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Product Photography Blog

Why should I use professional product photographer's service? Wouldn't be worth for myself to invest  in professional DSLR camera and good lens and take photos myself?

These are the questions that many clients are asking. My answer is: The photographer takes a picture, not a camera.

Keep in mind: Professional Product Photographer is a profession and this occupation is a full time job. Of course you can learn it just like anybody else, but would you do the same with all other professions? You want to fix the car - learn how to become car mechanic, fix your television - learn how to do it,  etc. In each case, you need the tools, knowledge and experience.

With all sophisticated equipment available on the market, measuring exposure will be done by the camera, but in PRO product photography you never set up camera in automatic mode. Professional cameras have been designed to be used in manual mode. It does have automatic mode too, but you'll be surprised what would the difference be between the photograph from point and shoot and pro camera. In many cases point and shoot photographs may look much better than pro.

Here is very common question the people ask me: What kind of camera should I buy to do good pictures? Again the best answer I come up with is comparison to the car purchase:

What kind of car should I buy to drive safely? Of course to some point sophisticated safety features of the car matter, but  main factor is still the driver. Same thing with paint brushes. Does purchasing brand name Rembrandt paint brushes make you a great painter?

In my next article I will explain you what are the most important factors in product photography that contribute to the perfect photograph.

If you have any questions - please contact me

Monday, April 17, 2017
By Photography by George
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Industrial Product Photography. Challenges and Solutions

There are numerous challenges that a photographer may face while shooting industrial objects. Below are a few examples of these challenges and their solutions:

 

1. Shooting large pieces of industrial machinery can be tricky, especially if they are located in a fully operational environment. Taking still shots of the piece can be extremely difficult when the equipment is running, not to mention the vibrations on the floor on which you put your tripod.

Solution: Shoot at night and rely solely ambient light. Unfortunately, this would require extensive editing to arrive at the finished image.

 

2. Sometimes, a perfect image requires the photographer to take the shot from great heights and this could include being suspended from a forklift & balancing atop a shaky wooden platform. Click here to see top shot of a workstation. Solution: Turn off the forklift engine, let the skid stop shaking, and enable the camera’s “mirror lockup”. I would also recommend using a tripod and a wireless remote shutter in order to ensure that there is absolutely no movement.

 

3. Every once in awhile, it is necessary to take photos of a machine located in small storage. If the piece is too large to be removed from the storage, it can be rather challenging to obtain the right lighting direction for shooting within such a confined space. In such situation, ambient light cannot be used. Solution: Use dispersed strobe lights directed at the ceiling and wrap the object with white backdrop to avoid colour reflections from the surrounding walls.

 

4. How about shooting a long assembly line when there is not enough room to catch entire piece in one shot? Solution: Take a few or a series of images and stitch them together afterwards. HINT: make sure you shoot in HDR and RAW format.

 

 5. Rubber pieces like gaskets are distorted and often do not lay flat. Solution: Cover it with glass sheet to eliminate vertical distortion and use polarized light. Horizontal distortion can then be removed with final editing. 

To see some examples of industrial photography challenges please click to my Portfolio - Industrial Photography

 

 
Sunday, March 05, 2017
By Photography by George
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A Product Photographer’s job may sometimes be a challenge…

…though an experienced photographer can handle any situation, especially with nineteen years of experience within the field.

  Some of the experiences I have encountered in the past;

1. While on a photography shoot, we had been asked to photograph a haunted house with infrared lighting. This enabled us to shoot in darkened interiors of an old, abandoned house. Click here to see our photos of a haunted house with couple shots in infrared light. Click on haunted house

2. Snapping photos while suspended on shaky platform 20 feet above ground. Click here to see top shot of the workstation

3. While in the midst of heavy security I had been commissioned to take close up photos of an incredible $2.5 Million dollar diamond ring. Check white gold ring with a fancy yellow diamond click 

4. I was employed by Californian company to photograph facilities at the Toronto Pearson Airport, though upon showing up and beginning our shoot we had been greeted by Police and airport security whom were unaware of our photo shoot. Upon providing our documentation and verifying it with airport authorities, I was permitted to continue my shoot.

5. Shooting protecting film on mobile phone. My goal was to photograph something which was actually invisible! Click on this  link  to see final photograph of the mobile phone

6.Take photos of a parrot whom was not very thrilled about the photo shoot! See top of this post

7. One of my photo shoots involved taking photos of a local realtor whom was holding a sign containing their contact information while standing in the middle of one of Toronto's busiest intersections. 

 

 
Saturday, February 18, 2017
By Photography by George
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There is a great misconception regarding the complexity of professional product photography. One might think that it is easy, simply point and shoot, and all you need is a set of good camera gears. In actuality, it is far more complicated. Placement of lights at their perfect positions, correct measurement of light intensity & its direction, and the use of different light modifiers & reflectors are all integral part of the procedure. All flashes of the strobe lights must be synchronized. And lastly, the use of modeling lights is also essential in accentuating the final effect before the shutter is pressed.

Next come manual adjustments to the camera settings. Correct angling of the product is also necessary to capture the desired shot. Very often, setting up the product and positioning the various props require a lot of time and effort. Click here to see different types of product photographs that require different approach.

A photographer may at times take dozens of photos before arriving at the perfect image. And in many cases, the final photos would then require extensive editing to perfect them, which can be very time consuming.

A picture is worth a thousand words, but it can also be worth thousands of dollars in revenue. A great website image can often turn casual browsers into potential buyers.

Quality product photography - why it's more complicated than one would expect

 
Saturday, December 31, 2016
By Photography by George
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What exactly is the difference between Commercial and Advertising Photography?

 

Commercial photography primarily focuses on the technical details of the object, such as products, buildings, food etc. Its main purpose is to show clearly the object's features and to illustrate the way it should be used.

 

The main goal of the presentation is to show the object online or in printed materials for commercial purposes. Wholesalers and retailers often use these commercial images as informational material to entice potential customers in making the purchase. Background and lighting should be kept neutral and should not in any way distract the viewer’s attention from the actual object. As such, most online shopping sites require white backgrounds. To see a typical example of commercial product image, Click here

 

Advertising photography uses a variety of techniques in terms of lighting, background and props to produce an artistic and stylish setup. It often requires the cooperative efforts of the company’s marketing department and its stylists who specialize in their particular field. The sole purpose of these preparations is to facilitate the photographer in capturing professional images of the object (or service) with a creative flair to draw viewers’ attention.

All the preparation requires the involvement of the company’s personnel and may take certain amount of time. The resulting images can then be used to deliver their clear message through magazines, billboards, and the internet.

Click here  to see few examples of advertising image

 
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
By Photography by George
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Jewellery Photography Workshop

 

In this blog, I'll try to explain why there is no universal answer for the question: "How much do you charge for a picture? ". It mainly depends on the complexity of the project; for example, the size, material and shape of the product. As well, the complexity of post-production is also a very important factor.

 

Now, let's talk about jewellery photo shoot.

 

To properly show enlarged images of jewellery made of shiny metal and gemstone is a real challenge. You would need to control two or more lighting and reflectors set ups that are different for metallic surfaces and for cut gemstones.

 It is very important to select clean, flawless samples and handle them using fabric gloves, or deliver them to my studio in original packaging. For more information regarding procedures click here

First, you would need to prepare a set of light modifiers - two different sets for each part of the object.

 

Depending on the size and shape of the object, I may have to use up to six strobe lights (not necessarily all of them) that allow me to control the intensity and direction of the light in different areas of the metallic part of the object. In general, the bigger the size and roundness of the metallic jewellery piece, the more strobes is required.

 

To soften the light, you need to separate the sources of light from the object using semi-opaque sheets from the bottom and from the top. Also, you would need to cover all sides of the working area with white material to prevent reflections from the surrounding objects.

 

Now, it's time to position the object. Small pieces of putty will often be sufficient to do a good job. You can also use transparent objects to support and fixate the object in its required position.

 

Next to the object, you would need to properly position some handmade reflectors. They can be made of white, black or metallic materials.

 

Once the area of the piece of jewellery that you wish to capture is ready, you will need to start moving the selected light reflectors and the object around to obtain the desired visual effect. In this step you should focus your attention on the shiny metallic part of the jewellery.

 

Once this is done, you can repeat the same procedure, this time focusing on gemstone. Noted that back light and black reflectors need to be used.

Do you want to see some samples of jewellery photographs  please click here

 

Now, it's time for post-production, a topic that I will address in my next blog post.