Direct Lighting Product Photography

Discussion in 'Photo Assignments & Technical Challenges' started by Jessica332, Sep 27, 2017.

  1. Jessica332

    Jessica332 TPF Noob!

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    I'm interested if anyone here has any advice on achieving good product photography using direct light for a pronounced shadow.

    You can look here for some examples of what I mean: Lapis Facial Oil

    They use direct light in every product hero shot (or nearly every). They pull it off well, with the shadows in the same direction each time. They use a 90 degree white backdrop to help pull it off. Glare is never excessive, but the products - usually in glass - don't show excessive glare.

    What lightning sources can be used to achieve this (with the exception of natural sunlight)? Any advice for mimicking the style?

    Thank you!


     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Use a single light source. In their example the light comes from the right. Place the light at about 1 o'clock and angle it toward the bottle from the side, so that you get a similar shadow. Do not I repeat do not use Two sources of light, but only one. A smallish softbox with the front diffuser removed could light this.
     
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  3. Jessica332

    Jessica332 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the advice! Do you have any advice on what temperature the bulb should be?
     
  4. Arlon Houdge

    Arlon Houdge TPF Noob!

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    Typically the most of people I helped encounter following issue.
    1. artificial light is giving them too much trouble in color. And balancing illumination too is often problem. After much of try, they often give up especially if they are located at place where it is bit too far for me to go there and set up light for them. Or they do not have space to have fixed set up…
    2. there are no budget what so ever for lighting… so, suggestion of getting proper light bulb or flashgun even cheap one is often no go. I mean lightbox/tent is not that expensive either if you do not worry about much on tiny detail… but people pick DIY anyway… so you can guess, they want to pinch penny as much as they can.
    3. Very limited knowhow on how to work with RAW or post-processing in general once it is done, so need to be shot in the manner Post will be minimum. Explaining how to do RAW in Apple Photo or whatever came with computer is not necessary efficient way of doing thing for them.
    4. Tripod which is often needed for such shoot is often absent, and no plan of getting decent one or can only afford rather questionable one. So, that also makes indoor artificial light such as desk lamp even more trickier
    5. Often basic modifier such as reflector are absent, and no plan to getting one. He/She might be willing to make one with foil or whiteboard already got, but that is often about it.
    So, after much of discussion with those type of friends, I typically steer them to shoot outdoor or where you can get ample sunlight using DIY lightbox.

    This will let you shoot in noon-afternoon hours too, although you might want to shoot it in earlier hours where you get cleaner color.

    Just be sure your subject/opening of lightbox is not facing toward Sun which cause subject getting directly lit, and have sun behind… which will illuminate inside lightbox nicely diffused, so you got nice clean light background if you positioned your box carefully.

    And be sure to white balance it often or some reference material within frame, so you can adjust white balance on each shot if necessary.

    Shoot RAW of course…

    Choose spot metering so meter won’t be adjusted to your background.

    Stop it down to f8 or more if possible. Do not worry about ISO too much, but if you need shutter speed with stop it down, do not be shy about jacking up ISO to ISO400–800. It really does not matter for Etsy purpose where you will need fairly limited resolutions.

    That should get you result you would need for Etsy etc.

    After going thru some of photo they shot, and give them adjustment advice they tend to get nice result, and since they are happy, they give me what they created as gift in many instance… so I know they are satisfied.
     
  5. Upadhyay

    Upadhyay TPF Noob!

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    Color temperature of the bulb should not matter as you can adjust the white balance accordingly.
     
  6. jeffW

    jeffW No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Remember the shadow's edge is in relationship to the distance of the object and the surface the shadow(edge) falls upon. Even using a fresnel light source but having the subject too far from the background can produce a soft shadow.
     

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