Need help with product photography!

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by jason32835, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. jason32835

    jason32835 TPF Noob!

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    Well I had the bright idea to go out and buy some cool stuff from China to sell online. I thought, "how hard can it be to snap some pretty photos for the website?"

    Well I'm a month into and have yet to take a half way decent photo and I need some help! I made another mistake and bought a cheap light box and some tiny little lights off e-bay.. so yeah, they don't work.

    I know if I throw enough money at this, it would be more straight forward. I just don't have much money to throw at it!

    Can anyone suggest a simple and affordable way to set up a product photo studio in my home? Should I be using strobes? Do I need a light box or filters? What kind of material do I need for a backdrop that will actually look white? What kind of wattage should I be trying to throw at this?

    I'm at a loss.. my shots look terrible and I need them to be fantastic. I need to go from zero to 100 and quick.

    Here are some untouched shots of what I need to photograph. Any help would be great!

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  2. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    Hmmmm .... I'm not a good resource for product photography, but that looks like a nice Go board ...

    Ian
     
  3. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    First, problems in photography don't get more straight-forward by throwing money at them. Quite the opposite; the more gear you have to use, the more complex things become. Problems are solved more with time, experience, and knowledge, then with a large pocketbook.

    Second, that's a lightbox? It looks like a piece of wrinkly cloth. Try the $10 DIT Macro Studio on Strobist.
     
  4. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes, the DYI light box is a good thing to try. It works and it very low cost.

    You can use a flash with remote trigger or just put your camera on a tripod and use a regular "Sunlight" type bulb lamps. One important point is use a diffused light. The DYI light box white panels on the side or top will diffuse the light for you.

    Of course, you can use studio lights or a flashes with softbox / shoot through white umbrella.
     
  5. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    The concept behind the DIY Lightbox in musicaleCA's post is exactly the right approach. You may need to scale it up a bit for some of your pieces, but the design concept would be the same.

    To get a pure white backgound you need to use a smooth translucent background sweep that is supported by a sheet of glass or clear plex. You then shine an additional light or two through this background from behind and below. No matter how well you light it, an opaque white sweep will reproduce in shades of grey, sometime very light grey but still grey, when lit only from the front with the same lights that light the subject.
     
  6. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I'm having a similar situation for a friend. I certainly don't have it nailed down, but two things are glaring to me.

    First is your background. Go to a local art supplies store and get some poster board in the colors you fancy. The seamless look is essential IMO.

    Secondly, you have to figure out your lighting. The hot spots are a killjoy. That, my friend is the tough part. My friend is a potter and is starting her website. I shot a few Sunday morning (with a killer hangover from the night before.....) and I got a couple of decent shots, but the highly reflective glaze was doing me in.

    Here's a couple of examples that I got. I used a three light setup. Left, right and behind.


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    These weren't so bad, but the vertical pieces did me in. In fact, I haven't even uploaded them to show. I have someone who will be helping me on the lighting.​
     
  7. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Hey kundalini, those are not bad at all. I would even say quite good. Why don't you post some of the others in a new thread so we can see the problem you are having.
     
  8. jason32835

    jason32835 TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for all the great advice! That light box looks right in my price range. One big problem with my ebay light box is the size, so with this I can adjust it up to my needs.

    I'll post back with my results!
     

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