Lesson 16 Advanced Studio Products´s archives ↓
We now return to advanced techniques for studio products. This lesson will include different approaches and techniques for lighting and capturing products. Some of these techniques may actually be easier to achieve using Photoshop, but we will not cover those approaches until later. Our approach will be for the client that wants you to provide the best image capture for a particular product.The content you are trying to access is only available to members. Sorry.
This is an example of shiny plastics and the solving of some problems that happen with many shiny products that need to be knocked out. Knowing the client wanted to knockout the product from the background, I used white for the background. When I set the camera on the backdrop and positioned the overhead light, my biggest problem became apparent. When the camera was set down, the shiny plastic began to reflect the very surface it was set on and it created an unintentional highlight across the bottom of the camera. Pretty much any color that came in contact with the camera reflected some sort of highlight.The content you are trying to access is only available to members. Sorry.
I used two large light boxes, one on each side of the camera for lighting to create highlights and shadows and show the texture of the product. The image on the right shows the knocked out product.The content you are trying to access is only available to members. Sorry.
For this setup, I wanted a Hallmark feel to the images. I started with a folding table and some shiny yellow wrapping paper spread across it for the surface. My wife wrapped the presents and we ordered a cake to match the yellow paper. Once we had the cake in place, we spread out the ribbons and presents for a nice compositional layout. The content you are trying to access is only available to members. Sorry.
Other Light Modifiers
There are other ways you can manipulate your light. In this case, I used glass blocks, the same that you may find an entire wall made from in an office building. You can get these by the case and they are excellent for mottling the light. In this photo, I stacked 4 glass blocks up on the upper left corner and shined a raw head through the blocks. It distorts and models the light and creates shafts of light as you can see in this photo. I then placed a large light box overhead as a fill light. The theme for this old photo was shopping and in particular, the coupon clipper. This image would then be used in the ads and Sunday supplement sections where the coupons are located.The content you are trying to access is only available to members. Sorry.
The trick is moving the lights around until the light is perfectly even across the art with no reflections on the art itself. This should work for you, but let’s go up a level. Sometimes you will have paintings with glass that cannot be removed or the frame is highly reflective. You can get Polarizing screens for your lights from the gel makers like Rosco. They are expensive. You put one on each light with the polarizing angle pointing the same way. Then you put a Polarizing filter on your lens and rotate it until the reflections are totally gone. This is cross polarizing.The content you are trying to access is only available to members. Sorry.
You can create an amazing amount of realistic scenarios in the smallest of shooting spaces. The idea is to not have to go to a real location, particularly outdoors, where you have no control over outdoor light. In the studio you have total control. For example, large furniture companies rarely shoot their products in someone’s home. There is usually not enough space and other contingencies that would make that difficult. Instead, they find a large studio that specializes in furniture and has many of the necessary abilities to create the scene. They will have props such as lamps and dressers and the ability to build a real looking ‘fake’ wall to setup behind the couch to give the illusion that it is a real house. When you see an ad for an SUV that is sitting on the rim rock overlooking the Grand Canyon, there is a high probability that the SUV was photographed in the studio and a location photographer went to the Grand Canyon and captured the rim rock scene. You can create as well, many very realistic setups in your shooting space as well.The content you are trying to access is only available to members. Sorry.
In another set requested by Nike, they wanted a trail scene where we could photograph their trail running shoes. I came up with the idea of setting up a fake forest floor setting in the studio. I ventured over to the large city owned park and with a bucket and small shovel, snuck into the woods to gather pine needles, cones, and sticks. Upon returning to the studio, I laid out a large sheet of plastic and poured my forest bounty onto the plastic and spread it out to dry for a day.The content you are trying to access is only available to members. Sorry.