Anatomy of a product shoot #2
We had to do another photo shoot today and we really pulled out all the stops with the new gear we have around. As you can see, this is a very typical product shot on a white background for use on a web page or in a magazine. In the past, we have shown some techniques with hot lights, so today we are going to use some flash units.
First off, we setup some light stands with sone Pivot speedlight flash mounts with built-in umbrella holders. To the left of the camera was one flash set to 1/8 power shooting into a silver reflective umbrella as the key light. This gave us the contrast that we were looking for against the white background but left the opposite side of the product in a shadow that we didn’t want. To solve this we added another flash set at 1/2 power shooting through a white umbrella as a fill light. This balanced everything out nicely. To fire the flash units remotely, we used the Cactus V2 wireless system. The background is actually plain white paper from a roll of leftover stock from a printing machine.
So now let’s look at the lighting setup in detail. You should click on this image to open it so you can see the detail we are going to discuss. As I said, we used the umbrella on camera-left with a silver reflector as a key light, while this does create a larger light source, it is a very sharp light and focuses the light together causing harsh shadows. On camera-right, the exact opposite occurs, the light from the flash expands outward bringing in a soft diffuse light. The combination of a harsh key light and the soft fill light does the job exactly as we wanted.
Just so you don’t think that was all there was to it, here is the unedited photo. Notice the cords coming out of the back, this took a few minutes in Photoshop to take care of. We could have disconnected all the wires but the client wanted to show the screen being on during the photo and we opted to shoot it in one piece rather that take one photo with no wires and a second shot of the screen over composite them together.
Again, we hope this has helped you take a different look at taken shots like this. Now go get behind the camera and take some photos.