First Time Product Photography?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by amayer1025, Apr 10, 2008.

  1. amayer1025

    amayer1025 TPF Noob!

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    I'm in the process of starting a website for my jewelry store. I bought a cheap lighting studio and a nice 8megapixel Digital Canon Powershot SD850is. I'm trying to avoid having someone else photo the jewelry due to costs. I'm setting up a workstation and I'm willing to buy whatever I need to have the best outcome. I'm goin to build a stationary lighting setup, and a prop that will hold the jewelry props so that each will always been located the same. What I'd like to do is find software that will auto crop and resize these photo's as taken. I'd like to have the camera mounted so it's always positioned correctly towards the prop holder. My question is what software could I use to do this, and what would anyone recommend as for the camera, because I doubt my current powershot sd815 is capable. I cannot find any sort of remote capture software, as I'd like to take photos with the pc. not manually. I have alot of pieces and I want it to be smooth process each time I take 200-500 photos. Please don't critize my efforts, and info or advice will be greatly appreciated, Thanks, Adam

    P.S.- The software doesn't have to auto-crop and resize as the photos are taken, but It has to have a batch capability. I'd have one crop for rings and other small pieces and more for different size pieces. Cropping Image by image was a nightmare, and The pieces were positioned different everytime due to hand placing each piece or different height props. Also, It's too expensive to pay someone else to photo these, because I deal with estate and antique jewelry so I have unique pieces that I couldn't reuse a photo for.
     
  2. Arch

    Arch Damn You! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    There is no need to multi post across the forum, but i have left this one where you will be most likely to get help. ;)
     
  3. KOrmechea

    KOrmechea TPF Noob!

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    Have you Googled "jewelry photography"? I'm sure that will help you out some.

    One thing I can recommend is a light/soft box. You can buy one or build a decent one for almost nothing (compared to other equipment).

    I don't use it myself, but I'm pretty sure Adobe LightRoom can batch process your images. Some one can validate that for me.

    Good luck. I'll try to find some helpful links for you.

    EDIT:
    Here's a quick link. They plug their equipment heavily, but that might not be a bad place to start looking.
     
  4. amayer1025

    amayer1025 TPF Noob!

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    bump for help :) I apologize for cross-posting, looking to purchase equipment asap.
     
  5. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    One the Cheap? Canon xt, 50mm f/1.8 lens.

    Buy a tripod, $80 sunpak 383, light stand, umbrella adapter, white shoot through umbrella, and a sync cable.

    That's probably one of your cheapest ways to do it. Canon cameras come with image capture software that lets you take photos with the camera hooked up to the computer iirc.

    Build yourself a backdrop with an armless chair and a roll of white or black paper. Learn how to light. Get quality photos.

    It takes a bit more explanation than that, but that's the easiest way I can think of.

    I used two small speed lights and a slightly more rigged setup for these two:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. amayer1025

    amayer1025 TPF Noob!

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    I went out yesterday and bought a canon XTi 10megapix 18-55mm. I want to be able to see picture before its taken like a viewfinder on the pc. I have the cd that came with it, and it doesn't allow preview. What should I use? I purchased adobe light room and i will buy whatever else i need to do this.
     
  7. asfixiate

    asfixiate TPF Noob!

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    Village. Do you only recommend the "$80 sunpak 383" for product photography? I just got a Sunpak that was onsale(only reason i got it) for like 62.99 at best buy. Its working so far but I haven't really pushed it to the limit. Eventually I hope to have 430 or 580 speedlight(still researching brands)but for now I just wanted something better than the popup flash. This sunpak i can aim 90 degrees up and down only. I belive it was normally 99.99. When I go home for break I'll try to get the exact brand. it could be 383 who knows.
     
  8. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That's a feature called live view. Most digital cameras don't do live view. A few that are on the market are the Canon 40D, Nikon D300, and Olympus E510 afaik. And some like the Canon 40D, will not AF with live view on.

    It's probably best if you compose your shots through the view finder. If you have to have an LCD that shows what you're viewing, you're better off returning the camera and buying a point and shoot for that matter. That or paying some one to do the photos for you.

    I use the Vivitar 285HV which is an equivalent to the Sunpak. I have two of those and a 580EX.
     
  9. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I typed a lot and the server screwed up. Return your camera and buy a point and shoot. You're probably making a mistake by saying "what do I need to do this and tell me what to do" without learning the basics. that or pay a person just starting out to do it for you.

    Yes.
     
  10. asfixiate

    asfixiate TPF Noob!

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    do you mount the 580 on your camera and use the others as strobes?
     
  11. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The only time the 580 is on camera is when I'm shooting on the go and need a flash. Most of the time this is just at a friend's place and not for any serious shoots. I'd say 100% of the time I'm doing actual shoots, the flashes are fired remotely.

    I tend to use the 580EX II for a main light since it has more power and is adjustable from 1/128 - 1/1 in 1/3 stop increments. It really lets you dial in for the results you want.

    Those two above photos where with the 580EX slightly camera right with a shoot through umbrella and a bare vivitar 285HV pointed straight up. The vivitar bounced from the ceiling at about 2 stops lower than the 580 doesn't provide a lot of illumination, but helps to kill some of the shadows from the directional flash.

    OP - I shouldn't be so grumpy, but I had to clean up dog crap this morning.

    Use the XTI. Get a tripod. Google softbox. You can build one and buy the lights for less than $50 probably. This will get you started on photographing your jewelery. The Canon software lets you use the computer to fire the camera iirc. The image should show up right after you fire it as well. This should let you see what you're taking it as soon as you shoot.

    Just remember to shoot in manual mode and focus manually. One you get things set, you can leave the camera on the tripod and just switch out jewelery, taking pictures as you go and you shouldn't have to touch the camera unless it gets bumped and needs to be refocused.
     
  12. asfixiate

    asfixiate TPF Noob!

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    Great explanation. I was thinking about putting dog crap in the setup actually...jk(my dog pees twice a day and craps like 6 times a day. Luckily outside)
     

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