Product Photography Advice

Discussion in 'Commercial/Product photography' started by Jessica332, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. Jessica332

    Jessica332 TPF Noob!

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    I don't have a speedlight, I'm going to try to get by without one. I like your cardboard trick. We have plenty of boxes so this should be very doable. I was thinking I could take a toilet paper tube and put it in the hole to help. I have to wait for night time again to do another shoot (too much sunlight even with the shades down) but in the mean time I can construct everything I need.

    On the shadow, I understand your dislike for it. This exercise is helping me to become a better product photographer, though. Without it I wouldn't have learned all of this from you guys! With everything I'm learning I will be able to apply the theory and techniques to other shots (including those without shadows).

    Incredible video. That opened my eyes. I'm going to see if I can use a big box to really isolate the camera from all these flags. I'm excited to see the difference.


     
  2. Jessica332

    Jessica332 TPF Noob!

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    Alright, update time! I did some more shoots trying my best to use the advice I've been given. I don't have a lens hood yet (its in the mail) but I did try to apply the rest of the advice.

    I took one of the softboxes and removed both the front fabric and the reflective backing, so it was just four bare lights. I then removed three bulbs. I took a small box and covered the bulb with it, and then attached a tube of two toilet paper roll cores (which I had taped together into one long tube) to the box and closed it up, cutting semi-circles in the flaps for the tube to fit through. Its job is to provide direct light. I then covered the light leaks with notecards and tape, and wrapped the whole thing in swaddling. The image shows the swaddling with a little tube poking out (I'll try to get pictures of the box and tube later when it's not swaddled but I didn't want to undo it right now). I took two pictures with that setup (one without the swaddling, one with; the one without had some indirect light due to light leaking). Both required a full 60 seconds exposure on f/14 and f/13 respectively.

    I then added one softbox back into the room, facing away from the setup, with only one bulb on. You can just barely see it at the bottom of the image showing the light tube with the swaddling.

    I took five more pictures at roughly the same exposure with the single-light softbox on: +1.7 according to my camera. I went with +1.7 because I found that over exposing a little helps to brighten up the shot. If I go much lower then it looks too dark (whites look very grey) and if I go much higher it looks washed out.

    I've labeled all the pictures to help. I simply went down varying shutter speeds while adjusting aperture to maintain exposure. You'll notice I placed a big box next to the product. This was my attempt to reduce flagging by blocking the majority of the light coming from the direct light source (based on where I expected it to bounce). It also gave me a place to hide while the shutter was open. I also tried to address flagging objects as I discovered them (same thing with dust - which I kept having to deal with).

    Please let me know what you think, if you have more suggestions, how I can keep improving etc. Thanks for all the help so far! If you have an opinion on which picture is best (or which two or three) I would really appreciate it. I haven't done any editing on these at all (aside from making the file size smaller on a couple because they were too big to upload).
     

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  3. Jessica332

    Jessica332 TPF Noob!

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    Of the above images, I selected "f13 with indirect" to adjust in photoshop. Please let me know if you have any feedback.

    I applied a sharpening layer to help bring out the bottle texture a little, as well as two levels layers, a brightness/contrast layer, and a white point reference (levels). This is the result.

    PS: There's a little dust that I didn't clean up, and it's not cropped.
     

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  4. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    see how your cardboard box is reflecting back on the lid and creating a nice clean solid dark shape on the lid? look at the opposite side that's open to the room -- it's very messy.
     
  5. Jessica332

    Jessica332 TPF Noob!

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    You're right. I need to work on that. I may try another shoot tonight, or I might wait for the lens hood to arrive since I will want to do another one then anyway. It's hard to set up a box on the right side due to space and not wanting to block the direct light source, but I'm sure it can be done with a little effort. I also need to move the direct light source to a bit more of a head-on angle, and that will help make everything else easier.
     
  6. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Wow! You've been busy! So much effort!

    Just a thought: I know you want the shadow, and you're doing fine so far, but what if you experimented some with the location of the shadow? For instance; shadow on the table only, not on the backdrop. You will need to move the table far enough in front of the backdrop so the shadow dies on the table.

    I like most of them, but the one that caught my eye is #3 with the golden shadow with figure inside of it.
     
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  7. Jessica332

    Jessica332 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks! Yes I'm trying my hardest. You're right about the shadow, I do want to play with it more. Your idea of table only is interesting. I think I'll give it a try and see how it goes. I also want to try one where the shadow is closer to "straight-on."

    You liked #3 the most? If you're talking about the one I think you are, that's one of the shots that had no indirect lighting at all. I felt it was a little too dark, which is why I added the indirect bulb for the other shots. You don't think it's too dark?
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017

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