Having trouble shooting a glossy black pill bottle

Discussion in 'Commercial/Product photography' started by vanislecannabis, May 2, 2017.

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  1. vanislecannabis

    vanislecannabis TPF Noob!

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    I'm probably just too damn newbie for this stuff but I'd like to make a solid attempt before we outsource this to an actual photographer.

    What I'm using:

    Canon Rebel EOS T6s
    Canon Ultrasonic EFS 17-55mm
    Square Perfect Photography light tent
    2x Alzo Digital Fl 360/120v lights

    I just can't get it close to evenly lit. The edges always end up looking milky white which I think is the tent reflecting off the bottle and the lid doesn't look great either. I've messed around with the lights and tried many different positions but nothing is working.

    While typing this up a few things have popped into my head. I might be shooting with too high of a shutter speed. My reaction to the initial problem was to move the lights further away from the tent and shoot with a higher shutter speed. Maybe this is all wrong? I'm gonna do more experimenting tomorrow.

    Any hints or suggestions would be massively appreciated. This is really beginning to stress me out.

    [​IMG]


     

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  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yep... most of that is wrong. ;) First and foremost, lose the light tent. They're really only good for decoration and separating new photographers from their money.

    Start by getting two more lights, a large trestle table and a roll of white seamless paper. Rig up a way to support the paper roll horizontally above the table 3-4' and roll it down along the length of the table to form a sweep. Place the bottle 2-3' in front of the sweep and use two of the lights so that they light the background. Now, move the other two lights CLOSER to the bottle (closer light = softer light; it might seem counter-intuitive, but it's true). The panels of the light tent can be used to make diffusers for the lights. Place one 4-6" in front of each light. Diffused light = softer light. Now it's simply a matter of playing with the distances of the lights from the background & product 'til they work.
     
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  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    The "milky white edges"is the result of TOO MUCH lighty coming from BEHIND the bottle, and flooding around the edges of the bottle; you need MORE light on the front of the bottle and less light on the background. Your sample image is suffering from excessive "wrap" or "blowback"; bopth terms mean the dsame thing--that the background light is too much in relation to the front of the subject.

    A light tent shouild be able to make this dead-simple shot, but you need to ensure the right proportion of light on the froint of ther subject, and on the back of the subject. ADDING light to the front of the subject woukld helk change the balance of where the light is coming from.
     
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  4. vanislecannabis

    vanislecannabis TPF Noob!

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    Hi fellow islander :D

    Thank you so much for the reply. I'm gonna try some of your suggestions today. A few follow up questions:

    1. Do you think I can make do with 2 lights?
    2. I'm using crafting foam to make my sweep. Is that alright or should I order some paper?
    3. Do you have any suggestions as to how I would mount diffusors in front of the lights? Any techniques you could recommend for that?

    Thanks again. I'm gonna play around today and see what I can do.
     
  5. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    1. Yes, providing they are positioned correctly.
    2. Paper is cheap enough.
    3. With hot lights, you probably want to keep the diffuser at some distance from the light bulb so it won't burn.
     
  6. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Greetings... where on the rock are you?

    You can do it with two lights, but it won't be nearly as good. Ideally you should invest in four cheap speedlights, triggers and a roll of white seamless... <$400. It will make this easy.
     
  7. waday

    waday Do one thing every day that scares you Supporting Member

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    John, it's ok, just ask the OP outright for a sample to try.. I mean, to photograph.
     
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  8. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Two or three samples to start, then two more next month when I get my new "lights".
     
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  9. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    "How to photograph a canister of cannabis using the light from a lava lamp." - Part One.
     
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  10. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

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    The light might be too much, but isn't the OP's image considered "High Key" ?

    and doesn't OP want it that way ?
    LOL
     
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  11. table1349

    table1349 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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  12. pgriz

    pgriz Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    When in doubt, roll out the "bible". Gryph got the right idea. On the other hand both John and Derrel have enough direct advice to get this one locked in.

    If you're shooting with speedlights, the shutter speed is kinda irrelevant as long as you're shooting at sync speed or less (unless there is enough ambient light to make a difference). The go-to procedure is to set the aperture to give you the right depth of field (use Online Depth of Field Calculator). then place your light diffusers up front, arranged on both sides of the bottle, out of view of the camera. Set your speedlights behind them, and dial in the right amount of power manually (trial and error works well here) to give you correct exposure. Next, you can adjust the power level for the speedlights illuminating the background, so that the light level is maybe 1-2 stops less than what you see from the front. You may also want to use flags (opaque shields) to prevent the light from the back-ground illuminating speedlights from spilling into the scene.
     
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