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Camera settings

Photography techniques

You can find a wealth of information about photography on the internet, so we only provide useful tips and practical information here, rather than complicated theories.

Basic settings

Light and exposure are the most important factors in photography. Photography literally means "writing with light". There are lots of internet sites that explain how this works.

Here, PhotoCube foto box (lighttent) demonstrates a few steps that will help you improve the end result of your photos. It simply comes down to experimenting with your camera settings.

Basic equipment and set-up

We assume you have the basic equipment required for product photography: the PhotoCube foto box (lighttent), lighting (preferably daylight lamps), and a camera tripod. First create the basic set-up and then look at your camera settings.

Determining ISO value

Turn off the camera’s "auto mode" and flash. Now check the ISO value and set it to 100 or 200. A low ISO value means there is sufficient light for taking photos. You use a high ISO value when there is insufficient light. One disadvantage of this, however, is that photos can become grainy. This means you need to ensure you have sufficient light for your product photography, so you can keep the ISO value low.

Aperture setting

If you want to set the aperture manually, set the camera to its "A" or "Av" mode. The aperture controls your photo’s depth of focus. A low number (aperture is expressed as an "F" number) allows a shallow depth of focus.

The product will then appear on the photo with a sharp focus, with the background blurred (out of focus). With this setting, any irregularities in the background will blur or disappear. With a high 'F' number, everything on the photo is in focus.

Experiment and learn

Experiment with the settings mentioned above and notice how all the different settings produce different effects. If you delay experimenting with the aperture for a while, it’s best to set the camera to the "P" mode. The camera then determines the ideal shutter speed and aperture for itself.

Slow vs. fast shutter speed

Shutter speed is not so important with product photography if you have sufficient available light. Selecting a slower shutter speed means your camera sensor records more light, so the picture becomes brighter.

Tripod with slow shutter speed

Have you have selected a slower shutter speed for a particular camera set-up? No problem. The camera won’t move if it’s on the tripod, so you will still take sharp photos.

Overexposure and underexposure

You can use the + and – functions for your camera’s exposure setting to overexpose or underexpose your photo.

This means you can create different results without changing the basic set-up (PhotoCube foto box (lighttent), lighting and camera tripod). Take some test shots with various settings and check the results on your PC. This is how to learn which settings give the best results.

RAW

If you take photos in RAW (not possible with all cameras), then post-processing the photo is very easy. RAW files contain all the photo data. It’s like a digital negative.

Summary

Summarising the above results in the following guidelines:

Start by setting up the basic equipment.

Turn off the camera’s "auto mode" and flash.

Set the ISO value to 100 or 200.

Set the camera to ‘A' or ‘Av' mode and experiment with the aperture.

Or:

Set the camera in the ‘P' mode, which means the camera automatically selects the most suitable aperture.

Experiment with the + and – functions for your camera’s exposure setting (the amount of light on the sensor).

Then all that’s required is a lot of experimenting. Also, try placing the lights in completely different positions to see what different effects this change produces. If you have any questions, please contact us and we will be happy to help you.

Finally, the most important thing:

Enjoy your photography!

Tipps & Tricks