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Lesson 1: Introduction to Lighting & Equipment´s archives ↓

Lesson 1: Page 01

Lesson 1: INTRO TO DIGITAL PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHY

Product photography is everywhere in our lives, everywhere we look, everywhere we go. Magazines, brochures, the web, and advertisements all show products for sale. All these products were photographed in a manner to make them appeal to the buying public and get them to purchase the product.  There are lots of lighting techniques, tips, and tricks that you can use to create good images to sell products.

To effectively photograph products or any subject in the business of photography, you need to understand lighting and how crucial it is to successful product photography. Here are thoughts and demos on required equipment.

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Lesson 1: Page 02

The photo on the left shows a 7” and 22” reflector.  The middle shows products shot with 7” reflector, right shows product shot with the soft 22” reflector. Notice the shadows?  Hard edged vs. soft edged.

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Lesson 1: Page 03

Light Boxes

This lighting accessory also comes in a variety of sizes from extra small to extra large and can be custom built for very large product needs, such as cars. The size of light spread and highlight needed for your subject will determine the size of light box you should use.  Light boxes, also called Soft Boxes, produce soft light similar to umbrellas. But because the box is enclosed and has an abrupt edge, the light spread is much more, narrow than an umbrella. This is helpful for controlling the spread of light on subjects and backgrounds. Keep in mind that different manufacturers make their box sizes different than each other. One companies large may be bigger or smaller than their competitors also called large.

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Lesson 1: Page 04

Lights

I have both studio strobe power packs, where the light head plugs into the power pack, and mono lights, where each light is the power pack and strobe head in one package. I use the power pack and heads when in the studio or location, and when I need lots of power output and what dictates that is a subject that is huge, like an industrial machine as an example.The content you are trying to access is only available to members. Sorry.

Lesson 1: Page 05

How do the lights work?

For this example I will only describe the back of a White Lightning as I believe most strobes are similar.

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Lesson 1: Page 06

Grip Case

I also use another older Pelican case for what is called the Grip Case. In this case are extension cords, clamps, black sheets, tools, duct tape, straps, barn doors, rags, ceiling clamps, and other odds and ends. This case is always packed and really is designed for shooting on-location so I don’t forget everything. In the studio I open and use as needed but also have a small roller tool chest like an automotive shop would use, and it has many of the same tools in it.

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Lesson 1: Page 07

Hot Lights

Hot lights are continuous lights that are not strobe and are designed for photography. They are similar to movie and video lights, but the nicer packages come with lots of accessories to aid in still photography. These are a nice to have in the studio for shooting products as ‘what you see is what you get’.   They can also be used for people photography as well. The content you are trying to access is only available to members. Sorry.

Lesson 1: Page 08

Supplemental or secondary light is strobe (flash) could be continuous  ‘hot lights’.  Strobes are flash lights and hot lights are constant lights. In both cases, you can set up these lights and move them in or out of your photo setup.The content you are trying to access is only available to members. Sorry.

Lesson 1: Page 09

LIGHT QUALITY: FLAT VS CONTRAST

Flat light has a shorter relationship between highlight and shadows. Imagine white and black objects against white. If the light is soft and diffused (flat) there will most likely not be a black shadow or a pure white highlight. Contrasty light has a more extreme range between shadow and highlight. The same subjects with hard light as the light source will probably have a pure black area in the shadows and a white highlight.

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Lesson 1: Page 10

INVERSE SQUARE LAW

This is another important fact about light. The illumination of a light source varies inversely by the square of the distance from the source. When you move a light source away from the subject, the light falls off.  If you have a light source three feet from your subject and move it to six feet from your subject, the light fall off will not be by half, but rather be 25% of the original light value at 3 feet.The content you are trying to access is only available to members. Sorry.

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