HELP / My First Product Shot

mimazee

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I came up with this for my first catalog shot:

before.jpg


The settings were:

Nikon D80
105mm @ 2.8
f/18 @ 200
Main light on the left (medium softbox)
Overhead fill (large softbox)
Formica bounce on the right
Tabletop with Plexiglas (no paper backdrop)

I went with my Sekonic L-308S, and I don't know why it still came out so dark, and neither do I know whether the blurriness comes from off-focus or underexposure. I made sure the background is about 2 stops brighter than the subject, but now I figure the overhead light landed too far back, so it didn't really come into play. I wanted to white out the background completely so that I don't have to knock it out in Photoshp. Would having another light underneath the Plexiglas help as well? At any rate, I photoshopped it, and now I have:

after.jpg


My client still thinks it is not crisp enough. What am I doing wrong?
 

wildmaven

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I think your client is probably looking for wonderful detail on the spider design, which is getting burned out. There is also some fuzziness around the edges. Are you using a tripod? Did you set your white balance? What light settings did you use in-camera (flourescent, etc). How is your focus control set? Center, honeycomb, etc.
 

Big Mike

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It looks underexposed...try it with more exposure.

Hard to tell, but it looks like the shot isn't is sharp focus...but shooting at F18, the DOF should be sufficient :scratch:
 

wildmaven

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It looks underexposed...try it with more exposure.

Hard to tell, but it looks like the shot isn't is sharp focus...but shooting at F18, the DOF should be sufficient :scratch:

I know, that confused me, too, which is why I asked about using a tripod.

What was your shutterspeed?
 

Alpha

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It looks underexposed...try it with more exposure.

Hard to tell, but it looks like the shot isn't is sharp focus...but shooting at F18, the DOF should be sufficient :scratch:

More exposure is not the correct answer. More light is, particularly on the background.
 

JerryPH

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More light is one suggestion that will do the most, but also I would suggest shooting in the lens' sweet spot, and on most lenses its not F/18, but somewhere between F/7 to F/11. Research for what the sweet spot is on our lens and that will add another level. Some judicious playing with sharpening and contrast will also add some extra sparkle. Tripods are musts IMHO. Triple check for sharpest focus.

Sometimes its not one or two things that put the finishing touches on it, but the right combination of all things.
 
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mimazee

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Thank you guy for your wonderful feedbacks. I appreciate it.

I think your client is probably looking for wonderful detail on the spider design, which is getting burned out. There is also some fuzziness around the edges. Are you using a tripod? Did you set your white balance? What light settings did you use in-camera (flourescent, etc). How is your focus control set? Center, honeycomb, etc.

Yes, I was using a tripod.
I just set white balance at 5000k, but I threw in ColorChecker at the beginning, and corrected in Photoshop later.
I did not use autofocus.
 
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mimazee

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Thank you guys for your feedbacks. I appreciate it.

Just one more thing. If anyone can think of an article on handle different colors of the subject, links or book title would be greatly appreciated. They have shoes of all different colors, that's why. Thanks again.
 

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