Product Shot

Getting Dust-Free

Gold Case with Dust

BEFORE SHOT: Gold Case before editing the dust & fluff.

Here is the “dust-free” image (below). Six hours later, of cloning and other tools used, to get rid of the dust and fluff from this product. There are a few more things I would change to get rid of manufacturer defects and even smaller dust spots, but I’ve had enough! Even a “perfectionist” has their limits.

I forgot to mention, that yes, I always use micro-fiber cloth and air blower to get rid of AS MUCH DUST AS POSSIBLE, but dust is a rather evil creation and has the tendency of coming back over and over and over again. Sometimes, you just have no choice than to shoot the image and clean up with some software solution, after the fact.

Estee Lauder Gold Cosmetics Case as

AFTER SHOT: GOLD CASE after editing dust and fluff.

Homemade \

LIGHTING: A single flash setup. METZ 32Z-2 Flash with homemade “Tupperware” diffuser coated with metallic black and silver paint. I also used a single sheet of A4 white paper (80gms weight thickness) to flag-diffuse light in areas where it was blowing out the highlights. I attempt to keep lighting as ‘simple’ as possible, when possible.

Was there any particular reason to paint the diffuser with black and silver metallic paint? No, not really, it is all experimental for sure. The inside of the device is silver metallic and the outside, sides are black metallic.

The goal was to make a translucent light modifier to use with this METZ flash, to get a wider spread at closer distance that gives off a good, softer, dispersed light source. I cannot use the METZ “Winder” Mode with this (not enough power), but I can use the “A”perture settings, and still place the light within 12-inches from the subject. This flash modifier is good for Cat (Pet) Portraiture (see below).  You can see the squarish highlight in Jamilah’s eye – a very nice catch-light.

When it comes to small flashes I’d take METZ over any other type of flash, any day of the week, and TWICE on Sunday.  Someday, I may check out their bigger flash units and Wireless Triggers.  I find METZ to be  über-Dependable!

Jamilah Bee Portrait taken using Homemade Light Diffuser - Modifier.

VITA LIFT

VITA LIFT, originally uploaded by fine-grain.

Men’s Products.
Still Life.
Table Top.
Macro.

Fine Art.

Uploaded by fine-grain on 17 Apr 08, 2.50PM MYT.

Well, it’s not the typical white background macro-product-personal-care shot that you usually see on the walls in the Cosmetics Department at the Mall.

I guess, it wasn’t meant for that type of setting. As I’ve mentioned before (maybe more times than I know), I tend to approach all my macro work from an Art Photography slant. I like manipulating color and perspective and interpreting the subject in my own way. Maybe 70% of my shots (like this) are initiated because I like the shape and color of the subject. I want to see what I can creatively do with it to get an image.

I also don’t have the ‘fantastic equipment‘ that the Product Shooters have. So there! Cat’s out of the bag! Well, actually, I have five cats and they can’t all fit in my camera bag, but maybe one or two. Nevertheless, they are out of the bag.

Not often do I mention the equipment used to make a shot. However, I guess if you are a viewer who likes this shot, you may enjoy knowing that a ‘halfway decent‘ product-style shot, can be made with minimal equipment.

I used my Canon Powershot A620 Camera.
1 – SYSTEMS IMAGING 600-Watt Studio Flash with BOWENS Snoot.
1 – VIVITAR Macroflash.

Of course, a DSLR would offer more options, more flexibility, more details, more resolution and better dynamic range; but, if you want to be a better Photographer, you can’t wait for the “dream camera” to magically appear before you begin working and practicing.  You need to work with the tools you have. The “dream camera” will come later.

At the present, I’m making images and applying the same methodology used by a Paleontologist with a toothbrush in hand, delicately clearing debris from tiny fossils preserved in sandstone. In other words, basically using less sophisticated equipment by necessity, but getting decent results.

So, get out there and practice. Use the tools you have. Develop your skills, and better things will surely come your way.

Regards!

Lots of Details to Consider – Product Shot: ESTEE – Deluxe Pure Color EyeShadow, Frame 77, Edit C-NP

ESTEE – Deluxe Pure Color EyeShadow, Frame 77, Edit C-NP, originally uploaded by fine-grain.

ESTEE – Deluxe Pure Color EyeShadow.
In my humble opinion:  Makeup containers made of lots of different materials are probably some of the toughest subjects to photograph well – and by no means am I saying mine is perfect.

Here’s what makes this type of shot so tough:

1) Lots of Color. EyeShadow colors: The photo MUST match the real thing.
2) A mirrored subject.
3) A subject with Gold (or Silver) Reflective Surface.
4) A subject with translucent glass or plastic.
5) A subject where texture may be important.
6) To retain and “edge” to the glass or plastic when shooting against white seamless.
7) No dust, hair, scratches, deformed makeup or “oddities”.

The Photographer must look out for all of these characteristics & requirements.

Lighting:
1) One Systems Imaging, 600 Watt-Seconds Compact Flash with NO Attachments.
2) One 20 Watt Twister Light.
3) One 30 Watt Twister Light.

I kept part of the shadow to retain a little of the 3-D Feel, and made the background seamless.

It ended up with more of a “artsy / painterly” feel to it; and that’s OK, but I was actually intending to do a straight Product shot.