Thursday, May 2, 2013

Product Photography How-To featuring My Canon DSLR and Joby Gorillapod

When you want to photograph an item, say something you want to sell on ebay, you must make your product really presentable. This starts with great photography: if the picture of the product you are selling is not good, then how do you expect to sell the item, right?

One way of doing product photography is by using a lightbox. But, if you have a large window, a white background and a reflector, then you are set. Well, you also have to hope for a sunny day... ;)

Consider my set up below:

For my white background, I used a shower curtain. Sunlight was pouring in from behind the curtain and I reflected the light back to the product using the reflector. I then had my make-shift lightbox. Since the background was white, I then had to overexpose my shot - remember, if you don't do this, then the camera will just make everything 18%; for a predominantly white photo, the camera will underexpose the shot. So, to compensate for this, you will have to overexpose your shot. Overexposing the shot also eliminated the wrinkles on the shower curtain. (You can tell the difference between my behind-the-scene photo, taken with my iPhone, to that of the final product shots. The shot made by the iPhone was underexposed because of all that white background. The camera phone was fooled by all that white. Yes, do not ditch your dedicated camera for your camera phone!)

In post, I slightly adjusted the contrast and the blacks in Lightroom. (I used the same method in my review of the Canon 24-105 and Canon 70-200 lenses. Those reviews can be found here and here, respectively.)

The next time you do a product shoot, take note that you don't need to spend a lot for accessories just to get the shot. You may already have the tools you need with you. (And if you don't have a reflector already, then get one! Your portraiture will be much improved. You can also find other uses for it.)

Gear used to make this post:

-- Canon Powershot G15 (Reviews Part 1 and Part 2)

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