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Thread: First attempts at product shots

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    First attempts at product shots

    Just picked up a light tent today and started testing it with some product shots for some articles I have to publish. Getting a feel for the technique involved. C&C welcome as always.

    Interfit Light Tent (24" model)
    Savage 150 strobes x2 with radio trigger
    (strobes dialed down to 1/4 turn before minimum power)
    Canon 1D Mk2 + 24-105mm f/4 L
    Manual Mode (1/250s, f/8)

    Before you all start commenting:
    1. I know about the dust on the Ipaq
    2. I am aware of the visible corners in the M8 pic
    3. The blue background needs ironing.
    HP Ipaq 310 GPS


    Leica M8


    Apple Mighty Mouse


    The entire set can be found here.
    Thanks for looking!
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

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    Senior Member helenhill's Avatar
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    Re: First attempts at product shots

    WOW
    The Leica M8 Tres SExxxy.......All Dolled Up
    Lovely - helen

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: First attempts at product shots

    Carlos light tents are great and have a very useful purpose. Sometimes though the product looks flat because it is completely without shadow. Try just lighting from one side to get more dimension also. The white walls inside on the shadow side than serve as fill. Play around here but there awesome for very small product like jewelry. Also try some backlight to get some rim light.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: First attempts at product shots

    Helen: You are quite correct. She's a beauty with all her makeup on.

    Guy: Thanks for your suggestions. I will experiment some more tonight. What could I use to elevate the product?
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: First attempts at product shots

    Bee's wax is very good at holding and lifting certain things like jewelry. But whatever can get it off the ground that can't be seen. For the M8 maybe like a rubber eraser or something like that. Product photography is a lot of fun but it takes a lot of patience and the a lot of experimenting. It's all about light and a excellent way to learn lighting. Nothing is sacred here do what looks best and rules are meant to be broken . Try directional light, side , rear, harsh spots and the list goes on. Sometimes a single product like the M8 i would use 5 lights. But start with one and see what effect it has than increase that number as you go.

    What i would love to see you do is play with this than post a whole series on the different looks you get. Very educational for you and for the members. Have fun with this
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: First attempts at product shots

    Will do, jefe.

    However, I only have two strobes. I will play around with what I have though.
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: First attempts at product shots

    Try different power settings than low on one high on another . You can do a lot with 2 and reflectors also. It's endless. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: First attempts at product shots

    Product photography can be one of the most demanding fields in photography. The really good photographers can make even the mundane into something approaching art. The final shot often belies the hard work behind it though.

    One web site that might be a good resource for you is Strobist. Lots of good tutorials on how to use flash to light all manner of subjects. The cool thing is, most of the examples are done with camera flash units like the SB800 or even smaller. "Lighting 101" is a link off the main page that's a decent place to start. You can find the blog here: http://www.strobist.blogspot.com/

    Happy lighting!

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    Re: First attempts at product shots

    Question: I have a Canon Speedlight 420 that can be slaved. Is that an RF slave or a strobe slave (detects the other strobes going off and fires)? If it's the latter I can use it to provide a third light source or I could use it to trigger the studio strobes while firing it from my 1D Mk2 using the shoe extension cord.
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

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    Re: First attempts at product shots

    sometimes fewer and softer lights and several various reflectors, like small cards out of white or black board or aluminum foil, etc. discretely placed, to apply reflect fill or specular light work best. I have done this, eyballing the ground glass in which case, an assistant is very helpful, though placing your eye where it has the same view as the lens lets you get close enough to move them around and see the effect the lens will see.

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    Re: First attempts at product shots

    Carlos, this is sort of my area of expertise so may I suggest ...

    you may want to consider is not jumping to more lights ... it will just confuse you.

    First, really sit there and look at the product subject. I've worked with masters who will sit there and just study the product until they formulate what they need to say about it with their photo.

    Start with one light. Move it around and watch what it does to the product. Really watch. For example, move it above and behind for back lighting to the side to depict shape, and so on.

    Then, with the light stationary, take some white foam-core and move it around the product and watch what the bounce does to the subject. Move it close and back it off a bit. Watch how the lighting ratio (key light verses bounce) creates shape and depth.

    Now take some flat black card and move it around a more reflective subject.

    Try using a small mirror and play with that. Crumple up some aluminum foil and see what that does.

    That is referred to as an additive lighting technique. You build as much as needed to dramatically depict the best qualities of the product, and no more. Depth, texture, controlled reflectivity.

    Another method is referred to as subtractive lighting. You start with a really broad soft light and use flags and even pieces of black card taped to the soft-box to block the light path, even make a diffuser from old panty hose material stretched over a wire frame made from a hanger and place it between the subject and the light.

    Don't even worry about taking the picture, just play with and observe light at first.

    Most great product lighting is deceptively simple ... but like most "simple" things it's not easy to arrive at.

    Feel free to PM me with questions.

    -Marc

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    Re: First attempts at product shots

    Thanks for the tips Marc. I will be trying that tonight with some shots I am taking for Tim Isaac. However, I will have to take the shot to see how the light looks as I am using strobes and not constant lights. Maybe eventually I will use steady lights.
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

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    Re: First attempts at product shots

    Quote Originally Posted by etrigan63 View Post
    Thanks for the tips Marc. I will be trying that tonight with some shots I am taking for Tim Isaac. However, I will have to take the shot to see how the light looks as I am using strobes and not constant lights. Maybe eventually I will use steady lights.
    Are you sure your strobes do not have modeling lights? Even the least expensive ones have sockets to accept houshold bulbs.

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    Re: First attempts at product shots

    DOH! Yes of course they do! Totally forgot about them!
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

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