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Setting up

Setting up product photography studio

It used to just be keen amateur photographers who did their best to take photos of a watch or a vase with beautiful flowers, for example. But nowadays there are lots of people taking these kinds of photos. The advent of internet webshops has resulted in product photography taking a huge leap forwards.

PhotoCube foto box (lighttent) is the ideal solution for people who want to create product photos. Folded up it hardly takes up any space, and unfolded it ensures uniform, diffused lighting.

But how do you create beautiful pictures with the PhotoCube foto box (lighttent)? In this article we describe a few steps and settings that will help you achieve the desired results.

Equipment required:

-     PhotoCube foto box (lighttent) 75cm

-     Single Lens Reflex (SLR) camera

-     Tripod  

-     Lighting set:

-     detachable flash unit

-     Softbox Lighting Kit

-     8 x 30W daylight bulbs

 

Camera with separate flash unit

We start with an ordinary table as the background for the first shot. The camera is mounted on a tripod at the head of the narrow side, so that lighting can be positioned later.

The subject is a statuette. This is positioned at an angle to the camera, to give the photo dimension and depth. We start with the camera on the tripod, and a detachable flash unit. Both are set to "fully automatic".

The result is not attractive. The flash creates hard shadows and ugly reflections. This is not a photo you want to show off on a webshop.

Daylight lamps

In the next shot, the flash is replaced by a daylight lamp mounted on a stand. This is positioned to the right of the camera at an angle of about 45 degrees from the subject, and a distance of 50cm.

Use a 30 Watt lamp. The cameraís built-in light meter reads the corresponding values. Aperture preselection determines the shutter speed, and with shutter timing preselection itís the other way round.

A shutter speed below 1/60 second means you need a tripod to prevent camera shake. A cable trigger ensures the camera remains completely stable when taking the shot.

Despite these changes, the photo is still far from perfect. There is still too much contrast and the highlights appear bleached. Moving the light towards the camera a little but creates more dimension in the photo.

The light is moved in the next picture, so itís now at an angle of 90 degrees, to the side of the subject. The distance to the subject remains the same.

The highlights are much better now, but one disadvantage of this harsh light is that some irregularities can be seen, such as imperfections and dust at certain angles.

Using the PhotoCube foto box (lighttent) prevents this problem.

The following setting has a second daylight lamp placed to the left, at the same angle as the other lamp.

A lamp that is positioned further away or has a less powerful bulb can act as a fill light to lighten the shadows.

But even with the second lamp, irregularities can still be seen. The last photo shows the best result without using the PhotoCube foto box (lighttent).

PhotoCube foto box (lighttent)

Now itís time to get started with the PhotoCube foto box (lighttent). The following shots were taken using the PhotoCube foto box (lighttent) 75 and a white background.

The size of the PhotoCube foto box (lighttent) required depends on the subject. The PhotoCube foto box (lighttent) must be twice as large as the subject. The PhotoCube foto box (lighttent) 30 is fine for a watch, but a PhotoCube foto box (lighttent) 150 is more suitable for clothes. If in doubt, use a PhotoCube foto box (lighttent) that is too large, as this will provide you with more possibilities before the PhotoCube foto box (lighttent) edges and sides appear in the photos.

Using the same lights in exactly the same positions as the previous set-up, the result is already much improved. We position the camera directly in front of the subject and close the front of the PhotoCube foto box (lighttent). Only the lens protrudes through the PhotoCube foto box (lighttent) opening.

When we measure the light using the cameraís light meter or a separate one, we see that it has changed half a stop. This is because the PhotoCube foto box (lighttent) obstructs some of the light.

Because the light is also diffused, there is a different reflection on the subject. If this results in an annoying glare, we can eliminate it by moving the lamps. This means the reflections are reduced or disappear altogether.

Changing the camera position can also help in these cases. Lowering the tripod can not only ensure that the reflections disappear, but also provide a different impression.

All the results at a glance

From camera flash to PhotoCube foto box (lighttent). You ultimately determine the angle of the product photo for yourself.

Tipps & Tricks