What camera should I buy? -is one of the most frequently asked question asked by many. It is a common belief of many that good pictures require advanced cameras and photography kits. Indeed a camera with advanced kits is very important, but this is not the only thing to execute a successful photography. There are several other factors one must consider to get the desired output. Among the important features, lighting is one of the most vital element of photography. No matter what photo does one take, without proper product photography lighting arrangement, the photograph does not come alive.
In this article we’ll look at the lighting arrangements of product photography. Product photography is a whole different branch of photography. It requires special expertise and prior experience to bring out the accurate and desired photos. Since products are put up for sale, they must look appealing to the customers. Needless to say, a sad looking product won’t never sell, or even if it sells, it won’t generate much of a profit. Product photographs are mostly shown in e-commerce site, personal company website and profile, TVC, PPC, Billboards, brochure etc. Although in photography post production, the lights, colors, and exposure could be retouched, natural and live lighting arrangement always give the best output.
Product Photography Lighting
Among the most frequently advised product photography tips, the first thing that comes on top of the list is photography lighting. Without appropriate lighting, the product will be less eye-soothing to the consumers, which will result in a low selling rate. So, what actually are the lighting arrangements? How should we apply or arrange the lightings? Do we need to be experts of lights? Not necessarily. Here are five quick, easy, and effective lighting formation. Just pick any of the arrangement you prefer for your products.
Before going into the arrangements, let us look at the kits you need for the lighting. Apart from the natural sunlight, light bulbs, camera flash, studio lights, diffusion sheet, white background, light tents, soft boxes, stand, tripod etc.
Setting the Background
White backgrounds are the most common set up for product photography. This background reflects the light perfectly from all sections and creates a glowing atmosphere. As a result, the products shine. Other than white background, there are several ways to use the bulbs to improvise the image. We’ll discuss about them in next section.
Manage Your Light Control
Tradition bulbs and studio lights, both are used in product photography. While traditional bulbs are becoming obsolete now-a-days, studio lights are very popular in product photography. However, since lights and bulbs are direct and sharp on the photo, it is very difficult to retain the exotic look of the product.
For that we must use diffusion kits to balance the sharpness and direct light from the bulbs. There are three ways to diffuse the lights- Diffusion Sheet, Light Tent, and Soft Box. To learn more about product photography lighting kits, click here.
Now let us look at the five formation or arrangements of product lighting.
1.The Light-box with Reflection: Create a box with a packaging box, tracing/white papers or sheets. Place two soft box or studio box light on left and right side of the paper box. Place a glass inside the box, but make sure you have a white background beneath the glass too. Now, place the product in the middle of the glass. Shoot your product until you get your perfect shot.
2.Top and Umbrella Light against White Background: A product placed on a white surface against a white background will look great if a light is placed on the top and two umbrella lights are aimed from two corners. In this way, the product will get full lighting attention from all corners and from the above, plus the white surface and background will reflect the light which eventually will create a glowing atmosphere.
3.Lighting From Below Through a Transparent Surface: A transparent glass is needed for this kind of lighting. A soft light should be placed under the glass table pointing upwards and the product will be placed over the glass. Glass products, for example, bottles, jars, show pieces, and other glossy items are the best option for this kind of photography. To show the name of the product properly, use another light from the top. In this way, the product will be in a sandwich of light. Now, shoot until you get your perfect one.
4.Lighting from the Back: Back lighting sounds difficult to handle. Indeed it is, but it can offer much more if handled tactfully. It is also called the Rim-Lighting. Two lights can be placed on the background, one in the left corner and another in the right corner. The problem is that, until you place black box in the middle of the light, the light frame you’re looking for won’t come out. Therefore, place a box to create shadow and then shoot your photo.
5.Fill in Light and White Background Photography (Large Products): If you want to shoot a large product, for example a chair or a bookshelf, make sure you place the lights from every angle where the photo is going to be shown. Place the product in front of a white background. Lit a blub above the product and use two fill lights from two angels. In this way, no shadow will be created. Adjust the exposure and aperture of your camera and shoot. Before shooting, you can also use a grey card which will ensure that no outside lights are hampering the product.
Once you’re done with your photo-shoot, you may send them for post processing. In many occasions, after the photo-shoot, you’ll be needing clipping path, ghost mannequin, or masking service to remove thee products from backgrounds. These features are skillfully handled by image editing service providers. Since you’re a busy photographer and lack time to readjust and extract images one by one, all you need to do is, send the pictures to any prominent and trusted photo editing service provider.
Post-processing from outside surely will save you time in exchange of a little money. Remember, the money you spend in post-processing is actually saving you more, because time is money and you’re saving time here.