Now that nature is sleeping and the Corona measures are only getting stricter, I am working in my photo studio on product photography. I registered myself with the online platform Karl Taylor Education where I further develop myself in product photography by viewing all kinds of classes.
Karl Taylor is a professional photographer with over 20 years of experience and working for major brands. His videos show from start to finish how a (product) photo is created and explains very clearly why he makes the choices he makes, but also shows how other setups and settings work out (or not). I learn a lot from watching these classes.
‘Downside’ is that the amount of gear keeps expanding. In this shoot alone I used four recently purchased resources. Although I do have the feeling that I am now quite complete.
In one of his classes for product photograhpy he shoots a bottle of wine. Today I tried to take more or less the same photo in my own studio and to be honest I am very happy with the end result.
It seems so simple. Photographing a bottle of wine. But it takes more than you think.
For this photo I used three studio flash units. For the main light on the left I used the new Godox 120 cm x 80 cm softbox (arrived yesterday). There is a scrim between the softbox and the bottle.
A scrim is a frame with diffuser material stretched on top. Such a scrim ensures that the light gets a more gradual gradient on the product you are photographing. In the photo above you would otherwise have seen a hard line on the bottle where the softbox starts and ends. Until recently I had never heard of a scrim and so you see that following such classes immediately leads to results.
Such a roll of 123 cm wide and over 7 meters long with diffuser material (Lee filters 216) is apparently not for sale in the Netherlands, in any case I could not find it. So I ordered my roll of difusser material from Germany. Thomann.de sells this kind of materials in the section Light. Not only diffussor material but also almost all colors of Lee Gel that I could not find in the Netherlands.
UPDATE: In the Netherlands Controllux is the official (and only) dealer for Lee filters. And the great thing is that they supply sheets of 53 cm x 122 cm and relatively cheaper than our eastern neighbors.
I still have to order the right gels from Thomann. In the Netherlands, the largest format that I can find is 24 x 24 cm and, as it turned out today, that is too small for the large softboxes. Lee has many colors of flash gel in his range in dimensions of 123 x 25 cm or on a roll.
For the second light I had a line with a red color in mind (just like in the followed class). But a 24 by 24 gel is not big enough, even if you place it close to the flash head, the white flash light passes and does not give the desired result. So I removed it and went for white light. Here too there is more diffuse material between the flashlight and the bottle. Only here I put the roll on a boom arm and unrolled the roll. The flash behind the roll scrim is equipped with the Godox 40 cm x 180 cm strip box
I used the third flash to light up the background. The flash is mounted on a floor stand fitted with my new barndoor (also arrived yesterday). I also used a piece of diffuser material on the barndoor to project the light more gradually onto the background. I placed a red gel over it. One of the four colors that came with the barndoor
Finally, a little fine-tuning. The bottle has a lettering made of gold-colored reflective material. Because the light from the flashes came from the sides of the bottle, the logical consequence was that the center of this lettering turned black because no light fell on it. To fix that, I applied another recently learned trick. That is using a mirror or a white material to reflect the light. The solution with the mirror did not work because the largest (perspex) mirror I have was still smaller than the gap between the two scrims, with the result that a stripe of black remained on both sides.
I then stretched a white cloth between the two scrims and just above the lens. That did give a nice reflection of the flash light back on the label so that the gold letters are no longer visible as black.
Dus zo zie je maar. What seems like a simple photo of a bottle of wine, turns out to involve a lot more than you might think.
As you can see, I am now also making full use of tethered shooting. The photos are sent from the camera directly to the computer and stored there. This allows you to judge the photo much better than on the small screen on the back of the camera.
The aim is to further expand my portfolio with product photos in the coming period and to see if I can offer my services commercially.
My employer uses (of course with my permission) some of my photos for the internal intranet, client manuals and I was recently asked if they can also use two photos for the soon to be published annual report. So the start is already there.
So much for this blog about product photography. Until the next blog.