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Old May 8, 2013, 01:17 PM   #1
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Apple Photographer Details the Process of Capturing Product Photos




Apple is well known for the simple, no-frills product photos that highlight its lineup of mobile devices and as it turns out, a lot of work goes into capturing those images. The Verge interviewed Peter Belanger, a photographer who has worked with Apple for years, to shed some light on Apple's creative process.

In the interview, Belanger reveals that Apple exercises extreme attention to detail when it comes to product photos, providing him with both sketches and a comprehensive shot list.

Quote:
The team at Apple always has a really well developed shot list and sketches of what they need. I work with their talented art directors to translate those sketches into photos. We start by getting the position of the product and then move forward on lighting. Because Apple products have such carefully selected materials it is incredibly important to light the product in a way that will showcase the various materials accurately.
As depicted in the photo below, Belanger uses an intricate setup of lights and equipment to accurately highlight the design of each item that he photographs.

Quote:
I pick an area to start with and think about how that material needs to be described. Once that section is done I move on to the next. This is how my sets get so complicated! I need to have control over each and every surface so when the client asks for a highlight to be elongated, I can do that. It's similar to working on a file in Photoshop: you don't do all your work on one layer. I think of my lights as layers that I can adjust individually to get the desired results.
Belanger goes on to explain that most of his work is done in the camera, but that post production is used for the finishing touches. He captures the majority of his images with the Canon 5D Mark III, using a 24-70mm lens.*Belanger's full interview, which details more of his personal creative process and the tools that he uses, can be found at The Verge.

Article Link: Apple Photographer Details the Process of Capturing Product Photos
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Old May 8, 2013, 01:19 PM   #2
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interesting i always assumed those shots are actually just renderings on the computer. u know .. like the food you see in commercials being plastic
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Old May 8, 2013, 01:19 PM   #3
alent1234
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almost all professional photos are fake. they are photoshopped to death and taken under ideal lighting conditions. thousands of photos are taken to select a few choice ones

like the food photos for fast food ads. they go to whole foods market of all places to find the best looking veggies
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Old May 8, 2013, 01:20 PM   #4
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dude holding iPhone in the commercials probably OD'ed on diazepam. no way is anyone's hands that steady.
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Old May 8, 2013, 01:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by bushido View Post
interesting i always assumed those shots are actually just renderings on the computer. u know .. like the food you see in commercials being plastic
I always thought they were renderings too. Would certainly be easier!
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Old May 8, 2013, 01:21 PM   #6
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Next time I want to hear about the Apple Videographer.
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Old May 8, 2013, 01:23 PM   #7
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interesting i always assumed those shots are actually just renderings on the computer. u know .. like the food you see in commercials being plastic
The McDonalds food is real.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSd0keSj2W8
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Old May 8, 2013, 01:23 PM   #8
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He's also probably registered on this very forum to whine about the lack of Mac Pro updates...
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Old May 8, 2013, 01:24 PM   #9
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Will be interesting to have a read of the full interview. I'm not too sure about the claim that most of the work is done in camera. As far as the lighting then yeah, I guess. But Apple's product shots are too high res and polished to come straight from a camera. Those photos clearly go through an intense session of Photoshop to end up looking so pristine and almost like 3D renderings (which would be easier to start with)!
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Old May 8, 2013, 01:24 PM   #10
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Still very interesting to see this but I thought I had read something about their product shots before:
http://www.imore.com/54-frames-photo...-product-shots
http://www.cultofmac.com/146758/how-...t-shots-video/

And did they change guys or do they have more than one?

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/975700


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The McDonalds food is real.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSd0keSj2W8
I thought they had to use real food nowadays. I'd have to google that.
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Old May 8, 2013, 01:24 PM   #11
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canon vs nikon debate should start right about now

in any case, images on phones and glare are definitely added in post
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Old May 8, 2013, 01:25 PM   #12
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Old May 8, 2013, 01:27 PM   #13
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And we complain when the bevel on our iPhones aren't perfect...
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Old May 8, 2013, 01:29 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by bushido View Post
interesting i always assumed those shots are actually just renderings on the computer. u know .. like the food you see in commercials being plastic
I always thought that they were renderings too - they're such great product photographs. Thanks for the article!
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Old May 8, 2013, 01:30 PM   #15
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I would love to have his job
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Old May 8, 2013, 01:30 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by goodcow View Post
The McDonalds food is real.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSd0keSj2W8
McDonalds is food?
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Old May 8, 2013, 01:32 PM   #17
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I would love to have his job
apparently you already are a photographer, it's the client you are after
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Old May 8, 2013, 01:34 PM   #18
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He captures the majority of his images with the Canon 5D Mark III, using a 24-70mm lens.*
No he doesnt. He uses a Phase one back and a Sinar camera
The mark 3 is just a handheld day to day workhorse
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Old May 8, 2013, 01:36 PM   #19
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They should take their product photographs with their product. Let's see how good it really is, hah.
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Old May 8, 2013, 01:36 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by parish View Post
McDonalds is food?
Always wondered what it was for... food for what ?
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Old May 8, 2013, 01:37 PM   #21
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respect! nice work.
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Old May 8, 2013, 01:37 PM   #22
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This guy is hilarious. Does he have no idea that his photos get taken to the agency and worked on in photoshop for days after he is "done". They get cleaned up, screens added, textures redone, hi-lights painted, glass cleaned, lighting fixed, logos reimported from vector art, etc, etc...
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Old May 8, 2013, 01:38 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alent1234 View Post
almost all professional photos are fake. they are photoshopped to death and taken under ideal lighting conditions. thousands of photos are taken to select a few choice ones

like the food photos for fast food ads. they go to whole foods market of all places to find the best looking veggies
Doesn't make a photo "fake." Staged and well prepared, but it's still a photograph out of camera. Depending how much PP is done could arguably make a photo fake though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by teknikal90 View Post
No he doesnt. He uses a Phase one back and a Sinar camera
The mark 3 is just a handheld day to day workhorse
Source?
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Old May 8, 2013, 01:39 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Moonlight View Post
This guy is hilarious. Does he have no idea that his photos get taken to the agency and worked on in photoshop for days after he is "done". They get cleaned up, screens added, textures redone, hi-lights painted, glass cleaned, lighting fixed, logos reimported from vector art, etc, etc...
you didnt even bother to read the article did you?
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Old May 8, 2013, 01:40 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by tech4all View Post
Depending how much PP is done could arguably make a photo fake though.

I would say 60-70% of the photo is re illustrated in post.
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