First attempt - knife photo

Discussion in 'Commercial/Product photography' started by Olympus8MP, Feb 21, 2007.

  1. Olympus8MP

    Olympus8MP TPF Noob!

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    This is my first attempt at a product photograph. This isn't actually for Gerber Gear, just a pic of my favorite knife :D See if anyone can guess the equipment I used.

    [​IMG]

    What can I do to improve this?

    Thanks
     
  2. shingfan

    shingfan TPF Noob!

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    please forgive me for being too honest if i am......i hope you are looking for this kind of comment to help you improve

    if you are not using a light tent...you should definitely give it a try...will give you better spread of the light....your current photo is more of a snapshot then a product shot

    here is a previous post that did a good job on knife....you can have a look at the setup

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=69238
     
  3. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It looks like you used on-camera flash. To make it better you could use off-camera flash or a tripod and no flash at all. Or, you could retouch it a little in photoshop as I have done.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Aquarium Dreams

    Aquarium Dreams TPF Noob!

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    Fmw, what did you do in photoshop for that knife? Your retouched version looks great.
     
  5. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks. I wanted to do 4 things.

    1. Get rid of the color cast which is actually an overload of the CCD from the direct flast. Film wouldn't have reacted that way. The blown out area would have been neutral.

    2. Bring out the detail in the handle.

    3. Tone down the blown out area where the flash unit is reflected straight back at the lens.

    4. Get rid of the background which was unevenly lit.

    First the background. Auto levels to tweak the contrast. Then white balance eyedropper in levels to set the the darkest part of the background to white. Next I used the highlight/shadow adjustment to bring down the blade and bring up the handle to highlight more detail. I reduced saturation a lot to eliminate the color cast. Then I used the eraser tool around the edges of the blade and handle to clean up the artifacts from all this heavy handed editing. Finally I used a little burn tool to tone down the blown out area on the blade. I didn't do the last part very well. I didn't spend much time on it. It could have been cleaned up pretty well with a little more effort. That's Photoshop. It would have been better to simply light the knife properly and eliminate all of these problems at exposure time rather than doing a lot of heavy handed editing after the fact.
     
  6. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Here's a shot I made this afternoon of a black bladed knife. This shot got no processing at all except for a little bit of sharpening. If you light it right in the first place, there isn't much else to do.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    As has already been said, there are plenty of things you can do in PS but why do that if you can save time and effort by getting the lighting right for the shot instead?

    fmw does not like pop-up flash, with good reason. I'd say use it in situations where you have absolutely no other choice and really need the image, but otherwise do something, anything other than use that pop-up. For this you could use off-camera flash or natural light diffused in various ways. Honestly you don't even need any special equipment for this. By the way I like the composition, simple and effective.

    Oh and good company to advertise. The 'Gerber multi-tool flick' makes you feel like a man, a man who can fix things :lol: I'm sure someone knows what I mean.
     
  8. Olympus8MP

    Olympus8MP TPF Noob!

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    lol. There is no flash or light tent. Just hand-held lights and a custom white balance to counteract the off-white color it would normally give. This wasn't meant to be too pro, just a quick thing to do today.
     
  9. Aquarium Dreams

    Aquarium Dreams TPF Noob!

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  10. Olympus8MP

    Olympus8MP TPF Noob!

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    wow. thats a cool idea. I'll have to look at that. This photo was done on a pretty "redneck" rig. lol :D
     
  11. Icon72

    Icon72 TPF Noob!

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    Hey, you have to work with what you have right? :)
     
  12. Olympus8MP

    Olympus8MP TPF Noob!

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    I read that article and I'm definitely gonna have to try that. I kinda figured that the original photo wouldn't be very good. lol :D

    Look for a better picture of the same knife once i make one of these budget light tents :D
     

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