How to photograph clothing on a mannequin & white BG?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by stereogenic, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. stereogenic

    stereogenic TPF Noob!

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    Hello! I'm completely new to photography and to this forum. I am opening an online store and I want to learn how to photograph clothes (including white, black, any color) on a dress form mannequin with a white background. I'm doing all of this from home with very, very limited space. I have only about 6-7 feet from the background to set up the tripod. There is a window on the opposite side of the background, and directly adjacent to the right of the background. Here is the equipment that I currently have:

    Canon EOS Rebel T3 12.12MP with 18-55mm IS II lens
    Canon Speedlite 580EX II
    Fotodiox 5' x 7' Collapsible Black + White 2-in-1 Background, Backdrop Kit w/ Stand Support (link)
    Fotodiox 6" x 8" Softbox (link)
    43" 5-in-1 Collapsible Multi-Disc Light Reflector (link)
    Tripod

    I would like for my results to come out something like this:
    [​IMG]


    Is this possible with my equipment and lighting? What would be the best way to control the lighting and the shadow that the mannequin produces? Would it be better to photograph at night in complete darkness or during the day with the windows opened? I appreciate any input! Thanks in advance. :)


     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    First of all, per TPF rules, please link to rather than embed images to which you do not hold usage rights.

    To answer your question, with your current equipment and location, you're not going to acheive those results. You will need at least two (preferably three) lights, at least 5' (preferably 10') between background and subject, and about the same in front.

    If I were to light this, I would have one light on a short stand directly behind the mannequin at full power to blow out the background. I would have one light high camera left and one lower camera right reduced by 1/3 - 1/2 stop.

    You can do a decent job with your gear, but it won't be quite this good. Head over to the Strobist Blog and read up on OCF techniques.

    Good luck.
     
  3. stereogenic

    stereogenic TPF Noob!

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    I apologize about the image. Thanks for the input, I'll see if I can move to a room with more space to use that setup.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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  5. Bossy

    Bossy No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I would probably just try to use natural light. Put it by a big window with a white backdrop about 5 feet from the subject, shoot in RAW, and edit to make it look better. It's not ideal, but it also doesn't have you spending a ton of money either. You can also do something similar and bounce your flash off a plain wall to the left of the mannequin.
     
  6. DiskoJoe

    DiskoJoe Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I would suggest investing in a better lens with better image resolution. Your kit would be okay but not great. If you want better sales you want great. If you open a shop you could possibly write it off as a business expense.
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Clothes on a mannequin don't move, so they could put the camera on a tripod and set their current lens to F8 or F11 and get fantastic results. Time, effort and money spent on lighting would be a much better investment.
     

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