Chapter 13. Still Life and Product Photography

In still life and product photography, lighting is the key to making the image, and thereby the product, sell. You use creative lighting to convey the feeling or lifestyle situation associated with the object being photographed. You can also use lighting to show or diminish texture, highlight color and form, and turn a mundane image of a shampoo bottle into something the consumer can't live without. In this chapter, you learn some simple lighting techniques for creating still life and product images for advertising, online auctions, legal documentation, or collection cataloging. Along with lighting, the design of the image and placement of the objects are equally important components that need to work together. When you add elements of design to your lighting, you strengthen the composition to make a complete statement.

Still Life and Product Photography

This appetizer image was shot as a detail after photographing the entire platter on location for a catering client's brochure and Web site. A small studio was constructed in the client's kitchen to facilitate shooting quickly and provide lots of substitute models in case some were not camera-worthy. Exposure: ISO 100, f/11, 1/125 second.

Preparation and Considerations

Studio still life photography requires a lot more practical lighting technique than sports or fashion work, which are more spontaneous types of photography ...

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