Chapter 10: Product Photography

Product photography is a huge genre and can encompass almost anything — from the tiniest microchip to something as large as an automobile. The light scenarios are vast and can include available light all the way up to elaborate lighting setups with dozens of strobes, reflectors, gobos, and scrims.

Professional product photographers are paid enormous amounts of money because companies need their images to look flawless in magazines and billboards. Of course, although most readers of this book aren’t going to be photographing a Mercedes Benz advertisement, you can still benefit from knowing about the most basic techniques to get started.

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Studio and Advertising

This type of photography is meant to showcase a product to make it look its best. The images must be flawless and almost always require a lighting setup. Advertising images are almost always shot on a clean seamless backdrop. This leaves the scene uncluttered and ensures that the product isn’t in competition with anything else in the shot.

Commercial advertising photographers generally use a shooting table with translucent white or clear Plexiglas that fits into the table and sweeps up for a seamless appearance. The translucent Plexiglas allows you to shoot through it so you can get a soft backlight or underlight that is ...

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