Tabletop Product Photography

Lesson 36/38 - Q&A and Relief Cut Shoot


Tabletop Product Photography


Lesson Info

Q&A and Relief Cut Shoot

these were sent to us by a viewer and what she does you can see these she cuts portrait ce out of linoleum or for mike oh sure what this is and they're reversed their c have this beautiful relief thing back here the thicker it is the darker it is the thinner it is the lighter is so she cuts them in reverse when you hold him up you actually see portrait's cut into this this tile and she was wondering how to make photographs of it I looked at it I thought hi I don't know we'll figure it out you know so that's what we're gonna do over here so it's really cool I've never seen anything like it I haven't either that's when she's yeah and the information on this artist is that fateless memories of ageless memory is dot com uh is is this artist pieces so very cool really beautiful I can't wait to see what you do with that uh casual one has a question from the internet and it's daniel from quebec in canada is it better to shoot products with a medium format camera um is it better no not necessa...

rily better some clients will want you to do that but um I've never had a client even my own clients I've never had a client ever complain about me shooting product on my five d o r now my sixty day no one's ever said well g kenya do that I know if I was if I was going to go and shoot for a major motorcycle company I would probably rent a medium format only because that's what they're used to doesn't make a better image well we've got some thirty six megapixel dslr is running around in the world these days as of a couple weeks ago I don't know most of my friends who shoot product shoot the five d mark two or the d three so I don't know if there's a specific answer for this but his is eldorado is asked when working in close quarters since overpowering is so easy and not desirable to dio what would be a recommended light wattage um I think if you had a einstein type flight where you could go down to you know one hundred watt seconds or fifty watt seconds and close you'd really be ahead of the game I have always shot norman's in my studio and I could only go down to one hundred watt seconds and ahead and they and you put that head into a soft box and you bring it in this close to that little cannon lens cap and you're pushing us sixty four really big time so that's why I was saying that many times in the studio now I'm actually using modified speed lights in small soft boxes because I can shoot product at f foreign at five six and play with some depth of field things so yeah I would you know watch out if you know too much power is justus bad is not enough power yeah it's just it's just the other side of the the knife you get you get hurt with that as well student someone picked up the gammy light and there was a trigger sitting next to it did they put it down somewhere now that's that's the other trigger this one no way someone also known as that's a receiver someone had it in his hand who was I want their names right taking names okay so we're gonna we're gonna figure this out over here okay do you want to talk us through that sure sure you guys already kind of tested this up a little bit right I tested it with way tested it with a nice condo so now we've got a cannon on here you're so just make sure it still works what was that but he tried it with a knife I know wants to see if it works with the cannon did he really say that was there any doubt I mean was this okay um so let's see what we got john yeah okay see how it is much better than that me holding it up isn't it you can really see those portrait's a little a little child in the family there it looks like it's a little underexposed move it tighter that's fine on and on here we go what happens if you take the black card out guys is it just not work well just just take it out because to me the black card is probably getting is probably giving it some nice edge but I I don't know so let's find out and you do experiment you do have clients give you stuff that you don't know how to do it and you experiment in the studio not a whole lot of difference probably he's probably just the density of the uh yeah looks great just backlight it backlight it that's pretty cool ah that's that's pretty amazing does she carved this by hand does she have like a car's in by hand that's really amazing you're carving blind you just basically carving densities right wow that's pretty cool kudos to you that's a very nice thing I bet your brides and uh folks like that really appreciate something like that and again that was faithless memories dot com so thank you they're not gonna fade but not at all all right so we are about ready tio what we have twenty minutes early I was going to say I've got so much to cover the last thing why don't we take one or two more questions and break and then come back we'll just break early because the last segment is just jam packed and I know I'm gonna have a ton of questions okay question from so I got one from jerry not sure dirty um talking about lenses as you had mentioned earlier that you like to use your lenses for the flare cause I get better flair and so I use my prime size yes when I say prime minister so jerry d had says talking about lenses as a canon treat or do I need all high quality lenses wow that's a tough question for shooting commercial product um you need to have those three you need to have ah thirty five l and uh maybe a twenty eight l and eighty five hundred alia you really do need that kind of glass because remember it's all that detail detail detail to get started in this business no because when you're getting started the clients that you're working with probably aren't that picky okay that that they would be really crazy about it but if you're shooting for motorcycle company yeah they're going to be really all over your sharpness in the whole bit shooting doughnuts for ted's doughnut shop no so that's why that's why I always say let your business invest in your business to start out with all l glass you've used up all your marketing money to buy a lens start out with a good glass and let your business buy you the l lens because here's a thought if your business can't if you can't afford to buy the good glass after you've been in business for two years maybe you need to rethink the business okay all right jen is it from malaysia says uh would you suggest macro lenses for such a product shot or would you think that would be unforgiven lee sharp um for product I don't think that there's a such thing as unforgiving lee sharp I think it's sharp is you can get it for product because you could always take it down can't move it up that's why I said goodell glass for product photography when you as you moved up the ladder entry level not necessarily medium level at least one or two top level you're probably all top level glass at that point look when you're making the kind of money that you could make a commercial photographer when you're making um well a good friend of mine just shot two hours in the studio two hours in the studio for a major company and he build fifty one thousand one assistant all arrest was usage fees when you're building that kind of money got to deliver the goods and he's shooting on top of the line equipment top of the line lenses and there's no error there's no margin for error with that client trained animals were brought in from two were brought in from new york one was brought in from l a that's a lot of expense you don't you don't leave anything to chance that's why you get paid the big bucks and so that was pretty interesting that's basically a product shoot fifty one thousand dollars for two hours

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.