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Product Photography

Need suggestions for lighting and lightbox

     
7:59 pm on Sep 24, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Hey everyone.. I did search here and other WebmasterWorld forums but didnt see an answer.. although I have been building websites for the past 19 years, I have always had manufacturer imagery or working along with a photographer for product images.

But now I am with a client where I am going to be shooting product photos for their e-commerce website. The items are no more than 36"x36" and most are around 18"x18" max in physical size. I have a decent Canon camera. What I am lacking is softlight kit and a shoot booth.

I have read dozens of reviews on Amazon and the popular photo/lighting etailers and see a wide range of reviews making my decision difficult. And so curious what you all are using to shoot product photos in regards to lighting, softlight booth, etc? ... TIA.
2:07 am on Sept 25, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Just a comment - As computer monitors move into 4k and beyond, higher definition and precise lighting technique may become of greater importance to online photos, but currently the display loss remains a significant obstacle.
2:45 am on Sept 25, 2018 (gmt 0)

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A lot depends.. are the items being photographed with the goal of 'floating' or shown on a white background as if they float? If not, you can get good images with a left and right softbox and if needed, a suspended key light of lower wattage. If they are to float, a lower light will help that look. The area behind you should be dark and non reflective. If the products to be photographed have reflective surfaces that would need different lighting than non-reflective surfaces. A simple collapsible reflective screen can help direct the light.

I'm pretty sure you know all these things and only wanted brand/model recommendations. I would not suggest that what I use might work for the project you have because I only know that you are photographing products but none of their properties other than size. My best equipment buys were when I was able to visit the photo equipment stores and let them show me what makes one softlight setup better for my needs than what I have. On Amazon, they are all the best and reviews are from people who are convinced that they got just what they wanted or didn't. Either type of review does not help much in my opinion because they might be taking snapshots of kitties. Talk to people you know who know you and exactly what work you would be doing to get usable ideas.

I have found excellent detailed product information in the 'Pro' articles at B&H Photo and if you can get to a physical B&H store they will take as much time as needed to help you determine what might help. DPReview used to be a reliable source of information, less so today for me anyway.
3:28 am on Sept 25, 2018 (gmt 0)

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To this day I do most of my product shots in full daylight, reflective whites left and right, on a table with a white sheet and backdrop. Works a treat ... except on cloudy days. :)

If you have to shoot indoors, then check out the lighting options for photogs, masts, tripods, etc. Spend as much as won't go ouch, or as little as gets the job done.

No rocket science involved, just commonsense.
3:31 am on Sept 25, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Note: inside flash takes two, minimum, three is better. Front, side, fill soft other side.More complete is overhead bounce. These are things long known and work just exactly the same for digital as it has for film all these years.