Product photography

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Corey123, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. Corey123

    Corey123 TPF Noob!

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    Now I am looking to get into product photography, but specifically food photography. I understand that this would mean (for me at least) a dslr with a decent mega pixel count, and a good macro lens. I am considering the Canon Rebel XSI, with this Canon EF-S 60mm macro lense http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/371176-GREY/Canon_0284B002_EF_S_60mm_f_2_8_USM.html#reviews

    I don't know much about lighting, but I would imagine I would need 2 or 3 lights, and a light box? Any help would be appreciated. I am fresh out of culinary school with little photography education, so I would really like my pictures to speak louder than my lack of schooling. The amount of stuff I need to buy isn't an issue, because I can always save up for more equipment, but I really can't be dropping a thousand dollars on a light. Thanks in advance :D
     
  2. Double H

    Double H TPF Noob!

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    Also keep in mind a lot of food photography isn't really of "food." For instance, the rich, stark-white, creamy milk you see on cereal boxes isn't milk, it's Elmer's glue. Just because your dishes look very appetizing in your kitchen, doesn't guarantee they will look good on "film." There are a lot of tricks getting food to look appealing when photographed. There are people out there who do nothing but make food look good for photographers.

    Good luck.
     
  3. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You don't need a macro lens.

    And what's your budget? That's the important question. You could get hot lights that might make it easier for you because you wouldn't have to learn about flashes, but then you get the disadvantages of hot lights. If you go with some cheap speed lights, you'll have to learn about flash exposures and how to set everything, but you'll have units capable of putting out more power.
     
  4. maulrat

    maulrat TPF Noob!

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    I'm using an XTi with a 50mm lens and I find it a bit difficult to get dishes in my shot at restaurants without sitting at the table behind me. Perhaps you might consider going with a wider lens than 60mm on a crop camera.
     
  5. cnvang

    cnvang TPF Noob!

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    If you want to get into food photography, there is a lot too it...The only lens you need is a tilt-shift lens which will range to about 1200. With lighting you need a lot of light. Know how to shoot with available light, strobe light, and a combination of both. You can get by with two lights, both with softboxes and relfectors. Books I recommend: "Food Photography and Styling" by John F.Carafoli (it might be difficult to find because they stop making prints. You might have to google his name and find his website and buy directly from him. That's what I did.). This book is a must get if your serious about food photography. "Digital Food photography" by Lou Manna.
     
  6. joecoulsonphotography

    joecoulsonphotography TPF Noob!

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    Why is that?
     
  7. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You don't need a TS lens.
     
  8. joecoulsonphotography

    joecoulsonphotography TPF Noob!

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    I know, I wanted to hear why he thought so.

    Good lighting is most important in product photography.

    Then as Double H said, good product.

    Then a good lens and camera.

    In that order IMHO



    50mm will do fine. A little more like an 85mm might be better for small (plates of food) products, to save on distortion and have greater flexibility with the DOF (ie not having to open all the way up to acheive shallow DOF)

    Starting out I would invest in this (or simular) also:

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/402602-REG/Impact_DLS_MK_Medium_Digital_Light_Sheds.html

    Good luck, great money in product photography if you can land the clients.
     
  9. cnvang

    cnvang TPF Noob!

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    Ouch!...lol...made me feel dumb....naw...Yes you really don't need a TS, but a lot food photographers had recommended that lens to me....
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2008
  10. joecoulsonphotography

    joecoulsonphotography TPF Noob!

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    Ummm, I wouldn't really recommend a $1500 lens to tilt the focus plane when you can just stop down and get pretty much the same results, TS lenses are much more widely used as landscape and architectural tools.
     
  11. saltface

    saltface TPF Noob!

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    ...unless you want really good shots of individual Cheerios.
     
  12. Corey123

    Corey123 TPF Noob!

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    I am very pleased with how quickly everyone responded :D I'm definitely going to stay here a bit for all of my photography needs :D

    I was considering that particular macro lens, because it was one of the recommendations on one of those lens buying guides. It said it was good for product photography, and particularly good for food. I'm also looking into getting a zoom lens.
    I'll definitely get a book though.
    Anyone have any suggestions for lightboxes?
     

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