Help With Basic Product Photography

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Reluctant Photographer, Jun 24, 2020.

  1. Reluctant Photographer

    Reluctant Photographer TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2020
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm trying to take some halfway decent pictures for eBay and so far it's not going very well.

    I need colorful product images that stand out against a bright white background. I started off using a white table in the corner of two off white walls with a cheap daylight LED softbox light on either side. I used my phone to take pictures. This setup worked alright, except for the yellowish-white walls that sometimes looked too yellow.

    So I "upgraded" to a three-sided homemade photo box. I painted three pieces of plywood white and built a half-cube (bottom and two sides), which I then placed in the corner on top of the table. This actually made my pictures worse: now they're way too dull, and all the colors are washed out.

    I tried playing with exposure settings, but this didn't help much. It just made the images lighter or darker. I need high contrast and saturation, and I obviously don't know how to achieve this.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Most YouTube tutorials make it seem like lights + background = point-and-shoot success, but that hasn't been my experience. Not trying to make great art here, I just want something less heinously incompetent than the average eBay picture. I'd like to take a large number of pictures as efficiently as possible, so the simpler the workflow the better.

    Sorry to use my first post for a noob question, but it's where I'm at. If anyone can tell me what I'm doing wrong that would be extremely helpful. Bonus points if you word your response so that even a total idiot can easily follow what you're saying.


     
  2. Tropicalmemories

    Tropicalmemories No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2019
    Messages:
    769
    Likes Received:
    836
    Location:
    Thailand
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Does your phone have an 'Advanced' or 'Manual' option?

    Your set up sounds capable of doing what you need, but white balance or exposure may be off.

    The light may look white to your eyes, but the phone camera may see it differently, and also the bright, white background may be confusing the phones basic auto exposure system, so underexposing the subject.

    If you have White Balance setting, experiment with other settings, such as flourescent lights, LED lights or Cloudy Sky.

    Also, if there's a Touch Focus system, or point focus option, make sure the focus point is on the subject, as the exposure control is often linked to the focus point.

    If you have no manual controls, then try to get close so the subject fills the whole centre of the screen. Also try switching the flash on - and cover the flash LED so it does not light your subject. Your lights and the phone's LED flash may have a similar colour temperature, so this can help set up the phone better.

    Also consider some basic editing - download something like Pixlr or Lightroom to your phone (both free for the basic version) and use the sliders to increase 'Vibrance' and Contrast. Or with lightroom just use the Auto adjust button.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Original katomi

    Original katomi TPF Supporters Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2019
    Messages:
    2,067
    Likes Received:
    836
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Sounds like the white balance is off and you are picking up the warm/red effect off the lights
    Have you looked for daylight bulbs, they provide a more blue light they are used a lot by people who do needle craft as it gives a daylight effect light
     
  4. Clement Rudder

    Clement Rudder TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2020
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    UK
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I also think the matter is in the light. Try to study this question in more detail, maybe see some video tutorials with training. I used to have problems with this too. But then I studied this issue and bought a great daylight lamp.
     
  5. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    Messages:
    18,354
    Likes Received:
    4,785
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Please post an example.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  6. GlenGeen

    GlenGeen TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2019
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    5
    GG7_0179.jpg I am on my work computer right now so if I get a chance tonight then I will post up some pics that I did for our ebay.

    I used a simple white poster board. I taped it to the seatback and seat bottom to hold it in place.
    I then placed my product, in this case it was a Hummel figurine in the center of the posterboard.
    I chose to use my speedlight, off-camera with a Stofen diffuser, fired by my on-camera pop-up flash to light the light the image from above.

    This is not something that you should have to work hard for. I can find where some make light boxes from white bed sheets and then use garage lamps to light the object through the sheet.

    Once you find a suitable white background then experiment with lighting.

    **edit**
    My equipment:
    Nikon D700
    Nikkor 105 Micro
    Nikon SB-600 with Stofen diffuser
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    47,596
    Likes Received:
    18,522
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Good pic of the Hummel
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Soocom1

    Soocom1 Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2006
    Messages:
    2,577
    Likes Received:
    1,122
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit


    Position of the lights is making a harsh shadow.
    color balance in the red. Check the camera setting and see if there is a custom setting lost inside.

    Check color temp also.

    IMO, the lighting is mostly ok, but the harshness of the light is what is blowing everything out.
     

Share This Page