Contrary to all beliefs, a good photo is not a matter of the coolest camera and its advanced features. First of all it is the ability to manipulate light. Outdoors we use of ambient light. A trained eye will spot in a moment the angle of the sun, and their proportions, will choose the best crop and parameters as time and stop. Some use intuition, others knowledge and experience. Regardless of what we rely the rules are the same, and the effect should be just as good.
Working in the studio is a different matter, because plan building requires our own initiative. How to begin?
Depending on the mood of the day and the level of creativity, I have 2 methods of operation, which I will present on the example of rings photographed on the PC.
1. I turn on all available lights, 2. choose the correct arrangement of the product, 3. on the screen I observe how the object is present, 4. I turn off unnecessary lights, especially the front LEDs giving a strong concentrated light and ugly in my opinion symmetrical flare, 5. to illuminate the stones or stress other important details I use of mobile leds, 6. I take a test photo, after which I regulate the proportions of the other lights, 7. often at this stage I turn on an image editor and check that the product is easy to free-form select (link to free-form select), 8. if the program “gnaws” the ring from whence side – I get rid of excess light from a particular direction to bring out the edges.
1. I put the product on the platform, 2. I turn off all the lights, 3. gradually I turn on more light points: bottom (under the platform), rear (background), front-bottom and a movable LED, which directs to detail. After the test photo and machining simulation / free-form select I set lights proportions or add another.
I do not hide that the key issue in all of this puzzle is the mentioned proportion. It concerns the ratio volume of the various sources of light. It is something that you do not adjust by shutter speed, aperture and ISO settings on the camera. It is the reason why something in the same picture is burned (too bright, devoid of edges and detail) on the other hand underexposed (too dark and dull).
In the product photography should take care that the object is fairly evenly illuminated and is usually seen with the naked eye. Stairs to start when you want to move the object on a white background. In shadowless photography important is the bottom and back lighting. These lights are difficult to correct “by eye” and burn the product in the least expected places.
Simple Tips – Two extreme cases of rings lighting in Photocomposer:
For lying flat, white gold, photographed from the front (0 degrees), example of light analyse:
-All lights 100% - according to me too many blinks (a matter of taste, of course..)
- 100% of the bottom light is absolutely too much, proportion is not correct, because I am not able to seperate product from the background
- reduction up to 10 % of bottom light doesn’t give me expecting result, Free-form-select tool cannot recognize the edges, and metal is rather gray than gold
- somewhere in the middle (30%) is pretty good, but I still don’t like blinks and mirror effect in the inner side of the ring – 0 degrees is deadly difficult to take
In situation like this I usually reduce lights (scheme) and change an angle (position of my Camera)
This angle gives me less reflections, smooth surface of gold, easy free form selection, mobile light point the dimonds a bit, and I am proud of this effect now!
For standing ring (wax), yellow gold, example of light analyse:
100% of al light’s power is definitely too much
Bottom light (platform) and the upper (from the “ceiling”) reduced to 0-30%, background light (from behind) about 50%, headlight (from 100%.
Need a help in light settings? Read an article about MASK – new free form selection by MODE 360.