How to Use a Light Tent for Small Product Photography. A Post By: Katie McEnaney Many crafters, cooks, and artists want to take high quality photographs of their own creations, whether to feature them in a blog post, offer them for sale online, or just share them with friends. The trick to getting these kinds of product shots easily and reliably is to use a light tent. This article will cover the fundamentals of shooting with a light tent to help you capture bright, high quality product photographs every time. What is a Light Tent? A light tent or light box is a contraption with translucent sides that diffuses light coming from multiple sources. You can purchase a light tent as part of a kit or you can build your own DIY light tent.
Shooting with a Light Tent The standard set-up for light tent photography is to place the tent on some kind of table or end table, with the light sources directly opposite each other on each side and the tripod centered in front. Now you are ready to start photographing! Camera Set-up Post-Processing Considerations. Developing an Efficient Photo Production Workflow as a Small Retailer - Remove The Background.
Do you consider an eCommerce company to be a production company? Whether you are a large fast fashion retailer or a small retailer, you are in the business of production in one way or another, which means that your success boils down to the efficiency of your workflow— how fast can you produce products, product imagery, website content, and sales? Organization is important for any type of workflow. Likewise, detailed preparation, a customized workspace, simple processes, archiving and transferring systems, and communication are all very necessary components for streamlining your photo production workflow and achieving maximum productivity.
Decisions and changes need to be made quickly in order to keep things moving and evolving. As a small online retailer, you may be overwhelmed by this. In this article, you will learn how to increase your company’s daily productivity by streamlining your methods for creating and post-processing product photos. Product Photography Tutorial: How to Shoot Great Photos on the Cheap. This guest post is by Jeff Delacruz a founding member & photographer at Products On White Photography. If there’s one thing that’s true when it comes to ecommerce, it's that the perceived value of your products and the trustworthiness of your business is often judged by the quality of your web design. And a big part of having an attractive website these days also means having high-quality, beautiful product photography. But it's not just aesthetics we're talking about. Showcasing your products with high-quality images can also be the winning difference between a conversion and no sale at all.
This is particularly true if you’re also distributing your products on marketplace sites like Amazon where they are displayed alongside those of your competitors. But when you're just starting out, getting your product photos shot can be an intimidating prospect because good photography can be expensive. Enjoy! What You’re Going to Need You’re only going to need a few things for this setup: 1. 2. 3. 4. The Benefits of a Raw File Format. Intermediate Raw vs. jpeg is a debate that continues to exist in the digital photography world. But there are some distinct advantages to the raw format. If you have considered adjusting your camera’s image quality setting to raw, it is worth a try to see what all of the fuss is about. You will need to be prepared to spend more time post processing (at least initially), but therein lies the beauty of a raw file. There is so much you can do! Raw files, or digital negatives, contain the complete data from your camera’s sensor.
Just like raw food is uncooked, raw images are unprocessed. They are not compressed or modified in any way. Color Raw files are typically 12 or 14-bit as compared to an 8-bit jpeg. Exposure Raw files also give you more wiggle room if your photo is not correctly exposed. There is more information to work with in a raw file, so you can make more adjustments without a loss of quality. The photo below was taken directly into the setting sun. White Balance Sharpness. Post Processing for Photographers. Why Does Sharpening Help? What Does It Do? Today’s digital photography tools have changed the profession in ways that nobody could have imagined. Photography has always been an art, but now it involves more than the use of the camera. Half, if not more than half, of the technique of photography is carried out in the post-processing phase.
Sharpening has grown to become an important step in that process. With so many amateur and professional photographers sharpening their photos, it’s only natural to stop and ask why they’re doing it. What does sharpening really accomplish, and to what degree is it necessary? Should you sharpen every image you take, or can you reserve it for a select few? Sharpen to improve contrast That’s the main reason anyone applies a little extra sharpening to their images. Have a look at the following image. An unsharpened picture of a bowl of fruit.
Now here’s the same bowl of fruit after we’ve applied a little sharpening. Here’s one thing I notice right away. All of this should make sense. Is Post-Processing Evil? Artists can be a self-righteous bunch. There will always be the purists, those who don’t even own a digital camera, and then there are those who recognize the importance of Photoshop and other tools. When it comes to the ethics of photography, post-processing tends to get the bad end of the stick because it involves the direct manipulation of a photo after it’s been taken. There is always the opportunity to cover up bad photography with computer-generated effects, so some consider it to be evil. But is it? Whenever we’re addressing a question of morality, we need to realize that morality is somewhat a matter of perspective. Most people seem to agree on what is right and wrong, but there are always outliers, those whose moral judgments differ from the norm.
Call them the purists, the elitists, or whatever you will. What can make post-processing evil? I think most people would agree that post-processing is only evil in certain circumstances. But not all fakes are evil. Is this photo evil? 5 Common Mishaps in Product Photography Lighting. Photos by Lucas Zarebinski We’re going to give it away right up front: lighting is probably the most important element to shooting solid product photography. When isn’t it in photography? But because getting the nitty-gritty details is often so important, there’s a lot more involved in planning and setting up your product shots.
For some product photography lighting tips and advice on getting those miraculously detailed images, we talked to product photographer Lucas Zarebinski. Lucas is routinely sought out by editorial and advertising clients for his food photography and unique concepts for fashion and electronic products. His edgy work has appeared in magazines such as Men’s Health, Prevention, Bicycling, and Details. Here is Lucas’ list of some of the most common mishaps he’s seen (or experienced) and how he keeps clients coming back for more: Being afraid to get up close and personal Familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of the product, and you’ll be better prepared to light it. Product Photography. Product Photography © 2006 KenRockwell.com I get my goodies at Ritz, Amazon, Adorama.
It helps me keep adding to this site when you get yours from those links, too. Nikon F2AS Introduction I never thought much of it, but people ask me how I make product photos look so good. It's all in the lighting! Here's how. See also Studio Strobes and How to Use Studio Lighting. Cleanliness We'll be shooting small items and see them bigger-than-life on screen. It's faster to clean the items beforehand than to retouch them in Photoshop. I always wear nitrile exam gloves to prevent leaving my own fingerprints. I use fuzzy microfiber towels to suck off any dust or other people's fingerprints. Even brand-new items often need cleaning.
Be as clean or as sloppy as you like. Background Use heavy white paper. I grabbed some big flexible sheets of the thin cardboard that served as disposable liners between stacks of toilet paper on the pallets at Price Club (Costco)! Lighting Forget battery -powered flash. Camera Ken. 3 Lighting Setups For Apparel Photography That Will Make Your Photos Shine - Remove The Background. Place one light source and umbrella at a 45-degree angle to the product so that the lighting on the product is soft and even throughout.
Keep your camera directly in front of your subject and utilize a tripod if you prefer to. Although you don’t have to use a tripod with a mono strobe light, you may find it more efficient and consistent to leave your camera framed and ready to go as you position each new product to be photographed. If you have placed the product too close to the background, you may get some shadowing; if this happens, you can do one of two things: (1) simply move the subject farther away from the backdrop to achieve a clean, white background instead, or (2) select the product in post and place it onto a purely white backdrop of your own making. Next, set your light source’s power to about half. In our case, our strobe had 1 to 5 power settings, so we set the power to 3 in order to allow enough light without overdoing it.
Now it’s time for you to give it a go! How to Use a Light Tent for Small Product Photography. Product Photography Lighting - Everything you need to know. “What camera should I get?” Is a question that we get asked a lot at Arqspin. It’s an important one, but the question you should really be asking is this: “What photography lighting should I get?” Having the newest camera can make a big difference if you’re in a low light scenario or shooting objects in motion, but you won’t face these situations when taking product photography. If you have any modern DSLR, point-and-shoot, or even a smartphone, it’s likely that investing in lighting will improve your product photography more than investing in a new camera. For those of you looking for a quick answer, just buy this kit for $330. We’ve touched on lighting in several of our posts, but here, we’d like to do a deep dive into the topic as well as propose some clear options for different budget ranges.
Remember that a photograph just records the light in a scene. Sunlight If you have a window that gets a good, constant amount of sunlight on most days, it could be a reliable source of lighting. Photographing Product – Lighting Options. Speedlights Speedlights are small, portable, have fantastic color and they have a really wide range of power outputs which works well for product photography. Speedlights are the bigger flash that is put on top of the camera to give more flash power, however we want to use these in this instance to light our products and to make that work we need to find a way to trigger the speedlights from our camera so that the flash is timed when the camera takes an exposure.
There are three ways to do this. The first is optical triggering. Not all speed lights have the ability to be triggered optically but many do. It works simply when the speed light sees another flash pulse it fires. You can use your camera’s built in flash to do this. Another way to get the speedlights to fire is with a cable. The third way to get speedlights to fire is with an inexpensive radio trigger. All of these methods of “triggering “are “dumb triggering” types. Positioning Inexpensive CSL lamps. Aperture, ISO and Shutter speed for product photography | Remove the Background from Your Product Images. You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take a decent photograph, but a good product image requires more than just aiming and shooting.
When you’re photographing items to sell online, you want to produce the best results possible. A great product photo will make your store look professional and show that you pay close attention to detail. No one wants sloppy presentation, right? Three key factors to take into consideration are aperture, ISO sensitivity and shutter speed. Aperture The aperture is the hole within a lens that determines the amount of light that travels into the camera. If you’re unfamiliar with some of the terms above, just go with an aperture between f/4.5 – f/7.1. In situations where you are unable to work with a plain background and you want to isolate the subject from its background or surrounding elements, a wide aperture (say f/2.8 or lower) will help blur everything that is not within the area you chose to focus on.
Shutter Speed. To Take Better Product Photographs for Free. Choosing the Right ISO Setting for Product Photography - Remove The Background. ISO, an abbreviation that stands for “International Standards Organization,” is your camera’s sensitivity to light. In film photography, ISO is referred to as “film speed.” You have probably seen these numbers on film canisters in the past: 200, 400, 800, etc. Those numbers represent different ISO settings—the lower the number, the less sensitive the film will be to light; the higher the number, the more sensitive the film will be to light. However, because the majority of product photography these days is digital, everything in this article will relate to utilizing your digital camera. In digital photography, the ISO setting on your camera controls the light sensitivity of your camera’s image sensor.
Typically, photographers use ISO settings between 100-1600, though on newer, higher-quality digital cameras, settings go as low as ISO 50 and as high as the 200,000s. Photographing Product – Camera Settings. DSLR in Program Mode. When taking photos on the tripod I don’t want to just snap the shutter, as at these are slower shutter speeds 1/30, 1/40th I might get some camera shake as I press the shutter so I want to put it into drive mode into 2 second self-timer so when I press the shutter button the shot will take 2 seconds after my finger press.
This gives sharper photos as it eliminates camera shake. I could also use a longer time like 2 second or a shutter release cable. Ideally use Manual Mode, allowing me to adjust ISO, Aperture & Shutter Speed. Start with ISO 100, Aperture f8 or f11, you should not go higher than f11 because with a C size sensor it would make the image look softer. Shutter speed needs to go down to 0”6 or 1” or maybe to 1”3 sec. In the review monitor for the camera look for detail in the shot by magnifying it so that you can check. To recap use the lowest ISO possible, the largest depth of field (f number) I can get away with at this focal length. An End-to-End Guide to Light Boxes for Product Photography | Light Stalking. Why Should I Use a Light Box? When photographing small to medium products, it is a good idea to use a light box. This will allow you to have complete control over the subject’s background and lighting.
A soft background and even diffused lighting will highlight the product beautifully and has been proven to produce more sales and a higher perceived value. Many common light sources are inherently flawed for this type of photography since they tend to produce uneven lighting, unwanted shadows and incorrect white balance. Your camera’s flash will often overexpose the very front of the subject and slightly underexpose the rest of the image.
Bright, direct sunlight is a bit better for photographing a product, since the white color temperature will usually be more natural. Room lighting is perhaps the most problematic of all. Where Can I Get a Light Box? There are commercially available light boxes of varying sizes and prices, most of which are relatively inexpensive. How to Light the Light Box. 3 Great Ways to Utilize a Light Cube. Product photography: tips for using a light tent for irresistible images. How to Use a Light Tent for Small Product Photography. Products: Light Tents. Damask Love | craft is in session. The Simple Guide to Shooting a Perfectly Lit Product Photo. Product Stands. How To Photograph Your Product to Enhance Your Online Sales in 4 Easy Steps - Digital Photography School.
A Step-By-Step Guide to Shooting Your First Product Photograph - Tuts+ Photo & Video Tutorial. Product Photography Tutorial: How to Shoot Great Photos on the Cheap. 10 Tips for Effective Product Photography for Websites. Ebay Product Photography: Small Indoor Items. Products: The Basic Setup. Reflections on Product Photography - Digital Photography School. Photographing Reflective Objects - Arqspin. How to Photograph Shiny Reflective Objects: Silver Chrome Metal. What Every Beginner Needs to Know About Product Photography | Light Stalking. Adorama. A Primer For Photographing Glass Objects. Photographing Highly-Reflective Products: How to Control Reflections - Remove The Background.
Photographing Product – Reflective Product. 3 Lighting Setups For Apparel Photography That Will Make Your Photos Shine - Remove The Background. Photographing Product – Lighting Options. Product Photography Lighting - Everything you need to know. How to Use a Light Tent for Small Product Photography.