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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 17 Aug 2010 (Tuesday) 23:48
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Product Photography- Kitchen Knives

 
JBroida
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Aug 17, 2010 23:48 |  #1

So i'm relatively new to the photography thing... i'm shooting with a T1i and a canon 60mm 2.8 macro taking pictures of Japanese kitchen knives for my website. I'm trying to pick up some new lighting equipment. I went today to a local photography store to ask about different products. I was initially thinking about continuous lighting, but the guy there recommended a strobe setup. I'm trying to keep things on a budget (under $300) and so i thought i'd ask here. Also, whats a good black backdrop to use (materials, etc.)?

Here are some examples of photos i've been taking so far with my setup (sorry they arent that great). What do you guys think i should get for lighting? Any other thoughts for my photos? (sorry for all of the photos... i just wanted to give you guys a good idea of what kinds of photos i take for my website) Any help is greatly apprecitated. Thanks.

-Jon
(the first few were taken with my 18-55 kit lens before i got the 60mm 2.8 )

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IMAGE: http://www.knifeforums.com/uploads/1281854669-IMG_0022.jpg
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IMAGE: http://www.knifeforums.com/uploads/1281854732-IMG_0067.jpg
IMAGE: http://www.knifeforums.com/uploads/1281854834-IMG_0025.jpg

Canon 5D MkIII, Canon 60D, Tokina 11-16 2.8, Canon 16-35 F4 IS L, Sigma 35 Art, Canon 24-105 L, Canon 60mm 2.8 Macro, Canon 100mm Macro IS L

  
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The ­ Loft ­ Studios
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Aug 18, 2010 08:58 |  #2

Studio Product Photography is probably one of the best areas in photography where you can be cheap..... You don't really need softboxes or umbrella and things of that sort, however, you will have to design some sort of make-shift modifier that typically produces the light properties and quality of a softbox. You can also use hand cut white paper or poster board for reflector as well as small and medium sized mirrors. Check out these videos:

http://www.youtube.com …photography+lig​hting&aq=1 (external link)

But to get to your question, the best black material to use for this type of photography would be black velvet.


MARK

  
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Seanzky
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Aug 18, 2010 09:02 |  #3

The Loft Studios wrote in post #10743481 (external link)
Studio Product Photography is probably one of the best areas in photography where you can be cheap..... You don't really need softboxes or umbrella and things of that sort, however, you will have to design some sort of make-shift modifier that typically produces the light properties and quality of a softbox. You can also use hand cut white paper or poster board for reflector as well as small and medium sized mirrors. Check out these videos:

http://www.youtube.com …photography+lig​hting&aq=1 (external link)

But to get to your question, the best black material to use for this type of photography would be black velvet.


I agree 100%. This is where you can make excellent photos without your subject looking at your funny with your DIY stuff. Reflectors, light boxes, or anything you need can be done on the cheap. Understand light and experiment until you get the desired results.


Sean | Blog (external link) | Portfolio (external link) | Google+ (external link) | Facebook (external link) | Flickr (external link)

  
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JBroida
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Aug 21, 2010 01:08 |  #4

So i watched a few of those videos and i tried a little of what you guys said... big improvement. Black velvet background, white trash bag diffusers, aluminium foil reflectors, and natural light fluorescents. Here's what i got (big improvement):

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Canon 5D MkIII, Canon 60D, Tokina 11-16 2.8, Canon 16-35 F4 IS L, Sigma 35 Art, Canon 24-105 L, Canon 60mm 2.8 Macro, Canon 100mm Macro IS L

  
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The ­ Loft ­ Studios
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Aug 21, 2010 07:27 as a reply to  @ JBroida's post |  #5

Congrats.....
Does look a lot better.
However, always remember that "the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflectance"... i.e. treat metal objects as though they were a mirror. If you what to see the "maximum" highlights in the knives, try placing your light on the exact opposite side that your camera is in comparison to the product or subject.

EXAMPLE: If you are shooting downward on your knife at a 45 degree angle then, place you "diffused" light source on the opposite side of the subject at the same 45 degree angle.


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toxic
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Aug 21, 2010 08:01 |  #6

Light: Science & Magic is a book you should take a look at...lots of info that's especially relevant for products and copy work.




  
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JBroida
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Aug 21, 2010 12:21 |  #7

The Loft Studios wrote in post #10761355 (external link)
Congrats.....
Does look a lot better.
However, always remember that "the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflectance"... i.e. treat metal objects as though they were a mirror. If you what to see the "maximum" highlights in the knives, try placing your light on the exact opposite side that your camera is in comparison to the product or subject.

EXAMPLE: If you are shooting downward on your knife at a 45 degree angle then, place you "diffused" light source on the opposite side of the subject at the same 45 degree angle.

so what happens if i shoot from directly above?


Canon 5D MkIII, Canon 60D, Tokina 11-16 2.8, Canon 16-35 F4 IS L, Sigma 35 Art, Canon 24-105 L, Canon 60mm 2.8 Macro, Canon 100mm Macro IS L

  
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Wilt
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Aug 21, 2010 17:41 |  #8

JBroida wrote in post #10762289 (external link)
so what happens if i shoot from directly above?

What would you see if it was mirror shiny?!


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Canon dSLR system, Olympus OM 35mm system, Bronica ETRSi 645 system, Horseman LS 4x5 system, Metz flashes, Dynalite studio lighting, and too many accessories to mention

  
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JBroida
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Aug 21, 2010 17:46 |  #9

well... i guess i should have said i shoot from directly above for the first 3 shots i take of each product... they arent mirror like... more misty. I'm trying to show off the contrast between the outer steel and the core steel (like you can see in the second picture from the top in the most recent pictures). I keep moving the lights around, but i cant seems to replicate those results. What would be a good technique for that?

Also, when i have more money to spend on it later one, will strobes work well for this kind of photography or should i just stick to the continuous lighting?


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Wilt
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Aug 21, 2010 23:59 |  #10

The suggestion about reading Light Science and Magic is very well worth heeding...if you do not understand the concepts, you are merely blindly following ideas without knowing why they work. Or, even more importantly, you understand when suggestions have no merit.


You need to give me OK to edit your image and repost! Keep POTN alive and well with member support https://photography-on-the.net/forum/donate.p​hp
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Product Photography- Kitchen Knives
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