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Tabletop Photography

Book Description

Imagine capturing stunning, professional-looking product shots without needing a studio filled with expensive equipment and large flash units. This book teaches all the steps for creating your own tabletop photography studio.

Affordable compact flashes offer a number of creative lighting options within your tabletop studio; and the appropriate lighting and backdrop, and the creative use of your camera's features are key to a perfect image.

Author Cyrill Harnischmacher guides you through a variety of exposure and lighting techniques, and covers how to achieve excellent results using compact flash units. Whether you wish to capture product images for use in print or on the web, or you want to improve your photos for personal use, this book will provide you with everything you need to know to get great results.

Topics include:

Lighting Setups; Reflectors, Diffusors, and Accessories; Soft Boxes and Umbrellas; Strobe Flashes; Combining Long Exposures with Flashlights; Multi-Flash Exposures; Composition and Arrangements; Creating Backdrops; Product Photography; Smoke, Fog, and Special Effects; Food Photography and much more...

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Dedication Page
  5. Contents
  6. Preface
  7. The Basics
    1. A Taste of Theory to Get Started
      1. Tools of Design: Sharpness and Blur
      2. Designing with Focal Length
      3. Light
      4. Designing with a Purpose
      5. Knowing Technology by Heart
      6. A Conceptual Approach
  8. Technology
    1. Flash Units
      1. Manual or TTL?
      2. The Light of Shoe-Mount Flashes
    2. Lenses
    3. Flash Control
      1. Sync Cable
      2. TTL Cable
      3. Wireless Infrared
      4. Wireless Radio
      5. Wireless TTL Control
    4. Camera Control
      1. Avoiding Camera Shake
      2. Remote Controls with Displays
      3. Controlling with a Computer
  9. Light
    1. Professional Light-Shaping Tools for Shoe-Mount Flashes
    2. Soft Boxes and Strip Lights
    3. Special Light-Shaping Tools
    4. Umbrella Reflectors and Umbrella Soft Boxes
    5. Reflectors and Diffusers
      1. Reflectors
      2. Diffusers
    6. A Comparison of Light-Shaping Tools
  10. Studio
    1. Setting Up Your Own Tabletop Studio
      1. The Simple Solution
      2. A Mobile Studio
      3. A Stationary Solution
      4. A Complete Studio
      5. The Photo Table
      6. Sweeps and Background Systems
      7. Additional Devices
      8. Stands
    2. Useful Accessories
      1. Adhesives and Anchorages
      2. Adhesives
      3. Anchorages
      4. Supports and Shims
      5. Influencing Light
      6. Light Accessories
      7. Organization
      8. The Battle with Dust
      9. Cleaning
      10. General Tools
    3. Backgrounds and Props
  11. In Practice
    1. Light Composition
      1. Key Light
      2. Fill Light
      3. Effect Lighting
      4. Background Lighting
      5. Styling with Light
    2. Displaying Surfaces
    3. Pure White Backgrounds
    4. Pure Black Backgrounds
    5. Displaying Glass
    6. Freezing Motion
    7. Long Exposures and Flash
    8. Multiple Exposures
    9. Reprography
    10. Transmitted Light
    11. High-Key and Low-Key Photography
      1. High-Key Exposures
      2. Low-Key Exposures
    12. Baseline Images for Photomontage
    13. Photographing Masks for Extraction
    14. Simple Product Shots for Internet Auctions
    15. Product Shots with a Light Tent
    16. Colorful Light
    17. Nature in the Studio . . .
    18. . . . The Studio in Nature
    19. Light Brushing and Light Painting
      1. Light Brushing
      2. Light Painting
    20. Strobe Lighting
    21. Smoke and Fog
      1. Fog Machine
      2. Dry Ice
      3. Hot Potato
      4. Tobacco Smoke
    22. Food Photography
      1. Conception
      2. Arranging
      3. Styling Food
      4. Small Tools
      5. Light
      6. Exposing
      7. Image Editing
  12. Assembly Instructions
    1. Do-It-Yourself Accessories
      1. Small Bracket for Multiple Flash Units
      2. Holders for Styrofoam Reflectors
      3. A Small Honeycomb Filter
      4. Bubble Levels for Your Camera
      5. Infrared Triggers
      6. Plastic Tubs as Light Tents
      7. Watch Holders
      8. Laptop Mount for Light Stands
  13. Beyond These Pages
  14. Other Books by Cyrill Harnischmacher