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Free Preview: Fundamentals of Still Life and Product Photography

Introduction

01:22
  • Overview
  • Transcript

Photography plays a vital role in selling products in print, video, and on the web. Mastering lighting and the setup is the key to producing great-looking images. In this course you will learn how to create a beautiful product photo from a concept illustration. You will learn about speedlights and studio strobes, how they are different, and how to trigger them. You will also learn how to use an incident light meter, so that you can use your flashes efficiently. In the example shoot, you will see both speedlights and strobes used with a few basic modifiers to create this look, and you will see it built up one light at a time. By the end of this course, you will have the tools you need to be able to stage the products, meter the lights, and shoot some fantastic-looking product shots using multiple flashes!

1. Introduction

1.1 Introduction

Product photography plays a vital role in print, video and on the web. If you're selling a product the goal could be to show a lot of detail. If you're advertising a product the goal could be to build anticipation. So you may choose to do something much more dramatic. No matter what you're trying to achieve, mastering lighting and the set up is key to producing great looking results. Hi, my name is Dave Bodie for TouchPlus, and in this course you will learn how to create a great looking product photo from an artist illustration. To pull this off, you're going to need to have a lot of control over your lighting and this means using flash. So that you have a better understanding of flashes, you're going to learn about speed lights, in studio strobes, how they are different and how to trigger them. You are also going to learn how to use a basic incident light meter so that you can use your flashes efficiently. In the example shoot, you will see both speed lights and strobes used with a few basic modifiers to create this look and you will see it built up one light at a time. You will also see how to give your clients a little extra value by quickly creating a few additional looks from the same lights and modifiers. At the end of this course, you will have the tools that you need to be able to stage your products, meter the light, and shoot some fantastic looking product shots with multiple flashes. The first step is going over what you need to get started. And that's coming up next.

1.2 What You Need

In order to get started and follow along, you are going to need a few basic pieces of kit. In this lesson, you will learn about what gear will be used in this course and what essentials you need to get started. First let's talk about cameras. Any camera with full manual control and the ability to trigger a flash is going to work. Manual control is control over the aperture, the shutter speed or exposure time, and the ISO. So how do you know if your camera can trigger a flash? Well, let's see. Does it have a flash or PC sync port? Then it will work. Does it have a hot shoe? Then you're good to go. Does it have a built in flash with manual control? Any one of these will work, although the built in flash method can be a little bit tricky. You're gonna learn all about flash triggering in an upcoming lesson. The good news is that many, many cameras fit this criteria. Even my old Canon 300D from 2004 will work fine for an assignment like this. For this assignment, I'm going to use my Tamron 28 to 75 millimeter f2.8 lens on my Canon 7D body. This lens will give me the ability to compress my shot a little bit, because 28 millimeters on an APSC sensor is a little past the quote, unquote normal focal length or field of view. So it should work very well for that. To stabilize my camera, I'm gonna use a tripod in a ball head here. A ball head makes it fast and easy to get things level, and compose properly, but you could also use a pan tilt head or a gear head. You're also probably going to want some sort of backdrop for the photos, and this can be something as simple as a seamless paper backdrop, a fabric backdrop, or even a neutral colored wall, like white or gray. To light my products, I'm going to use strobes and speed lights with a few modifiers, and I'm gonna be triggering these flashes with pretty inexpensive radio triggers. For my modifiers, I'm gonna be using a 24x24 inch collapsible soft box. A 43 inch white shoot through umbrella and a few color filters or gels. I'm also going to be using a hand held light meter to set a flash output, and get my camera dialed in to the appropriate settings. For grip gear, you're gonna need a couple of stands for your lights, and a few short boom arms will definitely help to get things positioned around your products as well. You don't have to have the exact same gear that I'm going to use. In fact, you could pull off this shot with a lot of different pieces of kit. As long as you have some flashes, modifiers, stands, a tripod, and a camera, you should be good to go. You're going to learn more about the types of strobes and speed lights, and some flash basics later in this course. For now, you are ready to move on to the next chapter in this course, where you are going to learn about light metering.