Help with product photography

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Help with product photography

Postby chickyboo on Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:26 pm

Hello,

I've been having trouble with product photography, particularly wine bottles. Atm I make do with 'okay' images using A LOT of work in Photoshop and Illustrator. I'm trying to reduce the amount of photoshopping and need more help with creating sharp black edges.

Does anybody have any tips/suggestions or know of good learning resources online?

I'm also faced with a problem of dealing with reflections as well. This is an example: http://www.tomdixon.net/products/eu/bronze-copper-shade

I've had too much trouble trying to avoid my reflection being seen that I had to outsource it to a professional who managed to take photos without any trouble.

FYI I consider myself as a photography beginner and hobbyist who knows just the basics to get by.

TIA

Cheers
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Re: Help with product photography

Postby gstark on Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:58 pm

For wine bottles, a good starting point would be for you to grab a light tent. These can be had for around $50, or you can even make one yourself.

You don't need any fancy lighting; just take the light tent outside, place your wine bottles inside, and away you go.

Play with your exposure, and don't be afraid to overexpose the light tent; that can give you a good solid white background which the bottles can stand against.

How big are the light fittings that you're shooting? must they be photographed in situ? Again, a light tent may be a useful item here, but I suspect these fittings may be too big to fit within (and allow space around) for photography.

Here, I'd probably be setting up a staging area, lined with a soft matt black fabric. You will probably need to have the fabric extend around all sides of the light fittings, so that it can deal with all of the reflections that you're being challenged with. Bounce your light from the ceiling, but still be aware of reflections from above, or use a large diffuser near the camera as you shoot.
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Re: Help with product photography

Postby surenj on Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:05 pm

Gary that's very good advice! :cheers:

The only thing I will add is that you need to "double diffuse" your light sources when it comes to wine bottles as the subject matter is very specular. If you are very serious, then I suggest digesting the book "Light Science and Magic".

Welcome to the forum and looking forward to seeing your images.
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Re: Help with product photography

Postby Matt. K on Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:57 pm

For wine bottles...buy some stiff silver cardboard or coat cardboard with foil. Cut shape of winebottle....but a little smaller and bluetac to back of bottle and or wine glass filled with wine. Light from front at about 45 degrees. The light goes in then bounces back out from reflector and gives wine a lovely ethereal 'glow'. Make up small refletors with foil and bluetac just out of image space to bounce light across embossed label. This will highlight the texture. Use dry ice in trays behind setup for a soft, misty background and to hide the horizon. I could go on forever. :D
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Help with product photography

Postby Mr Darcy on Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:15 am

Wine bottles are buggers!
They reflect everything in front, at the sides and for white wines even things behind
To cap it off they often have highly reflective labels that are almost impossible to light evenly

To avoid seeing your own reflection try using a remote trigger for your camera, or if you don't have one use the timer release so you can get out of frame. If you use a long lens and shoot from further away it will help as the camera reflection will be smaller and les noticeable. Your lights need to be effectively large and therefore close though. Note that a large light is subjective. The sun, while a very large object, is effectively a small light source as it is so far away. Put a overcast sky in front of it and it become a very large light source as the light comes from the whole sky

As Gary suggests a light tent can be helpful but it needs to be much bigger than your subject. One that just barely holds the bottle will be worse than useless. A large empty room painted white is ideal, but difficult to conjure up. A football field on a cloudy day is also excellent.

I strongly second the recommendation for Light, Science and Magic. A most excellent tutorial AND reference for lighting anything
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Re: Help with product photography

Postby chickyboo on Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:32 pm

Thanks for the replies everyone, these are really exciting tips - will give them a try next time and see how it goes.

I've also heard that spraying deodorant on the wine bottle helps with diffusing the light/reflection?

Luckily I don't need to shoot these images insitu cause I will have to deep etch them afterwards.

I'll keep trying and see how I can create the black edges as well. Played around with using black cardboard to create them but there's still a lot of photoshop work done.

See how the edges are really faded?
Image

Black edges with even lighting.
Image

Result (with the label photoshopped in) (>.<)

Image
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Re: Help with product photography

Postby chickyboo on Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:34 pm

Thanks for the replies everyone, these are really exciting tips - will give them a try next time and see how it goes.

I've also heard that spraying deodorant on the wine bottle helps with diffusing the light/reflection?

Luckily I don't need to shoot these images insitu cause I will have to deep etch them afterwards.

I'll keep trying and see how I can create the black edges as well. Played around with using black cardboard to create them but there's still a lot of photoshop work done.

See how the edges are really faded?
Image

Black edges with even lighting.
Image

Result (with the label photoshopped in) (>.<)
Image
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Re: Help with product photography

Postby Wink on Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:01 am

Alex Koloskov has quite a few tutorials on his site about product photography... http://www.photigy.com/tutorials/
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Re: Help with product photography

Postby chickyboo on Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:19 am

Thanks for that Wink, cheers.
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Re: Help with product photography

Postby surenj on Sat Jan 05, 2013 12:46 pm

Hey could you show me a closeup of what you mean by edges faded? and then the fixed result?
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