Need advice setting up a room for product photography

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by dpinion, Feb 9, 2010.

  1. dpinion

    dpinion TPF Noob!

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    Greetings all,
    I have browsed around the web until my eyes hurt, so I thought I would try making a post for my specific needs. I work for a company that builds computer boards. Recently they became aware that I dabble in photography, and have asked what I need to take our own pictures of products. I have brought in some basic equipment, but they are now asking for my recommendations for equipment. That is where you good people come in. :)


    Instead of trying to describe everything, I have taken a couple of shots (for reference I have a Nikon D40 and D300 that I can use) of the room and current equipment to hopefully let you see what I am dealing with. I have also taken a shot of a product for you to see my issues there.

    View of the table/paper/lights:

    [​IMG]

    view of the room (has 1 fluorescent light which is off when taking pictures)

    [​IMG]

    and here is a test shot of a product. It seems much to soft from me trying to blow out the background. I would really like to get the background white so that I don't have to spend a lot of time in photoshop cutting the products out.

    [​IMG]


    Any recommendations on techniques and equipment you could provide would be greatly appreciated. :)
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It looks like your DOF was a little too thin. I'd suggest using a smaller aperture (like F16) for your product shots. You may need an even smaller aperture if the camera is fairly close to the product.

    It might help if you can find a way to have the board sitting higher off of the surface, so that the shadows under it are not so pronounced.

    As for the background, you might try adding a light (or two) that only lights up the background.

    As long as your products aren't too large, you might consider using a light tent to soften the light, rather than umbrellas.
     
  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    If you want a white background, I'd suggest you buy a roll of white paper,and get rid of the cream-colored paper. SuperWhite would be a good paper color.
     
  4. dpinion

    dpinion TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for that. I do need some whiter paper, and that will be on the "gotta have" list I submit. As far as the lights.. The ones I currently have are 250w incandescent bulbs. Should I replace them with some other form of lighting? Is 250W enough for that room? I would like to submit a proposal for more lighting, but if I need to change to a different type, then I need to address that in the proposal. I am currently using the 2 I have to light up the background with a bit of spillage lighting the product itself.

    Mike,
    These are typical products, but we also have rackmount computers that will measure up to 12"H x 19"W x 28"D. A light box (I think) would become problematic when we decide to do "top down" shots of open chassis as I am not sure how we would achieve them.

    For the DOF I am using a Tokina 12-24mm Wide angle and attempting to keep the aperture between f16 and f22 and adjusting shutter speed to compensate. That is a good idea about the height and I will try it.
     
  5. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I'd suggest using a longer focal length, rather than a shorter one. You probably don't want too much distortion. Also, keeping the camera further back from the product, will give you more DOF.

    The power of the lights isn't an issue. You are shooting on a tripod, so you can use as long of a shutter speed as you need. (remember to use a remote or the self timer...and mirror lock up, if you have it).
    If you do add more lights, use the same type of bulb, so that you can keep the color temperature consistent.
     
  6. loki05

    loki05 TPF Noob!

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    hmm...i think you have a good setup there. Definitely use the super white background, and maybe just do a touchup here and there on the actual product. I dunno..i just messed around w/the pic real quick to bring out the darks...just to get the softness out, and it looks decent:

    Original:

    [​IMG]

    Edited:

    [​IMG]

    :confused:
     
  7. dpinion

    dpinion TPF Noob!

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    Hi Loki,
    Thanks for that. What editing did you do on the image? Thanks
     
  8. loki05

    loki05 TPF Noob!

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    NP....I'm using Photoshop CS3
     
  9. dpinion

    dpinion TPF Noob!

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    Did you do a certain action? Adjust curves? Just trying to get a better idea of what process you used.
     
  10. loki05

    loki05 TPF Noob!

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    used a darker layer and then just used the brush tool on certain parts of the motherboard
     
  11. dpinion

    dpinion TPF Noob!

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    ah ok. Thanks
     

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