photographing pottery

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Skyeg, Apr 24, 2004.

  1. Skyeg

    Skyeg TPF Noob!

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    iv been asked to photograph som pottery, it is colorful and very glossy and reflective. iv only really photographed people and plants. how would you set it up? im thinking a curved grey background...but what about lighting?

    thanks for any info you can provide
     
  2. drlynn

    drlynn TPF Noob!

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    You definitely want to control the lighting very carefully. I would suggest an open window, and a white reflector on the off side to fill in the shadows.
    Light from an open window on a clear day is very easy to control, since it is coming just from one direction. Be sure to cut all lamps, overhead lights, etc. off and block any other windows except the one you're using for your source. The reflector ( a piece of white posterboard will serve as a substitute if you don't have a reflector) will bounce a bit of soft light into the shadows. The closer you put the reflector, the more light it will bounce onto the pottery.

    If you have access to studio equipment, be sure to use softboxes to cut the glare. I have heard great things about some of the small, self-contained light boxes that are sold for product photography for eBay, etc.

    But unless the person you're shooting for wants commercial product photography, I would prefer the natural light method. If the day is fairly bright and the walls in the room you're using are light, you might not even need the reflector to get good results. Open shade, such as on a covered porch or under a tree also helps you control the direction and quality of your light and avoid hot spots.

    The most important thing (obviously. Not trying to insult your intelligence here, I'm just obsessive about stating the obvious, just in case it isn';t obvious to someone :wink: ) is to NOT use flash unless you have a good softbox or some equivalent attached. And then take some with and without the flash to make sure you didn't get any hot spots off the shiny glaze finish of the pottery.

    Sorry if I 've rambled on too much. Hope something here helped. :D
     
  3. Skyeg

    Skyeg TPF Noob!

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    thanks, that did help....i was hoping you wouldnt say to use a window.... windows arnt as fun at a bunch of fancy lights and stuff... i probubly wont be able to use a window, so ill pick up a softbox. should the light source be above the pot? and if so by how much? should i still use a reflector? or use a seccond flash?
     

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