Product shoot questions

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by iW00t, Jan 20, 2007.

  1. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

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    #1
    It is something that has always intrigued me but I never got it figured out.

    How do people shoot photos of items in such a way that it has no shadows, and you don't even see the product resting on a desk or any surface?

    The end result is just like as if the item is floating in a white void. How is that accomplished? Surely if they placed the item on something during the shoot the background would still have appeared in the final photo in some form?
     
  2. coldrain macrumors regular

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    #2
    They get a special white lighted table to put the products on. There are many different set-ups for this.
     
  3. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #3
    Shoot it in a light tent over a white background with even lighting through the tent. If you don't want to pay for a light tent, but want to experiement yourself, there're plans on the Web for using tracing paper and a cardboard box for the tent. With a couple of pieces of foamcore for reflectors, you can pretty much achieve the same effect with a strong lamp and a good flash.
     
  4. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    totally cool
  5. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #5
    And here's the $10 alternative:

    http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/07/how-to-diy-10-macro-photo-studio.html

    Note that the article examples have directional light, you'd just need to balance or fill from the left to eliminate the shadow (not that I think that's necessarily a good goal, some shadow gives the product some depth.)
     
  6. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #6
    There are various ways to be creative with light and light sources. As mentioned, a light tent with appropriate background and with the subject on an appropriate surface can create specific illusions. Most product shots are shot with light tents or light tables and seamless backgrounds in a studio setting, but it is surprisingly easy and effective to create similar results right at home.

    This isn't a product shot, nor does it give the illusion that the subject is floating mid-air, but it's something I did last year for fun...

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #7
    A different sort of shot:

    [​IMG]

    I deliberately wanted some shadow detail....
     
  8. iW00t thread starter macrumors 68040

    iW00t

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    #8
    [​IMG]

    Does anyone know what kind of flash light he is using in the right hand side of the photo?

    How is it that the flash light can... stay on? :confused:
     
  9. iW00t thread starter macrumors 68040

    iW00t

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    #9
    Wow this is very nice.
     
  10. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #10
    Thank you! How did I do this? Crystal snail on a glass "brick" which was on top of my old lightbox that I used to utilize for reviewing slides and negatives "back in the day." The lightbox was the only source of light and the room lights were turned off. The black background is a piece of black fabric called a "sweep" which is clamped to an easel kind of thing and which extends down underneath the lightbox. The black, as well as the patterns created in the glass brick, then, is picked up here-and-there in the glass of the crystal snail, especially in the curves...
     
  11. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #11
    Another lightbox creation...

    This crystal dragon is positioned directly on the lightbox, both for different effect and because it wouldn't fit on the smaller glass brick. Same lighting setup...and here you can see how he's picked up not only the black but also the "white."

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #12
    I'm guessing that he is using either Nikon's Creative Lighting System (wireless) or a Pocket Wizard system (also wireless) and that he took the photo at the time the strobe was being fired for the tabletop shot.....
     
  13. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #13
    For some reason, the shot of the glass snail on the glass block really works for me, even though you included the corner of the glass block. Actually, it probably works better than if you didn't include the corner or left edge of the glass block, and just included the back edge.

    However, it doesn't work nearly as well with the dragon photo because of uneven lighting, especially on the left side. I'm not usually picky, but the very left edge of the light table jumped at me.

    They're still both good though. You should do more of that work and post it here. ;)
     
  14. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #14
    Thank you! Yes, both things you mention bug me, too, and did at the time that I made the shots. One of these years I'm going to do a reshoot to see if I can improve on them. In the snail photo I think repositioning of the snail on the glass block might solve that problem. The lighting on the dragon is a bit tricky because the lightbox is the ONLY source of light and trying to position the dragon on there was difficult -- he only fits in a certain way. Either I need a larger lightbox or I'll have to try something a little different with him....
     
  15. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #15
    I should be more specific:

    I said I believe that including the corner of the glass block was GOOD in the glass snail shot, so no worries about that. I think it's perfect, even though you included the corner. It may even look better with the corner.

    It's the light table shot that bothered me, both the illumination AND the corner of the light table.

    I think the glass dragon would look better sitting on a glass block (or several of them), as it'll look like he's swimming in water, but that's likely harder to shoot because of the size of the dragon, and the small size of the glass block.
     
  16. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #16
    It's not Nessie? Anyway, I'd try shooting from a bit lower and maybe try putting black foamcore down with holes cut for the light to come up through, but smaller than the base of the pieces. That might give a more interesting floaty feel to the picture.

    You can also get a large piece of acetate from somewhere like Home Depot and fire a strobe up into it if you want a light-table like diffusion, but need more space.
     
  17. macgfxdesigner macrumors regular

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    #17
    product shots

    I am getting into them more and, going to get myself a light setup next month, in the past I just have used white paper and natural sunlight to achieve infinity backgrounds....here are some the results and others...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  18. dllavaneras macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

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    #18
    Awesome, I'm definitely trying that light tent thing. Thanks!

    *looks for a cardboard box and that A3 tracing paper...*
     
  19. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #19
    Ah, got you now! Thanks! Yes, my initial intention was to put the dragon on the glass block but I quickly found that he wouldn't fit on it, nor would two glass blocks fit on the lightbox. In thinking about this last night I had another idea which I might try one of these nights....

    This is the sort of thing I like to experiment with on cold winter nights -- it's fun and even without a professional studio setup one can create interesting results.

    Thanks, Compuwar! Oh, indeedy, it's Nessie himself!! LOL! Actually, yes, I have a piece of acetate that I got last year at Home Depot and then never got around to using; I remembered that last night. I also thought of setting things up on my glass computer workstation or my glass cocktail table and then pointing the light up from underneath. I've also known about the idea of using black and cutting holes to let light shine through -- they do that when photographing individual pieces of glassware -- but have not tried that yet.

    I'll have to play with these ideas....

    Very nicely done shots, Macgfxdesigner! Quite professional looking!
     
  20. dllavaneras macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

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    #20
    What would the lighting look like if I used different colored tissue paper for each side of the box? I haven't found a big box yet so I can't try :(
     
  21. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #21
    Very well-lit shots, thanks for sharing them!

    You'd shift the color on the side with your primary light to that color, the secondary or tertiary light coming from the other side would mix in and you'd get the mix of the two colors somewhere over at the weak side.

    Be very careful with tissue paper instead of tracing paper if you use desk lamps or other hot lights.
     
  22. dllavaneras macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

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    #22
    I think I'll stay away from tissue paper for now :) What are the best light sources? regular or halogen lights?
     
  23. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #23
    Strobes or flash guns. After that, anything you can white balance well.
     

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