Product Photography Question

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by JillJ, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. JillJ

    JillJ TPF Noob!

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    I need to get some good pics of our bottled products. Problem is due to the height (about 8 inches) and the fact that they are a "natural" color they keep getting washed out at the tops (see pic below). I have considered different angles to only get the label area and a bit of background. Thoughts? Help?

    Using a digital SLR usually with a light box set up and 3 lights. These will be used for both web and print.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Buckster

    Buckster Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    My first thought is to place a gobo between the light and the overexposed tops of the bottles.

    Saw Dean Collins do this with some jewelry, a watch to be exact. It was all exposed great except for the face of the watch, which was blown out. To solve it, he cut out a round piece of black paper and placed it on top of the tent (actually, he used a diffuser panel, per his usual lighting schemes, but fits what you're doing here) to essentially put a shadow only on the watch face in order to lower the exposure value of a specific part of the product.

    Something to try.

    Second thought is to feather the light so that it's less intense at the top and more at the bottom. Not sure if you can pull that off easily with a light tent. With a diffuser panel, you simply angle the light that hits the panel in such a way that the inverse square law works to your advantage; the panel area closer to the light source will be brighter, and you can use that to feather the light across your product.

    In fact, that's probably what's going on here, but not to your advantage. If you've got lights on each side of the tent, and on on top, maybe just kill the one on top and see if that does the trick.
     
  3. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    You don't provide dimensions, but I suspect that a large portion of your problem results from the light box/tent being too small for the subject. With the bottles being roughly 8"h, the top surface of the box/tent should be at least 16" from the top of the bottles, preferably twice that.
     
  4. JillJ

    JillJ TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for your input! I'll try more height on the light tent. It is not 16" or more, thought it is higher by about 12" I think.

    Also what lens/setting do you think would be best? That photo has been manipulated in Lightroom so it is lighter than it was to begin with. I know she is taking 3 pics at a time with 3 different exposures, but typically only the 2nd one is used.

    I would prefer not to use the light box/tent and to have more "scenic" photos, but we lack a studio light set.

    Jill
     
  5. GeneralBenson

    GeneralBenson TPF Noob!

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    I would just make a second exposure where the top is well exposed and the bottom are way to dark, then stack them in photoshop with a gradient mask. Done.
     
  6. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I took this thread as a challenge. Now trust me when I say that I'm no lighting expert.... at all. I didn't have a "natural" color bottle, so I used white. :meh:

    I used three off-camera Nikon SB-800 flashes. Two on either side of a 28"x28" light tent ~8" higher than the products and ~45° off axis. These had an 8" gobo, camera right aimed to hit mid-way of the background, camera left to hit first third of the background. Camera right flash zoomed to 50mm, camera left zoomed to 105mm. One flash beside camera level with the lens shooting through a 15" softbox.

    f/10, 1/250, ISO200
    [​IMG]




    Of course, You could change the background color. I only have white, grey and black. But HERE are some examples of other colors.​


    f/8, 1/250, ISO200
    [​IMG]


    This probably doesn't answer any of your concerns, but it was a fun excersize nonetheless. :D
     
  7. grafxman

    grafxman TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I suggest you investigate the Cokin creative system with graduated filters. Here are some links:

    COKIN Creative System - The Holder System
    COKIN Creative System - Filters A/P/Z/X - Graduated Filters
    COKIN Creative System - Filters A/P/Z/X - Graduated Filters - Graduated Filter Details

    They are normally used to dim bright skies but they should solve your problem. They are inexpensive and easily transferred from camera to camera. Hope this helps. Good luck.
     
  8. Dominantly

    Dominantly TPF Noob!

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    I prefer that black sweep. Makes it look a bit more refined for some reason.
     
  9. Plato

    Plato TPF Noob!

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    Use a dark background, something that does not blend in with the bottle color.
     

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