Photographing furniture


TPF Noob!
Jul 31, 2003
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I want to make photos of some furniture items as close as what they do in expensive catalogs. I have two lamps 500 watts each but these cast sharp shadows. I made two large reflectors using aluminum foil but these don't give enough lighting. Furniture is coated with woodgrain-like coating which is not embossed and is fairly reflective, so if there isn't a huge amount of light, it looks almost like it's solid color.

I ordered an umbrella and I'm waiting for it now but I was hoping to get some advice from experienced folks!

Do I need more powerful light? More umbrellas?

I also ordered a tripod, and I hope to try to take picture with longer shutter speed (is that how it's called?)..

Is umbrella used to cast the light that is uniform enough for background to be cut out in photoshop using magic wand? I see in catalogs they sometimes have pieces of furniture on perfectly white background, I assume they cut it out somehow? I tried doing it in photoshop with quickmask but it doesn't look very good, you can see a little specks of background in some spots and in others I cut too much and it looks like the chest was gnawed on by termites.


- Andrei
im not sure how everybody does it, but i've watched my hubby complete a catelog for a toy company and it was lots of photoshop work... im sure u can almost attain the same results with the proper lighting ... he even had to fake shadows :lol: ... and used lots of layers in photoshop for color richness... keeping in mind that most of the time, the photos have to go to print and the client wants to represent their product under the best "light"

just one piece of advice for ya, in these catelogs, dont beleive that everything u see is "real" ;)
Thanks Dew, I'll try photoshopping the hell out of it..
You also want to stay away from the sharp light. If you have just two 500Watt lamps (too strong in my opinion) try hanging a white sheet in front of them to difuse the light.

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