product shot in-store

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by smitty, Jul 14, 2006.

  1. smitty

    smitty TPF Noob!

    Feb 7, 2006
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    I need to shoot a rotating card rack that will be set up in the store. I assume the lighting will be flourescent. I understand that i need to keep the background as uncluttered as possible, but what is the best way to photograph the rack concerning lighting and angle. This will be for a small product catalog and website. As far as lting goes i have a nikon sb-800 on-camera flash and a 4 light set of alien bee 800's (which I love). I also have a 5-in-one circular reflector and am using a Fuji s2 pro digital. Thanks,
  2. Soocom1

    Soocom1 TPF Noob!

    Feb 27, 2006
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    Southwest US
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    If the shot is to show the rack in the store, then yes reduce the clutter as much as possible. If you are shooting with a cloth background, then a med-to dark contrasting color is in order. (Usually a brown, red or blue color for white items). If shooting in total white light (which in this case you are not) then a soft box is in order. A soft box would actually be one of the best items here in front of the strobe to prevent hot spots on the rack.

    The problem with racks (if they are wire,) is that any connecting lines in the background will clutter the image regardless. So you want to keep the image as simple as possible.

    First: Keep any converging lines, intersecting lines or perpendicular lines to the rack out of the shot as much as possible. Any of the above mentioned lines will cause confusion in the shot. Parallel lines kept at a balanced distance will emphasize the rack (if vertical, opposite if horizontal)

    Second: get the rack (I assume the rack will be away from a wall) in a position that allows depth behind it. You want to make the item 'pop' out so that it looks 3D in the image.

    Third:Try to use depth of field with a wider aperture. This will help 'fuzz out' the background to keep it out of focus enough to see the rack.

    Forth: Try to avoid like colors around the rack. If it is white (most are) keep white or light colored items out of the background as much as possible.

    Fifth: regardless of the equipment used, take a series of test shots, and look at the final result. This will help determine any focus problems, white balance, etc. Avoid reflective light, and avoid too much light contrast. (this always kills product photography.)

    Avoid direct light on the object, because this can obviously cause flair, and other unwanted effects. Set a light up to softly shine BEHIND the rack, but not too close so as to emphasize the depth behind the rack.

    You will have to toy with the rack for a little while to get the best shot.
    Experiment and have fun.

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