Shooting a product for a friend, need some tips on lighting

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Restomage, Jul 11, 2009.

  1. Restomage

    Restomage No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well my friend's company wants me to shoot a product for them, a pill container or something similar and I have a general idea of how I want to shoot it, but I'm still a little unsure. I know I want to use a lightbox similar to this:

    [​IMG]

    but I'm gonna go ahead and build it myself out of a cardboard box or something similar. I'm planning on cutting three holes similar to the one pictured, covering them with a thin white sheet, and diffusing the light through. I only have one SB-600, so I'm thinking of positioning it on the top and then have two lights similar to the ones shown on either side. Any other suggestions? Thanks everyone!
     
  2. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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  3. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    Building a small lightbox is very easy & cheap with a little imagination. I would recommend against mixing lights like you have mentioned. Stick with all one kind of light so adjusting the white balance is easier.
     
  4. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    It you only have the one flash, experiement with some reflectors and/or mirrors. For something as small as the product you are shooting, you can turn one light source into more with simple small reflectors, such as white foam core, mirrors, even white paper. Try the light box, but don't limit yourself to it. When I find myself not happy with the light box, I often waste hours fiddling with it. Then I get the product out of it and get what I am after. Sometimes you gotta think outside the box.
     
  5. Restomage

    Restomage No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks for the help everyone, here are my results of testing out my new lightbox. Unfortunately I didn't use a tripod so they came out a little blurred.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Montana

    Montana TPF Noob!

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    Is your white balance correct in these shots?
     
  7. TamiyaGuy

    TamiyaGuy No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    They look fairly good to me! I must also say that the products you have taken photos of are absolute horrors with flash, yet you've managed it pretty well. However, the whire balance looks a little blue for me, try taking a custom white balance reading from the white paper and using that.

    Also, I think the background's a little dim, I'm not sure what's causing that, though.
     
  8. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Use a tripod!


    If you want the background to be 'white', meter it then adjust your settings so that it's 3 stops overexposed. ...Your subject may also become overexposed too though, so just check it as you go.
     
  9. Restomage

    Restomage No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks for the tip, how do I meter just the background?
     
  10. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Just point your camera at it. (Usually, you'll need to press the shutter button half way to activate the meter.)

    Remove the product from the box. Meter the background - looking through the viewfinder you should see something like this: -2,,-1,,0,,+1,,+2
    Zero that out after selecting an apropiate aperture.

    Now set it to 3 stops overexposure. The meter usually only shows 2 stops on either side of zero, just go one past that. One stop is probably 3 clicks of the wheel on your camera.
    Use those settings, put the product back in the box, focus, compose, take the picture.

    Now, when you take the picture, the background will be completely white. If the product is also getting overexposed, you may have to back it off 1 stop. That will make the background a little grey, but it should still be easy enough to bring it back in PP.
     
  11. RONDAL

    RONDAL TPF Noob!

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    i did the whiskey shot, thanks for linking it.

    i have both a lightbox and the other one i threw together for the whiskey bottle shot.

    The trick is getting your white balance correct as well as how you want your light to fall on the subject. if you only have 1 speedlite it might be better to either gel it to match your other light(s) or just use other desk lamps with similiar light color.

    Use the strobist.com website and take a look at some lightbox shots.

    Some tricks i have found for lightbox shots.
    1. use a tripod; this allows you to alter settings and lights one at a time and dont have to worry about more than 1 variable at a time, ie. camera position and different light

    2. use a f1.8 or quicker lens. this allows you to control the depth of field and you can use a very shallow DoF to knock out any distractions in the background

    3. On your camera turn the exposure value up to +1.6 or higher to really over expose the background. This can also be done in post processing

    4. if you are shooting in the lightbox have your lights hitting the back of the box, not onto the subject through the diffuser material. the light will bounce around in the all white box and make its way where it is needed. aiming the light so it falls onto the subject itself can create hotspots, this method allows you to get nice even coverage.

    5. use 11x17" printer paper for a seamless background look. and i find tissue paper works well as the windows on the box

    if you want a picture of my lightbox setup let me know i can snap one here for you shortly if needed
     
  12. RONDAL

    RONDAL TPF Noob!

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    dont know what program you have for post processing but a lot of little issues can be dealt with in post if needed
     

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