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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Still Life, B/W & Experimental Talk 
Thread started 19 Jan 2018 (Friday) 09:56
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Product Photography - how are they getting these images?

 
m.shalaby
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Jan 19, 2018 09:56 |  #1

Hi folks - Long time Portrait photographer but somewhat new to product / still life photography and could use some help.

How are these folks getting this light quality? I tried using a table & x2 softboxes but the lighting didn't quite envelope the setting like these image.

I'm thinking they are using a large light box but the camera seems to be pointing straight down so I'm questioning that theory. Any tips would be great, - thanks !!


Example:
https://hodinkee.imgix​.net …4d574b74a009f5d​eb6872b244 (external link)

Example:
http://porhomme.com …aunch-2016-nato-strap.jpg (external link)

Exmaple:
https://cdn.shopify.co​m …048x2048.jpg?v=​1470782553 (external link)




  
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PhotosGuy
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Post edited 4 months ago by PhotosGuy.
     
Jan 19, 2018 10:46 |  #2

Sometimes it's adding a light. And sometimes it's subtracting part of that light with a flag. Browning .22 - 3 light set-up

Also see: Often we would hang black cloth along the bottom of the flat to kill the highlights in the side to darken the lower portion.

I once worked at Boulevard Photographic. (external link) While we primarily shot cars for the "Big Three", we also did other agency work. One of the guys there was Mason Pollock who shot food primarily on 8" X 10" transparency film. I used to stop in at his set in one of the studios to see what he was doing as he tweaked this light & that light throughout the day to get everything just right. It was an eye opening experience! There was no Photoshop back then, & I wish I had one of his images to show, but...

Recently I ran across Jonathan Pollock (external link) who may or may not be related, but he also shoots food among other things, & his results are very similar. Anyone who wants to shoot anything should really click on that link & look at his work.


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
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Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Post edited 4 months ago by Left Handed Brisket.
     
Jan 19, 2018 10:59 |  #3

m.shalaby wrote in post #18544383 (external link)
I'm thinking they are using a large light box but the camera seems to be pointing straight down so I'm questioning that theory. Any tips would be great, - thanks !!

why would camera placement effect the ability to use a large softbox?

i think shot 1 and 3 might be composite images, at least in part. In 1, the shadow of the watch shows the main light to the upper left of the frame while the other shadows show main at upper right. In 2 the watch shadow inside the band holes shows light above and right while there is little shadow to the left of the watch and virtually zero on the newspaper cast by the book.

Not that that couldn't be achieved with good fill and main placement and balance.

the image with the camera seems to not be a composite.

I think you should be thinking along the lines of a massive fill light and a smaller, but still large gridded or para type light for the main.


PSA: The above post may contain sarcasm, reply at your own risk | Not in gear database: Auto Sears 50mm 2.0 / 3x CL-360, Nikon SB-28, SunPak auto 322 D, Minolta 20

  
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Wilt
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Post edited 4 months ago by Wilt. (6 edits in all)
     
Jan 19, 2018 11:34 |  #4

Shot 1 with source that is 'medium' in size...neither a virtual point source (which would cause hard shadow edges) nor a 'large source' (which would largely eliminate shadow edges)

Shot 2...look closely at the reflection seen in the camera lens in the photo! It shows how it was illuminated fundamentally. But what is seen in the lens reflection (stronger left, weaker right) does not match what highlights are seen in the chrome parts of the watch, which exhibits a large bright light source from the right of the set, so a third source was set and it is simply not seen in the reflection in the camera lens.

Shot 3...definitely a 'large source' (for the distance of light-to-subject...the source might have been only 24" but used only 24" away, for example) offset toward photo top from lens position, and a bit more to the right of lens position.


Product phototgraphy can be one or two sources with a lot of reflective white cards around to cause hightlights seen in metal or glass, and can include 'negative lighting' via black cards positioned at strategic places in order to emphasize form and contours of the subject.


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m.shalaby
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Jan 19, 2018 15:52 |  #5

Gotcha, so you guys are thinking simple softboxes, 2 or posslibly 3. And no photo tent (which is what I meant with my "shooting straight down" comment.

I currently have x3 20x28" Softboxes. Do you recommend a much larger one ?




  
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Wilt
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Post edited 4 months ago by Wilt.
     
Jan 20, 2018 00:40 |  #6

m.shalaby wrote in post #18544617 (external link)
Gotcha, so you guys are thinking simple softboxes, 2 or posslibly 3. And no photo tent (which is what I meant with my "shooting straight down" comment.

I currently have x3 20x28" Softboxes. Do you recommend a much larger one ?

'Large' is RELATIVE! From a 'soft light' point of view, 16" softbox at 16" distance is equally soft as 48" softbox at 48" distance. The real difference between the two distances (16" vs. 48") is how much or how little falloff of intensity due to 1' change in distance.

So if your subject is small, you can use 16" softbox, but if it the subject is 6' you need a large softbox for the coverage that cannot be provided with 16" softbox.


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Jan 20, 2018 08:10 |  #7

I would want fill light to be a larger than 20x28 source. It could be bounced off the ceiling, shot through a large piece of diffusion material, or a large soft box.


PSA: The above post may contain sarcasm, reply at your own risk | Not in gear database: Auto Sears 50mm 2.0 / 3x CL-360, Nikon SB-28, SunPak auto 322 D, Minolta 20

  
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nathancarter
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Post edited 3 months ago by nathancarter.
     
Jan 25, 2018 14:04 |  #8

m.shalaby wrote in post #18544617 (external link)
Gotcha, so you guys are thinking simple softboxes, 2 or posslibly 3. And no photo tent (which is what I meant with my "shooting straight down" comment.

I currently have x3 20x28" Softboxes. Do you recommend a much larger one ?

Light tents are an easy way to get very mediocre results. Good for one-and-done assembly-line product photos when you need to make a lot of low-value photos of low-value items in a hurry.

Using a light tent, you have virtually no control over shadows and highlights. Everything is evenly lit and boring.

If you want more interesting photos of more interesting products (or more expensive products), you'll want more control over highlights and shadows, so you'll use softboxes, grids, hard light sources, flags, reflectors.


http://www.avidchick.c​om (external link) for business stuff
http://www.facebook.co​m/VictorVoyeur (external link) for fun stuff

  
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Wilt
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Post edited 3 months ago by Wilt.
     
Jan 25, 2018 16:40 as a reply to  @ nathancarter's post |  #9

^

Light tents simply 'evenly illuminate', they do little to light a product so as to help convey to a viewer the object's form and contours and textures.


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Product Photography - how are they getting these images?
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