Chapter 14. Still-life and Product Photography

In This Chapter

  • Preparing your shot

  • Using available light

  • Using continuous lighting

  • Using accessories

For all practical purposes, product and still-life photography are the same; you are basically taking a photo of an object or a group of objects. Lighting is the key to making these images work. You can set a tone using creative lighting to convey the feeling of the subject. You can also use lighting to show texture, color, and form to turn a dull image into a great one. For example, becoming good at this type of photography can help you sell your items on eBay. When your product looks good, it's more likely to sell at a higher price.

Preparing Your Shot

There are two main qualities of lighting: hard light and soft light. You must know when to use each type in order to get the right quality of light for your subject. For the most part, when lighting objects, you want a soft, diffused light, as hard lighting often creates harsh shadows, giving a rather unpleasant look. Of course, hard lighting can also be useful. Hard light highlights the textures in an object, whereas diffused lighting plays down the texture. The key is determining when to use which type.

The background is another important consideration when photographing products or still-life scenes. Having an uncluttered background that showcases your subject is often best, although you may want to show the particular item in a scene, such as photographing a piece of fruit on a cutting ...

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