Tabletop Photography Fundamentals

Lesson 18 of 33

Shoot: 2 Lights - Round Grater

 

Tabletop Photography Fundamentals

Lesson 18 of 33

Shoot: 2 Lights - Round Grater

 

Lesson Info

Shoot: 2 Lights - Round Grater

We're gonna add another light source now, rather than using these as our secondary light source, and see what we can do with this and what what it accomplishes way obviously have something that's a little bit of a different shape. I don't know that I don't know necessarily that this will change our catch lights in this particular object all that much, but if we were shooting something like jewelry or something that is got facets in it, where you'll have little pinpoints of light, you might get a toggle pinpoints of light rather than stripes or squares to strobes. Would you try and get the same shape on each? Are ideally, like when I did the shot that I showed in the keynote with that glass? Yeah, I would use the same shape like to strip lights on either side to get balance. We have these soft boxes, they were also for demonstration, you know, show different different objects that we can use, but I think in this circumstance, well, we won't see that strange of difference between those t...

wo lights because of the size of the object versus the size of the but it would look weird to have, like octagonal crash writes in one side and square ones on the other rules that's a matter of taste. All right, I think it's just a matter of whether or not you like it that way and you want to show it a deviation I think it's okay again every object is going to reflect differently so it's always going to be a little strange we have questions coming in this way we sure do. How about it so from our good friends snappy gourmet how many photos do you tend to send to a client for review? Um if I'm using if I'm using a a model of you know how many images are due to the to the photo director like one for every recipe or every object I would send maybe five you know? And if you're really really happy with your results and you don't want to have that much deviation maybe three but three to five per is probably per set up or peress ipi or per object from different angles or whatever and stuff like this I mean, if it is a very specific kind of there's a very specific goal in mind maybe only a couple but snappy gourmet sounds to me like that's more food photography so yeah, five is a good number, okay? And I just just a quick comment I really appreciate you shooting the cheese grater because it's just an everyday day item that someone again for a do it yourself or test your your skills is go out a dollar ninety nine the old apartment a job creator john's employing another piece of our studio equipment here where he's using that swing arm that we talked about and this is really helpful. And we're going to use this again in our next segment where we are are going boom, light over a subject and that's basically how he's trying to get this thing closer and putting it out ah, different angle and using that is going to gives us a lot more options as to how we can position the lighting. So again remember, you have to sandbag he's got about a ten pound sandbag on the bottom of that lights, then that's going to prevent that light from tipping over and getting broken or hurting somebody or creating destruction and that's what's really great about those brown color heads as opposed to a full mon alight yeah, you can move him around a justin yeah did the flexibility of this stuff and the fact that it's gotten lighter and more easy, tio to manipulate it's it's brilliant for photography because it's, just some of this stuff you can actually take around with you mean ron actually has ah pack now that's, they're able to its a battery pack it's not a plug impact and you can actually take it with you on location and it's got a lot of power and it's really good way doing looks good probably want to take taylor down quite a bit the eyeball test this saying that I don't know how much this is going to rap here and wrap here and pushed back to the middle, but I think my suspicion is that the first shot is going to be similar to the one we had where it was really clean around and then we had that one stripe right at the right at the bend that's what my eyeballs and telling me so let me see that I was wrong. It actually is reading a lot of aa lot of the room it's reading a lot of the room, so if we are well, let's, try to move the box out first and see if changing this angle a little bit kind of swinging it into there, it might actually that's fine that's enough movement will try try it that way. Yeah, changed a little bit, but we have we still have a little bit of that kind of striping going on. As you will see. Now see that? See that last one? We still have a little bit of the striping going on, which doesn't doesn't bother me and the bend in the metal in the front, so maybe if we put the card in now at this point carter the back one or both of this card here like here from the from the from the camera to the to the box whoa, did you see the further on the more we close down that now, there's still, that last highlight is coming from the pole here because we didn't cover that. So if I cover it on this with this one I got one more card over there. I'll get a couple just decided I was gonna just take a stroll, come out the other side. So now you know that's pretty nice meat because we still have to it's actually showing us two bends because we have the two lights going on is showing us too to grady and bends one on the front and one as it goes around to the back without the black card so that gave it gives us that highlight edge we could actually add a card back there now if we wanted to, uh, pump that edge on the back side a little bit more. So why don't we do that? Stick a little black card in there or like, you know, black because it wantto let's put a little black card there and see if we can pick let's, take the big one back here and see what that looks like I'll do this front side, you know don't let it fall photographer will have a fit if I had a fit before in between sessions I just want to let you know they were playing like you know teenybopper tom forty pop in here and I ran out the hallway and lost my mind I felt like I was listening to my daughter's ipod it was great they put in lawrence welk afterwards just tie me babu is that our last one? Yeah with the black court at the blackout there came a little bit harder shadow so we kind of accomplished very similar results with one light with two lights so we got both both things going on we have a couple of minutes let's do some questions and then I think I want to set up something that's less still life e of for just product for silhouette ing and maybe something that's more of an environment we could do that one last shot before we break but let's take a take a couple of questions one of the questions that came in earlier from big steve referring to our equipment earlier do l e d lights required if users or soft boxes and are they good for food photography? Yes, they don't require them but they're definitely used with diffusers not a soft box but maybe a diffusion panel or sock they call the column a diffusion sock it's sort of like it's like it looks like the I do think that dr wears on his head in the surgery you know like a hair net it's like a giant hair net for a light so it's it's made out of sort of a diffusion material we may we may end up working with the l e d a little bit later on and I'll show you that we could just wrap it in the paper that we use as a diffusion I use them with the diffusion panel like the one we have here but they're not always necessary but not the same kind of technology like soft boxes and stuff it's more like like filters and what was it and what are they used for food yes great we got power same result using one light and a bounce as you can with two lights why would you get my two nights well it depends on what you want to do because that might not be possible with every object your shoot so you know it just depends on the objects so if you can get the result one like that you really want that's great and if you don't if you want to try something else you need if you have a bigger object do you wantto create more catch lighting or because it's fascinated or whatever absolutely you could've table small table top things one lights probably going to be a yeah sure. Any other questions? One more quick question from the internet so peter asked someone who's just starting tabletop photography on a low budget what would you say is the most important are useful tool not including like the home depot or the d I y eyes from upgraded speed like speed light yeah, because it's versatile and it's powerful and it's khun be defused and you have a wine like you do a one light set up with a diffusion panel that'll work really well I definitely think if I had on ly one light I could buy and that was what my budget said I would buy a speed light or, you know, camera mounted flash speed lights of a cannon product but they make other ones too so you want to do one more? I think we're good if you're ready to roll. All right, so what we have here now is since we're working with cheese way have actual cheese and this is going to create all kinds of havoc with these cheese graters and why? Because we got red and we got a knife and its black and we've got this cheese grater that's going to reflect light all over the place so maybe we can take the last ten minutes of this and try to solve a problem that we already anticipate and see if we can make it a little bit different how do you solve a problem like a cheese grater? Yes, both women now, just one cheese way, so we brought in aa just so we're gonna try to keep our angle of incidents the same as we did before to try to get that white highlight on the front, see if we can get it right on the first try, and then maybe we can kind of hide stuff and keep them in the frame a little differently and see what kind of problems that creates for us. Go straight up like this using the double lights set up for now, that's a mess see that's, that's, that's a horror show right there, so you could see that I'm making my point for not using strobe in food photography, but we're also creating all sorts of problems here because we have a reflective object and we're putting colorful kind of weird stuff in there, you know? So let's, see what we can get. Maybe we can just at least get that from inside solved in next five minutes, and then we can worry about whether or not that no that's terrible, and then we can worry about where we could put the cheese that's better got better way, do you want to bring up one at a time? As we're moving now? It'll be quicker on that guy's bring up one on one at a time we need you want to say side by side or no no it's fine one time one time is good okay so we're almost there on the this is now I think what what this is our big problem at the moment I think I think that's what's reflecting in the light we're getting a back a back edge on that which is probably coming from the pole here or whatever but it's also waken probably fill this side a little bit better with the other strove let's do it with the other strobe come out a little bit better we'll see it kind of got in the front side is kind of cleaner now we've got a little bit of an edge on the back the cheese isn't really a problem because we've put it in a position that it isn't interfering with the reflective nature of the object maybe we can kind of do something like that and see if that actually does anything and then yep lower not definitely should help a little bit maybe we can add one card in here I don't know if that's reading the red now it doesn't look like it oh that looks pretty cool it's kind of crazy but it's fun I am part of the issue here is we've got around light if we could sit flat on the table it may feel a little better in the back there this is where the card probably worked easier than yeah it's true so let's pull it out and let's let's drop the card in there and see if because we feel like we have the right side of the image kind of to a point where we're comfortable a good starting point and then maybe that other side we can solve the problem better with a big square card rather than an octagonal stroke so donald knew that way also have she will also had the cheese board underneath that it's probably reflecting a little bit a little bit for sure kind of that you know what it did you'll see is in the second it kind of balances out that left side a little evenly I like kind of like it that way I like it that way is not as harsh you've got a nice definition you're picking up a very very subtle red highlights in the inside of the handle and that's the that's it looking at the cheese and I would totally live with that if this was a product shot that was the cheese was important too and it was highlighted in that and they came up with a little bit of a catch light I wouldn't I wouldn't struggle with that at all I think I was totally comfortable with that so that's a pretty that's pretty pretty cool in, you know, introducing other objects into a reflective environment where, you know, positioning and deciding that a single light source is better in this circumstance for this in a short period of time we solved that problem in about five minutes so I think that the trial and error process again is about where come where your comfort zone is what's you know what's appropriate for the image and and how long it's gonna take you to figure it out so when we wrap up for the funeral pictures pictures yes let's wrap up with a few more pictures we haven't shot enough yet ah, few more questions sounds good so we are lu says do you ever focus manually? I find it hard to move from auto to manual just to be completely sure that I have the focus really right and really sharp on dh have you ever used a second question? Have you ever used a tilt shift lens for product photography? Um first question first I do focus it manually because some of my lenses are zeiss lenses and they're only manual focus lens. So yes, um I my first version of this camera the mark two one what had some focusing issues in order and they solve them on this camera is way more reliable and auto focus mode so I'm a little bit more comfortable with this when I do use auto focus lenses but there are times when obviously when I use my zeiss lenses and I will often times you know, manually focus if I feel like it needs a little bit of tweaking, but for the most part, the auto focus, you know, when I get it where I wanted with this camera and these lenses has been pretty reliable, and the second part of that question was, do I use a tilt shift for product photography? I haven't it's a little bit more common for food and architecture those that those two things, but I have not used it for a product photography, but I wouldn't rule it out, particularly in artwork, because that that that that yes really helps with the artwork because if you really trying to square it off, that ability to till shift is really be cool and they ask about food as well, so I'm glad you answered that. Yeah, that's one of those things that people figured that one out a long time ago and using till shift lenses with food in case folks don't know, can you describe what until chitlins is sure until chip lenses as a lens it's a prime lends it doesn't assume and it has ah pivot on the inside and you can it's on a sort of unlike, eh a square bracket, the lenses mounted into a square bracket that has these adjustment tools to it and it will tilt, meaning it will go like this or like this back. You know what, the camorra study, but the tent, the lens can be rotated forward or backwards, and it will shift up and down this way. So this way, side by side. So, you know, sometimes when you're looking at a picture that you propped into and it's kind of askew, like one side, is closer to the camera and what it looks like. It goes this way, or something similar when it goes up to down a tilted lenses meant to correct those horizon lines and make it more even so. It's that's. Why? It's used most often in architecture, because the lines are so important. But often, when you're shooting food plates of food, because you're working with these kind of horizon, a lot lines being able to adjust them and shift them, definitely helpful.

Class Description

You don’t need a studio to take professional-grade product and still life photographs! All you need is a simple tabletop lighting setup. In this course, award-winning food photographer Andrew Scrivani will show you how to create and tailor your own table top lighting setup — on any budget. Whether you’re a beginning photographer looking to master lighting or a professional photographer eager to expand your services, this course will give you a candid, comprehensive playbook for tabletop lighting.

Tabletop photography transforms a single surface into a small-scale studio. Andrew, a regular contributor to The New York Times, will show you how to create and then optimize your lighting setup for your needs — using everything from the latest gear to household items. Andrew will cover metering and bounce cards, working with strobes and soft boxes, LED lighting, and tips for shooting glassware and other tricky products.

By the end of this course, you will know how to set up and adjust your very own tabletop studio — and how to use that small-scale studio to expand your services, improve your photography, and market your business.

Reviews

a Creativelive Student
 

I was pleased to see real life situations and set ups, their work arounds and the little fiddly things all commercial/product photographers go through to produce a viable shot. Unlike some of the other reviews, the "oops, it didn't work, let's try this instead" was totally real world and believable. So many times on other teaching venues, the shot is already set up and perfected before the instruction begins. It was extremely helpful to watch the processes that were involved in producing the correct captures. I was impressed with the humor and teaching style as well, especially for the time constraints in a classroom setting. The student set-ups and critiques were valuable and spot on without being negative in any way. All-in-all this was one of the best classes I've viewed at Creative Live. I just wish I could have had three more days and to have been there in person for the one-on-one instruction.

Ernst
 

Thank you Andrew. Great class. Learned a lot. Great instructor. Only wish there were more segments using flash rather than the very expensive gear. But, the principles are the same.

Aly Cupcakezz
 

I really liked how things were experimented. Instead of just giving do x, y, z. It shows you how to correct issues as they come up, and how to enhance your photography This gives you a guided idea of all the things you can play with to perfect your product photography image. You really learn how to fix the image problems as they appear in front of you. A very realistic way to create your own personal lighting setup for your product photos for your own studio space. Excellent fundamentals class for new photographers or small businesses attempting to do their own product photography. Thank you!