Product Photography

I spent the weekend of Aug 4, 2019 preparing to do some product photography for Studio Arts by Mydee . I will photograph mostly oil-based painting, framed and unframed, and a glass art work.

Before starting, I spent a few weeks reading and gaining knowledge on the best way to do product photography and now I am ready, so let us begin.

What is Product Photography?

The purpose of Product Photography is,  to create photographs that are accurate and attractive images of the actual product.  

Catalogs, brochures, advertisement and online shopping sites commonly employ this style of photography.

“A picture is  worth a thousand words” is more true today with the popularity of online shopping. A great photo of your product increases customer appeal and makes it more likely it will get noticed and purchased.

Part of preparation is to make sure you have the right tools for the job. For this shoot I used the following equipment:

Clean the camera

I mentioned in an earlier blog that I had not used my D5500 in a long time. And I did not do a very good job of storing it properly. I just left it on a table, exposed to the elements.

So the first thing I did was to dust off the camera both in and out. For this purpose I used a very basic camera cleaning kit I purchased from Amazon.

Table Top Photo Studio

I considered clearing out a bigger room. But after considering the size of the subject , I decided on a table top photo studio instead. I purchased this set from Amazon and it includes two 5500 kelvin/600 lumen LED light stand,  colored backdrops and a photo-shooting tent. 

Table Top Photo Studio
Table Top Photo Studio

One of the first decisions is whether to use a white or black background.

There are differing argument for using either a black background or white background. I prefer to use the black background to cut down on refection. This is specially true when taking photos of glass framed pictures, or highly reflective products. However, a white background is very versatile. By simply adjusting the lighting, we can have anything from a black, white or gray back ground.

There are differing argument for using either a black background or white background. I prefer to use the black background to cut down on refection. This is specially true when taking photos of glass framed pictures, or highly reflective products. 

A white background is very versatile. By simply adjusting the lighting and the camera setting, we can have anything from a black, white or gray background. However, in product photography, you need to use the background that presents the product best.

When it is time for post production cropping, a white background can make your life easier.

Tripod

The Table Top Photo Studio included a cellphone stand to keep your cellphone steady when you take a picture using the  built-in camera. However, I decided not to use a cellphone but use the Nikon D5500 instead. That meant a full size tripod. Lucky for me, I already have one available.

Camera Setting

I set my Nikon D5500 to the following. Raw+Fine JPEG, 1/23 F5.6 ISO 100 and I set my white balance using a White balance card

One question I have is”Should I be using white or gray?” True white is easier to find but outside of that, I’m still not sure why I would use a gray card vs white card.

Let us get started

And now I am ready to take photographs. I expect that there will be plenty of opportunities for correcting the results. And I will try out a few ideas to get the best results. Experimentation is the name of the game. That is the only way to learn, and to remember what you’ve learned. Like homework.

In my next post, I will discuss Post Processing and the issues I encountered. This is a learning process and improvements will come with time and practice.

© 2019, Norman Talon. All rights reserved.