Shooting Print/Stationery

Limbo
Limbo
Established NormPosts: 27,292 in Photography
Got any tips?

I'm shooting upward of 50 items next week. Will set up a home 'studio'. Have a Nikon D70 with OK glass + tripod and mount flash with diffuser (it's for online retail so doesn't need to be outstanding quality).

We'll shoot all images from above, so I don't think a light tent will work... so my questions:

If you need to isolate images from their background (1000px x 1000px white squares) what process would you take? Would you shoot from the same height regardless of product size for consistency? Would you shoot on a white background or use a 'green screen'? What Apperture/Shutterspeed works best for static subject like this? Short and low or high and Long? And would you set up the camera with low ISO? My test shots this morning seem pretty grainy...

Any tips/hints appreciated, no matter how obvious they might sound.

Ta.

Comments

  • Tom
    Tom
    Keeping d*d Happy Posts: 11,595
    I've started with a little home studio set-up recently for product/food/desktop photography, what I've learned:

    Continuous lighting is much easier to work with (and adjust), primarily as you can see the variation with your own eyes on an ongoing basis. I've got two fairly large softboxes and multiple reflectors, endless possibilities this way.

    Always use a low ISO for the best quality, particularly if you're using a tripod this is no brainer. The aperture depends on the type of look you want, do you want everything tack sharp or some DoF?

    I often work with one Softbox and a silver reflector that I adjust by hand, the softboxes I use are also adjustable, ie they have five lights in each that you can isolate.

    I like to have uneven light so there are some shadows for most of stuff as it creates a sexier image, couple of examples from recent shoots of mine:

    16787249343_12b1a9d644_z.jpg

    16130399998_b94cbd5b42_z.jpg

    If you want perfect studio style product shots with even light, I would then drop the reflector and use both softboxes with the same settings either side of the table.

    If you want perfect consistency I would also shoot in manual mode with a custom white balance, can't go wrong then.
  • Limbo
    Limbo
    Established Norm Posts: 27,292
    Thanks Tom - Excellent suggestions and a couple of cracking images there ^ :)

    I'll try a lower ISO and I'm not looking for any DoF - crisp as I can get them.

    I'll also have a go with a couple of Anglepoise lamps + some high wattage bulbs. Add some makshift diffusers too - as I only have the shoe flash at the mo (adjustable with slave setting if need be).

    Any idea what wattage bulbs I need?

    Do you use reflectors much then?
  • pmek
    pmek
    Banned Posts: 9,297
    One thing to do - make sure all the lights you use have the same colour temperature, and that will need to match daylight too if you have natural light in the mix.
  • Tom
    Tom
    Keeping d*d Happy Posts: 11,595
    I'd go for around f/10 then.

    Yeah I use reflectors loads (got gold, silver + white), but these I like to adjust by hand, not good for perfect consistency that you want.

    As stated above if you want perfect/boring product shots I would drop the reflector and use two softboxes only with even settings.

    Guaranteed accuracy and consistency then, custom white balance and manual shooting also essential. That way you can batch adjust in RAW easily if needed.
  • Limbo
    Limbo
    Established Norm Posts: 27,292
    Thanks.

    Yeah, I'm hoping to race through it. Batch the tone/white balance etc, so consistency of all shots needs to be bang on.

    Then send off to a chopshop to finalise (85p an image seemed really reasonable - and comes recommended - we have 3-4 shots of each product x 50 so it's going to be hours in PS if I do the isolation work).

    Question - would you shoot at night/dark room to get best results? Or utlise ambient light for a more natural shot?
  • Tom
    Tom
    Keeping d*d Happy Posts: 11,595
    If you want absolutely perfect and consistent results then night/darkroom is essential. Daylight/ambient light varies.
  • Limbo
    Limbo
    Established Norm Posts: 27,292
    Yeah, that was my thinking. Will test it all tonight. Thanks for the advice - ISO fixed at 200 already made a difference (was set to Auto).

    It's quite enjoyable as I've not done any kind of structured shoot since one of my first design jobs, where we did everything, from shoot, post pro, design, copywriting and ad buying/management. We weren't very good.
  • handcraftedweb
    handcraftedweb
    thought leader Left coastPosts: 6,728
    Starbright wrote:
    One thing to do - make sure all the lights you use have the same colour temperature, and that will need to match daylight too if you have natural light in the mix.
    +1. Mixed temp lighting is impossible to fix in post.
  • Limbo
    Limbo
    Established Norm Posts: 27,292
    Yeah, I'll get same bulbs. Thanks for the tip.
  • willtoo
    willtoo
    .O_o. Posts: 2,463
    Worth getting a remote too Limbob, pretty much eliminates camera shake and saves waiting for the self timer to count down over and over and over again. Failing that the DSLR.Bot app is pretty handy, all you'd need is a spare bit of headphone wire, solder and a couple of LEDs from Maplin for the trigger.

    Nice shots Tom.
  • Limbo
    Limbo
    Established Norm Posts: 27,292
    Yeah, I have a remote - came with the flash.
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