Advice On Product Photography

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by NP2WENTY6, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. NP2WENTY6

    NP2WENTY6 TPF Noob!

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    Hi All I am new to this forum I am looking for some professional advice on product photography


    I take pictures (of clothing) for my site with a plain white screen. However i get a lot of problems with the lighting mainly on whites and light colours with the screen looking yellowish and shadowing.

    I was advised to buy some normal halogen work lamps (as pro studio lights are too expensive)so i purchased a set i have the option of 2x500W, 2x 250W or 2x150W lamps

    What i want to know is what is the best lamp to use for product photography?

    Also how do i set up the lamps?
    Do I: -
    1) Put the lamps behind me on the product as i shoot
    2) Put the lamp in front of me but hitting the screen behind the produt
    3) put the lamp behind the screen so the light comes through

    Basically I would like a clear crisp white background without the expense of a pro studio and hours of editing in photoshop as there is simply to many products being pictured to photoshop them all. But I also what the best colouring of the product as some colurs tend to look different than they actually are. I am not a pro photographer and dont know much about ISO's white balance etc etc so i need it to be simple

    Thanks In Advance
     
  2. NP2WENTY6

    NP2WENTY6 TPF Noob!

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    Hi again is there anybody out there that can help me my mind is going round in circles i have been reading books reading my camera book but nothing is helping me to much

    I am using a Nikon D40

    Any help is better than no help at all if you have any advice no matter how small it may help my quest to get that perfect shot
     
  3. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    First, you don't want direct light. You need to bounce the light off a soft object like a off-white wall or something. Some studio lights have umbrellas that reflect the light back at the subject softening it.

    If you want a white background, I would do it with flashes... one lighting up the background and the other lighting up the item you're photographing. Since you probably don't have two flashes (I know I don't yet)... you will have to get creative with your lighting you already have.
     
  4. Mgw189

    Mgw189 TPF Noob!

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    Lets start with what your shooting. How big is the stuff you want to shoot? If you are going to shoot little stuff that kind of lighting is probably going to be over kill. Good images can be made easily with a light box for smaller items. Here is one that I made out of a cardboard box, wax paper, poster board (for the back drop) a halogen work light mostly because I had one and two clamp lights (not seen) but they are the cheapo ones that have the metal reflectors on a lamp base with two compact florescent bulbs in them. I put the halogen up facing down through some wax paper then the clamp lights to either side again through wax paper. The poster board I used is rewriteable so that is where the gloss kinda look is coming from.

    [​IMG]

    A couple samples of the results

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Don Kondra

    Don Kondra Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    First of all, get rid of the work lights, white balance issues are just not worth it.

    You can buy relatively inexpensive clamp on reflectors and install the twisty CF lights, they are rated for 5500k, that will solve the yellow problem :)

    If you can't find them locally, go here compact fluorescent bulbs

    A tripod will help a lot with getting clearer images, with the CF bulbs you don't have a lot of light so your shutter speed will be quite slow.

    Shoot in A mode, f8 - f11.

    The first link has a selection of lighting and here is another source.

    With the CF lights I have good results with a light on each side of the camera at 45 degrees and another boom light over the backdrop.

    My backdrop color of choice is "focus gray" but for what you want to do the white may be better.

    Take a good look at the images Mgw189 posted.

    The camera shot could use more light from the front. The good thing about continuous CF lights is you see what you get. Don't like how it looks, adjust the lighting.

    The second image may be pleasing to some but for a product shot the depth of field is too narrow, change to f8 or f11, etc.... until the whole object is in focus.

    Shoot in a totally dark room, cover the windows with cardboard, etc. The room lighting will effect your white balance.

    Read, read and read some more :)

    Lots of ways to light a shot.

    LOTS of people are going the strobist way with off camera flashes. I personally don't like that.

    How much money do you want to spend?

    I recently saw a two head CF kit with five bulbs/head including bulbs for ~$200.

    I just purchases a 2 x 200 w/s strobe kit including softboxes and tripods for $270. They are plastic and don't have cooling fans, you do get what you pay for.

    Do some more reading :mrgreen:

    And ask some more questions when you're further along on your reading, he, he...

    Cheers, Don
     

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