More Basic Tabletop Photography


Tabletop Product Photography


Lesson Info

More Basic Tabletop Photography

so we're going to get a little tent over this guy right here and a clamp sir and as we tented off you can see how we have a brighter side of dark side we have our speculate gives it shape we have our depth of field which gives it shape one of the things that you that you have fun within product photography and this kind of tiring is getting stuff to not fall on the ground and you start like priding yourself on the fact that I got through a shot nothing fell on the ground today how fun that is but weaken tenth this off and become become uh haven't become a sidelight very easily and control that speculum toe where we wanted to see how it's moving around that's actually bring it down brad let's bring that speculate down two to the third part of that you want to come down keep coming down way go that's good it's still twisting up there I think I know what's on here wait wait right there so we have this in your eyes that still is this okay we have this bolt in very very close to that that j...

ust that scrim what's happening is we have now is a hot spot on that scrim the scream it stealth this itself is still lighting up but we have a hot spot that we can use to create kind of a hot spot on that ball right change that up by taking that very small light source away and going with a much larger light source and you'll watch how the speculum changes kill this what about this one here so what you're doing is you're playing with the size of the speculators now we're lighting up the whole scrim and it's now the speculator and look how much bigger it isthe put this back here to kill those so much bigger diss pulled away and become softer bringing it in close just increases the exposure so it's we drop our exposure down here just this's what you do you play with your light until you find the perfect place for it products are all gonna have different textures to them leather silver chrome shiny black paint all kinds of things so when you're looking at your product bring me the blender thank you when you're looking at the product and I'll be very careful to keep my son on the label thank you we'll use the back of the thing we're looking at something like this to photograph in the studio that's a nightmare isn't it look at the angles you're gonna have to have something that reflects here to the camera here to the camera because this is a different angle this is reflecting what's up there is a matter of fact there's probably a bright spot up here right angle of incidence angle of reflection into the camera whichever cameras on it's still all going to be the same angle of incidence then you have this which is angled down oh joy this glass is angled downs were not there's something down here for this to reflect and on and on and wraps around this way it becomes quite a challenge for the photographer to figure out how we're gonna light this and still make it look good still make it look like a blender we want to buy that's your job that's why they came to you you know why they came to you because they needed down an accounting was been taken him out on the parking lot and shooting him in the sun and it's just not working and she's got a d seven thousand right there I mean it should work it's a good camera right but it doesn't because it has nothing to do with that it has to do with what this blender reflects after the break we're going toe actually during the break we're going to set the blender up we come back from break we'll see it well look howto look at how to create some of these tools and to create some tests for your lighting so that you khun test this stuff out and get to work on it the nice thing about tabletop and still life photography is you can do it any time and nearly anywhere um if you're going to do groups of people you probably need a space to do it in if you're going to do big job advertising you need a studio to do it in but if you're going to shoot jewelry or cosmetics literally you khun just knock yourself out of the kitchen table six a couple of booms and some white cards and a stroll but a snood two and you're having a blast and it can be quite lucrative eh a good friend of mine in phoenix works over at the airpark and a client came to see him about doing some drop in pops now drop in pop means you've got a background generally a white or a black background actually more generally white on black but a simple background and you've got items about that size right there just sit him down and get a shot so once you've set your lighting up minor tweaking in between drop in pops and he said wow this is really cool and the client said that's great would like you been on the job but I will tell you right now the guy that we're doing that with uh is doing it for ten dollars a shot and my friend said well that's insane I wanna shoot for ten dollars a shot it's crazy how many shots do you have two hundred forty thousand I could do that ah that was a good year for him that's a matter of fact I think he took the rest of the year off after that shot and redid his portfolio in everything else there is a giant opportunity for shooting still life and I'll tell you one of the reasons why everybody wants to shoot people every guy that grabs a camera in her hand the first thing we'll not every guy but this guy's a grab a camera hand first thing I want to do is shoot a model there is a no shortage of people who want to shoot people out there there are a lot of manufacturers small companies small ad agents agencies pr firms people by products now the key is that you have to just like in people photography start to establish your own style if you khun do well for instance that they're only paying ten dollars for dropping pop today they're probably paying half that probably get somebody do it for five dollars a shot would you spend a month for a half a million dollars I'm thinking probably yeah I want so but that's that's the thing when we start getting into product this is where you could start to create your own look your own vision within it sometimes you're going to be asked to shoot essentially shoot the blender sometimes they're going to give you a concept of like cosmetics or perfume you know what a some beautiful part perfume bottle because they spend a lot of money and in the perfume industry developing that bottle you know that right they may spend whatever they spend developing the fragrance but believe me all a lot of time goes into that bottle your job is to shoot what the bottle you've got to make that bottle looks so cool that someone who actually wants to go look at it and smell it because that you can't shoot the fragrance you can only shoot so they'll either used lifestyle or they'll try to show you just the most incredible a bottle of perfume you've ever seen to get your interest as you're flipping through the magazines or the websites and something catches your eye if it's just a bottle on white seamless I'm not thinking that's going to work very well anymore you have to develop your own style if you are focused on doing work that's just like everybody else is in trouble how how much play does like art direction and stuff play in this type of field good a good question very good question in in high end product photography essentially perfume cosmetics very highly are directed you are collaborating generally with an art director ah creative director et cetera on the other end of the spectrum have the down and dirty czar the product stuff for the but what I would call product sheets tech she's cell she's less art direction actually on saturday we're going to actually shoot toe a layout because in shooting product a lot of times they'll actually give you a layout in advanced here's where the type we've already got this is a company wide tech sheet we do it for every product and here's our copy and here's our headline and your product's got to fit in there and by the way we wanted to be a bleed so your image goes from top to bottom of the image and you've gotto allow room for copy and how to do that

Class Description

Don Giannatti returns for a special workshop on tabletop product photography. Don starts with an introduction to tabletop lighting - tools, scrims, DIY gear - and how to organize your shoot around a tabletop to bring everyone up to speed. Then Don will teach you the basic concepts of Tabletop Product Photography. Finally Don will ramp up to more advanced topics adding extras such as kicker lights, snoots, and grids that can bring your work up a notch.



THere are some courses in CL i think of as not covering a to z but covering -z to z. THis is one of those courses. The value proposition is over the top. The instricutor: Don Giannatti is so experienced he's a relaxed in his knowledge and practiced in cutting to the chase to provide answers to really good questions about set ups for product photos (vs. art/ still-life). The topics: complete workflow from first principles in order to understand what we're trying to achieve with table top work, Don Giannatti makes it clear that we're using light deliberately to give shape to an object. Example insight: using a white card (or black) reflector is not the same as using a silver/gold reflector. The latter create a new light source; the former shape the light that's there. Can imagine the arguments but the demo brings the points home. Or how about NOT using umbrellas for product shots. Or for "drop and pop" product shots, how to do that without umbrellas and tents "that's 50 dollars a shot right there" says Giannatti. Example tool demo: one of the joys of this course is that such an expert does most of the class using readily makable tools like scrims from shower curtains and baking paper. The specialist tools like a modifier on a flash is well within the range of an aspiring commerial table top photographer. And Meaningful Demos LIGHTING/composition what are some of the most challenging and compelling things to shoot when building a portfolio/photographic experience? Can you shoot shiny stuff - like bottles and jewlery. PHOTOSHOP making photoshop unpretencious and accessible, Giannatti presents examples of how to fix bits of a shot, as well as - and this one is worth the price of admission - how to put together a composite of a guitar product shot if you only have one limited sized light to light the whole thing. We also see where highlights can be added - and how. Some basic knowledge of Photoshop layering, masking and brushes would be good to have, but one can work back from seeing it applied into those basic skills. BUSINESS We start with light giving shape to objects as a demonstrable principle, move into how to use light structurally for bringing out something fantastic about that product - that as Giannatti points out - puts bread on someone's table, so respect. From these demos we go from light and camera to post to produce the finished image. Now what? or how have a product that needs shooting? That's the business of product photography. In these excellent sections on Business, Giannatti details the heuristics of hard graft to get gigs: where to look for contacts, frequency of approach, engaging with social media (you don't have to, he says, but effectively, it's gonna cost ya). "Doing just these few things you're already way ahead of your competition." I can believe it: they are many of them tedious, but can also well believe they are what pay off. COURSE BONUSES JUST FOR SIGNING UP - for those who subscribed to a live broadcast, all the slides were provided in advance (you can see this offer on class materials) Now that's classy. What other CL courses have done that: given something to participants who just show an interest to sign up? (It's that gift thing kevin kubota talks about in his workshop on photography business - makes one want to work with that person: pay them for the value they create, eh?) TRUST/VALUE Instructor Personality Throughout each part what's delightful is just the EXPERIENCE of this instructor. He's put together a thoughtful course from light to lighting to parts to gear to post to business. There's immediate trust: plainly this man has made a living from what he's talking about, and has addressed almost any immaginable scenario. There's a great demo towards the end of the course of working with students to take shots. The value to folks watching is to see how he helps us all think about how to problem solve (the mantra for the course) to find the shot - to use light card after lightcard to wrap the light to bring out the countours of the material. Even when he says "that's just not working" - there's not a sense of the people shooting having failed - but an opportunity to think about what's been learned - to keep working the problem. There's a whole lot of HOW in that interaction that is highly valuable. Thanks to the participants in the workshop to be so willing too to do that work. This is the kind of course you leave feeling like ok, i can do this - or at least i have the tools and some knowhow now about them to start to work these problems, to start to create value in these kinds of shots. I am already just from being here a better photographer now. Related CL Course: This course feels like a terrific complement to Andrew Scrivani's Food Photography. And no wonder: both take place in small areas and use light in similar ways. A contrast is that in editorial food photography - scrivani's domain - there's a focus on skills to work with what's there; in table top/product, one can enhane - knowing how to do that effectively/believably is where the skills - learning to see that - come in for this kind of work in partiular . If tabletop/product photography is a space you wish to explore, or you just want to be able to practice working with light in the small, and see how to bring you will be delighted with this -z to z deep dive introduction.