Still Life Demo (Shoes)


Tabletop Product Photography


Lesson Info

Still Life Demo (Shoes)

we're going to jump over to this shot that we set up to kind of show you ah kind of a fun photograph and how we would do with this in a catalogue situation and uh get one of the video eyes over here toe kind of show us the whole set here and I'll kind of explain what we have we're shooting with the tilt shift lens so you'll notice the camera is absolutely the center of the camera is absolutely at the base of the shoe that means we're shooting straight over we don't get to see the surface nor do we get to see the foam will piece of foam that the shoe is sitting on behind those two pieces of slight I do wish I had one piece of slate but way take two together best we could for the for the demo we've got a couple of grid spots coming from the side to add some interest to the spikes and brett if you come around uh that way I think that grid spot looks like it's moving it's not aimed at this shoe here these were just going to give a little bit of interest to the shot we have a speed light an...

d to answer them in a lot of people always ask questions well can I use speed lights with with my big studio strobes sure we've got a pro photo pack and two heads ah pro photo compact and to speed lights lights light folks it's just light whatever you want to work with and when you're working in this close he speed lights a great speed lights on cars maybe a problem speed lights on a shoe not a problem right up against the black wall back there to get it ready thanks sir write it right up against that black wall back there is a speed light with a diffuser on it it's agony touching the walls right up against it that's going to give us just a little bit of spray light it's on half power and its optical down here we have a gritted spot us speed light and we taped it off so we get a tiny little shaft of light coming out across those tiles and breathless grab a pair of you sway jj the green suede shoes to your left and let's go with the purple suede shoes or just just want to make sure we had we had to show up here earlier in it and it had a label at one point taped on the bottom of it and the label was leaving all kinds of like little fuzz and we'd have to take some sort of chemical to get it off so he took that shoe out and replace it with this but let's say I had to do a quick catalog this is a fairly elaborate set are soft box over the top white card in the front present to present a reflection on this white on on on this red shoe to give us a highlight on and in a small card that's boomed right in there just to give us an edge on that side of it now we've already tested it out did I say that out loud what was I thinking which means there's not a chance in the world they probably gone to sleep let's find out uh how's that back there two three huh is a friend all right let's uh let's get him warm back up then okay this one just came alive yeah this one's alive so far well just try one more tests then we'll take the shot put it up on the put up on the screen here did not fire all right so let's take take a shot john just take the shot and we'll see if it goes off yes sit down there we go way could pull that shot up on the screen here there's a shot looking pretty good and it's a little bright that card right there's a little bright this one it's back it off what's r shutter speed I mean I'm fracture thirteen can we go teo score sixteen yeah a little bit more than that right there try that way go so we got a nice bright highlights to show that it's patent leather and khun see all those things and the shot it's kind of interesting we put our type around down here we've got our shoe up there we made a hero out of the shu and as you can see by using the the uh um sorry by using the tilt shift we don't see any of the background and then the little glow that we have going back here just breaks up that background a little bit we'll take a second shot with this card in here because this front looks the way I want it to look and it's nice even line here right so the front looks the way I wanted to look at the front of the shoot is not so I'll take a second shot thank you brett right in there we go second shot which gives us a much better shoe kills my brick so I will then put them in photo shop take the brick from the first one use the shoe from the second one put him together okay that's the fastest and easiest way to do it once everything shot set up brett let's just put the purple one down john if you'll see there you go what we do is we very very carefully this is how I this is exactly how I do it in my studio I'm going to pick it up and brett you're going to replace it in the same spot okay you know what I'll go I'll go from the back you go from the front all right I'm gonna pick it up and brett you're gonna put it down right where it wass wait go goes up on the brig hell goes on the bridge it was on there was on there okay all right take another shot s of course it wouldn't why would it fire way yep yeah wasn't enough but that's all right there's our purple shoe will put our board up there brett and take the second purple shoe all this gives us a position so we know where it's going to go but the the board up and we'll fill in all that beautiful uh suede blue we got our grid spot giving us a line here agreed spot gimmicks edge there and still not firing back here huh did oh there it is okay so you can see what we're doing here to create these shots if you had to do a a uh a group of shots you could do them fairly quickly by making sure everything was solidly locked down we've got these uh pieces of slate taped three ways from sunday on this thing is not going anywhere but the tripod is is glued down with a yeah twenty pound sandbag we got sandbags on everything occasionally you might want to adjust something but to get through all these these things that we have to get through that day we want to build a set that's easily deconstructed you know that's easily that we can just set the shoes down and go with minor changes we don't want to reinvent the wheel for forty cents issues

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.