How to photograph golf clubs???

Discussion in 'Commercial/Product photography' started by diamondtourgolf, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. diamondtourgolf

    diamondtourgolf TPF Noob!

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    I recently took on the the task of photographing all of the new golf club heads for our website. We are a golf club component wholesaler.

    My main question: What is the best way to photograph the clubs heads that are chrome and reflective?

    I have rather expensive studio lights, a light tent, and a Canon Rebel Xsi camera w/the 18-55mm auto focus lens.

    Are there any shooting angles or lighting techniques that will help give me the most accurate depiction of the club while cutting down on the shadows and dark spots that show up in the reflective surface?

    I am rather proficient with photoshop. Is there any techniques I can be utilizing to help my product photos turn out better?

    Any and all suggestions appreciated.

    Thanks,
    DTG
     
  2. ghache

    ghache TPF Noob!

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    I would shoot them on a white background. use 2-3 light to expose them with no shadows and it should be good.
     
  3. diamondtourgolf

    diamondtourgolf TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, I'm using 4 lights and still getting some shadows in the golf heads themselves...
     
  4. ghache

    ghache TPF Noob!

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    i would use 2 light and take the shot so i can see 2 face of the club.

    here an example off google.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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    If you are getting shadows with 4 lights, then you need to mess around with the position of the lights. Move one of the lights to get rid of the shadows you have. I would also use a CP filter to cut down on reflections from in the club (if there are any).
     
  6. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I know what you mean, but let's just position the lights where they need to be forget about "messing around."


    Why would you want to do that?

    -Pete
     
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  7. diamondtourgolf

    diamondtourgolf TPF Noob!

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    are you using a light tent???


     
  8. NateS

    NateS TPF Noob!

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    Put them where they need to be? You learn by trial and error....at least I do...plus trial and error might help him stumble upon new techniques he likes. He's getting shadows with 4 lights....so he needs to play around with the position of the lights to make it better....if he knew where to place them off the bat, he wouldn't be posting this topic here.

    Why would you want to cut down reflections? Personally, I wouldn't like a photo that has a shiny set of golf clubs with the photographer, or his desk, or his cat, or anything off camera being reflected in the clubs. A CPL might help eliminate some of those reflections so that the image can focus on the clubs rather than a reflected customer or photographer.
     
  9. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sorry, Nate. I had a short night and am not myself today. Sorry if I came off like a jerk.

    WHAT I MEAN TO SAY IS...

    I believe when taking on a project like this one, it's no time for experimenting.

    For the sake of this discussion, let's use the image that ghache provided. The details in the form of the black driver would be lost without the one reflection. In fact, it could use a few more reflections (highlights) to better communicate the shape of the head.

    And that's where light placement comes in. I look at this image and know where to position the lights to achieve the same results. And I know what to add and where to add additional lighting to improve the image.

    So when I read the original post.... "I have some photo equipment, a lot of product to shoot, and want to know how to proceed.".... well... it just hit a few buttons for me. I think it's much like deciding to go on a journey, purchasing a vehicle and travel gear, and THEN choosing a route, only to find out you need a plane and a backpack... not a SUV and a suitcase. And, oh... I've never piloted a plane before, but how hard can that be? I'll just mess around with it and hope I stumble on the right answer.

    So, again... sorry.

    -Pete
     
  10. Petraio Prime

    Petraio Prime TPF Noob!

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    Maybe hire a pro? That's what I would do.
     
  11. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It's all about the family of angles. This is discussed quite extensively in Light Science and Magic.

    Yes. kelbytraining Scroll down to the Enhancing Highlights and Shadows video.
     
  12. epatsellis

    epatsellis TPF Noob!

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    Pete and I seem to agree every time one of these subjects come up.

    In reality, the OP has two choices, do the best he can (and hope that he can get something acceptable), and have typical, Flickr/Web Forum/student looking shots that are just so so.

    or....

    IF you want to position yourself at the top of the heap with a professional attitude and approach, hire a pro that has spent a greater part of his life (and a small fortune) to learn how to light effectively and portray a subject in an aesthetically pleasing way.

    Or to put it in a more relevent tone..I can choose to buy my balls and clubs from a pro at the country clubs's clubhouse, where I will get exactly what I need, albeit more expensively. or I can go to flea market and buy a set of clubs and some balls.
    Both, to the uneducated/inexperienced, produce the same result. However, the professional approach nets you exactly what your stated needs are, ensuring success without impediments. That's not to say I won't get lucky once in a while, but remember, even a blind squirrel gets a nut now and then.

    As a professional photographer, my job is to show your product in it's best possible light, cost effectively. However, just as I'm pretty sure I won't get a world class set of golf clubs for $20, the client has to be somewhat realistic with regards to price vs. cost. Often times the least expensive way to do this kind of work is the most expensive, long term. A professional image is just that, and anything that portrays your company as less than the top of the heap works against that image.

    The choice is yours.
     

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