ISO 100, 1/200th, some at f5.6 and others at f8 and f9.
The gel'd light was barn door'd and at about 1/8th power so no hot spots there... and the softbox was at full power - its position and diffusion chosen to avoid glare and hot spots.
The 100/00/f8 allowed me to completely eliminate the ambient light so all light was correctly balanced and that black backdrop (sheet) became a nice museum draped display style accent for vase stand pedestal hidden beneath.
Note: I did move the softbox half way through the shoot to the position shown - prior to that it was in basically the same floor location but much lower and therefore coming in from the side rather than from above. Ultimately I preferred the 'from above' angle.
As always, I liked some in b/w or sepia and played with pushing the color a bit one way or another on others.
I added the red gel because I felt the all-silver gauntlets would benefit from a nice accent of red given the gold in Excalibur but I slightly de-saturated one of the Richard the Lionheart shots just for personal taste. I left Charles the 5th pretty much as it came out of camera - I've been fighting a cold and was not up to a conflict with the Emperor of Europe. ;)
Lastly, here are shots of the vase and stand I used both to initially test position and exposure as well as the stand being what was under the backdrop holding everything up for the sword & gauntlet shots. I just like these vase test shots so thought I'd share.
Overall it was a fun shoot and, as always, a learning experience. Getting the positioning of the subjects and the lights just right to achieve the look I was going for. Thank you to my friend for the loan of the gauntlets, to my wife for the prop assist, and to the Spanish sword makers who crafted three of my favorite display pieces.