Product Photography Beginner Set

Discussion in 'Commercial/Product photography' started by Frontrunner, Jul 13, 2009.

  1. Frontrunner

    Frontrunner TPF Noob!

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    Hi all,

    My company is setting up a webshop. This webshop will have a wide range of shoes (approximately 450). I've been doing some research and I was wondering what you would advice me.

    At this point I'm looking at a "studiokit" from interfit. This set contains a fotocube and two daylight lamps. We are interested in a kit like this, because we don't want to modify the photos with photoshop to get an almost perfect white background.

    Is this the way to go, or would you advice me something else? Any other tips regarding product photography for a beginner?
     
  2. Don Kondra

    Don Kondra Been spending a lot of time on here!

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  3. Imaginis

    Imaginis TPF Noob!

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    I would recommend your company to hire a professional photographer instead of putting you on the spot to do the job (presuming you are not actually a professional photographer).
     
  4. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    QFT. That, and many products are photoshopped to hell and back so that they look pristine. No shoe doesn't have wrinkles in the outer material, so why do all those shoes on billboards look so perfect? ;)
     
  5. Don Kondra

    Don Kondra Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Nah, product photography on a small scale is fairly straightforward.

    A tripod, light tent, three CF bulbs in clip on reflectors and shoot in Aperture mode.

    If you can, get them to spring for a tethered computer, that helps alot :)

    Cheers, Don
     
  6. epatsellis

    epatsellis TPF Noob!

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    My $.02, fwiw.

    Easy and straightforward, perhaps, perhaps not. About 80% of my clients come about by bailing out somebody who thinks the same thing. Once you have worked with sufficiently consistent and quality lighting and light modifiers, as well as having the real world experience, then it gets somewhat easier.

    Shoes and anything else that's highly reflective demand extreme skill in the use of fill cards and flags, as well as knowing how light will react and knowing how to shoot to eliminate unwanted reflections. Creating highlights and shadows to show shape doesn't automatically happen by itself. A shooting table is always extremely helpful as well. While you can do it, do yo bring that level of expertise to the table, so to speak? If not, it's far better to let those who have spent their lives learning and doing shoot it.

    My preference is for getting it right in camera, if you have to photoshop it to remove a background or adjust levels, you screwed up.
     
  7. Park

    Park TPF Noob!

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    You got it almost right. I think the statement would be more correct as

    Nah, bad product photography on a small scale is fairly straightforward.

    Shoes, particularly women's shoes, are traditionally shot creatively not just like something you are selling on eBay. They should outsource this to a good product photographer and have images that help sell the shoes not just photos taken inside a light tent.

    They are not real but the shoes on this site are examples of what a great product photographer can do. michel tcherevkoff studio :: 212.229.1733
     
  8. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yeah... this is true.

    There's no "one-size-fits-all" for this sort of work.

    -Pete
     
  9. Imaginis

    Imaginis TPF Noob!

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    Well, that completely depends on the end result you expect. If you are looking to get a commercially usable shot, it is much more involved than just setting up a light tent and shooting in Aperture Priority (which will yield a gray background, instead of the desired white). Of course if you don't mind how the shot looks like in the end, it is certainly straightforward.
     
  10. Don Kondra

    Don Kondra Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Oh, I care....

    And did just fine with continuous lights before moving on to studio strobes.

    I will admit I probably spent more time learning to use them than the casual shooter is willing to spend :)

    Having said that, I still maintain someone reasonably competent with their camera can get good results fairly quickly with a light tent, some CF bulbs and a paper backdrop, the $50 tent comes with four backdrops.

    I groan every time I read another "I built a tent" thread. Add up your time, cost of the PVC pipe, cutting up a perfectly good cardboard box, etc. and what have you got :sexywink:

    For what it's worth, this is a very early test shot I think with 45w CF bulbs.

    [​IMG]


    Cheers, Don
     
  11. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    And (remember, we love you, Don) it demonstrates how the lighting is lacking.

    It doesn't communicate the shape of the nozzle or the twist cap, nor the knurls on the twist cap. The label needs some more "pop," and the printing on the back is bleeding through. Also, the top and thumb-side of the sprayer is lost.

    I guess what I'm tying to say is this lighting, while "adequate," is not particularly "good" lighting for this product.

    -Pete
     
  12. Don Kondra

    Don Kondra Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Thanks for that Pete :)

    You do bring up some good points on my test shot.

    The blame for those shortcomings lie more with my amateur attempts at post processing at the time rather than the lighting system.

    I'm not sure this is even relevant anymore since we haven't heard back from the OP but I still maintain, if on a budget, one can get "acceptable" results with continuous lights and a tent at a cost less than the price of one brand name studio strobe.

    The "acceptable" results will take some experimenting to achieve, no matter the lighting system.

    Cheers, Don
     

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