Tabletop Photography Fundamentals

Lesson 22 of 33

Shoot: Camera Bag - Stills

 

Tabletop Photography Fundamentals

Lesson 22 of 33

Shoot: Camera Bag - Stills

 

Lesson Info

Shoot: Camera Bag - Stills

When I was doing the opening where we were talking about different lighting, I showed a couple of different steady light options including a fluorescent kino flo diva light which is what this is and I also showed that a really fancy wrote a light led panel but what the day here has taught me about being in this room is that since we are already lit partially with key knows and we're going to try to match that light and get something very balanced by using another kino to kind of shoot both stills and video in the same kind of setting it is not the ideal thing photographers do not necessarily like to step onto video sets and shoot I've been in that situation it's not always the greatest because the lighting is so dramatically different but if you are really, really into trying to do both stills and video one lighting set up the best thing to do is try to find a light balance that's comfortable for both and I think that we have a bit of ah ah really happy solution here by using these key...

knows because we can use them with a daylight balance ball which is what we have here the lights that are in the studio here also those daylight balanced bulbs so we're going to get somewhat of a nice even balanced light thea thea other option with this is even if you can't use one this big they have ones that might be a little bit smaller and they blend with daylight decently because if you're using a fifty five kelvin bulb and your daylight is the same, you're going to be able to use this as an augmented daylight situation. So this is what basically were accomplishing here today where we have the fifty, five hundred kelvin in the studio we thought we blocked out the daylight that was coming through the window to kind of give us ah, more of a clean, even balance, and then we're gonna add this back on here, so by adjusting this temperature, not temperature, but the brightness on this, we will shoot stills in one type of a brightness, and then we might dial this down a little bit, even a little bit less harshness. We're going also put some diffusion material over this, so we're gonna have basically the same similar light. We just might change our aperture, and I'm going to show you that our camera settings again have to be different for video than what they are for stills. So I think the first thing john and I are going to do is we got some diffusion material here and we're gonna make sure that we get our studio set up the way we want it no, almost almost made it way when this first, okay? So we're clamping this on with some of these regular eight clamps and we're gonna kind of bend this intent it over that's not going to open it all the way up slide it down for you a little bit, okay? So there's a little bit bigger than what we really need but it's okay? We don't want to cut it we want to save it for another purpose, so if we can avoid cutting it, we will now what this is going to do just like it does with all the other things that we've done here is provide us with a nice balanced even like this one, okay, so we've created a nice a nice, even bank light we're gonna turn that up to full power and see what we can get and we're gonna work with something that has application in both stills and video. So, like if you were selling this bag, which happens to be a camera bag it's a kind of a fashionable camera bag that girl might want to carry around and not have to lug around the ugly the ugly bags that you buy the photo store this one happens to be by katie handbags and it's what we want to highlight and this is kind of what it does, what you can put in here and then we're going to show up with a roll video on it and show how that might be a good application for the website where you can actually show what it does kind of show scale and you can show functionality and you could show what might be possible to do with this type of a bag so first we want to try to get some type of an attractive um still shot and multiple still shots because we'll probably want to get a shot of the inside of the bag a shot of the outside um so I'm going to swing this probably around and shoot this way so now we're gonna probably use a side lit approach and I will do some fill on the backside you guys might be a little bit on the on the other side of that for a moment but let's uh get that set up and we'll get a meter reading remember where this is it in the trash where it should be yep, there it is. Okay. Okay, so our reading we're gonna want to shoot this at a relatively decent aperture aae maybe five, six and up so I would say we gotta push this a little bit this light we're gonna make this go up to a higher power yeah there's a control knob on this end that's where hidden here it's hidden it's full now okay that's full power so at full power this gives us four hundred, two hundred, I think that's good. We go at a fortieth of the second at sixthree at two hundred. You want a backdrop behind this of some so let's. Check it out, let's. See what it looks like? Uh, let's. Try to swing over a little bit more here and approach it from a little bit more height. What I find interesting about the way what I just looked at through the cameras, that brake front that we have over there, that's part of our set actually makes this look so, like, living room, me homey setting, which might kind of be nice if we get all the equipment out of the booth. So if that's the case and we're actually going to utilize that in our in our design that I'm going to flip over into a vertical shot by the end of this, I will learn how to use this head. John, I promise you I rarely use this one either. It's okay, so we have ah. Oh, there it is. Okay, we still have a light stand in our way. Okay, so let's, some pull that light stand over a little bit. Wait. Didn't reset this. Yeah, okay, what did I say before, two hundred at six. Three at a thirtieth of a second on a tripod not a problem with camera shake I wouldn't want to handle at that if I was planning to hand hold this I would have to increase my eyes so to get more shutter speed at that aperture so let's take a test shot we string together all of the minutes that we stood here looking and waiting for the for the tether to come through okay, so, um way see that we have the one thing that I don't like about this quite honestly is that I don't break from the table to the floor I don't know maybe it's just me but it's okay, well we're fine with it that's just a weird personal preference of mind not like even balanced stuff so let's add a card and on the side and we can kind of get a nice long card so you can't see anything from that perspective which you know what's actually why don't we do it like that? And you still see some what? Not at all okay okay, so I actually don't mind the idea of this like that way just prop it is prop it up a little bit yeah, because I said I see that coming up so might also drop down just a little bit yeah, exactly so now I'm kind of using the, uh the brake front that's sort of my backdrop behind. And if this was you know, if we were in a situation where I had a lot of control of all the lighting in this room, I might I might pump up the light back there to kind of give it a little bit more vibrance. But let's see, we're gonna okay. So it's kind of nice. I mean, I think I might screwed it over a little bit so that we can crop out the corner and then maybe angle a little bit more. A lot of times when you're shooting things like this, shooting them in in this angle to fill your frame from corner to corner. That sort of the one of the things that when I made the transition from shooting from the parties vertical mode too hard, zonta motive sort of a trick to use more of the frame to go that way from corner to corner. And I like it when I like this, too, because right now we have a nice balance between the tabletop. We have the bag in and we have a nice environmental kind of picture where we can play around a little bit. Now. In this situation, you can tell that this is a camera bag just yet, right, so I might take the camera's out or that maybe the lenses and put them outside of here just to kind of give a contextual idea of what this thing is and then what we might do before we shoot the video is mount the camera directly over the top and shoot down into it and then from there we can shoot video of somebody putting things in and out of them so it's you know, also about using, uh the most yeah let's see, we might have to add some fill on those black objects and give them some distinction between the black surface but let's see what's happening here? I don't like the fact that the bag is opened their um or it is but it's kind of unbalanced also we're losing a little bit of our camera equipment on the on the dark surface if we were to switch to surface to something lighter, we can probably adjust that problem so let's see if we can work that out for a second, but what I am happy with is delighting, which is what this segment really is about is about this kind of combination lighting because normally of shooting video is the issue isn't video it's shooting stills in video lighting, so if this is like being looked at as video lighting which it is and we're shooting stills and it, we're still getting some nice color were colored color gradation it still has some depth it doesn't seem very flat so I think that's one of the things where we're happy with this okay, so we're changing out the surface accommodate and we're gonna put the handle's maybe in a little more attractive way this's where props stylist come in handy so again we got a little bit too square here so I'm gonna rotate back this way all right? We have the lens to that we can put in or is it back in the bag didn't say where you put him folks are no, you missed my handles, john they were leaning on one another. Yeah, like that. Okay, that's cool. All right, let's see if that helps our our context context uh, shot and see what they have to handles. Being up helped some bad e I mean, the concept of putting those in but what we noticed about the the camera's now what are they doing creating some pretty harsh shadows, right? So maybe I can push this up a little bit, get a little closer, stand it straight off. That might help those shadows a little bit. It doesn't really help with the one in the middle because this thiss one here it's not getting any light from the other side because it's being blocked by the camera pull the camera back I mean, we don't have to eliminate all the shadows I mean it's okay to have some shadow in there it's just it's about managing them the way you want them. So it's okay, yeah it's fine it's not that bad, so we're kind of was satisfied with the lighting we kind of kind of nice on this. I might try toe do something a little different maybe put the handles down and then start to think about how I want to shoot this from the top next so after I've gotten unacceptable product shot that I might want to display on a web site from a contextual perspective then I want to start to work in a functional perspective yeah fluorescence I'm just curious have have you ever would you ever use one of the ice lights because they're a daylight balanced? I don't not ice lights I'm not familiar with it it's just a handheld single to daylight balance so it's similar to this except it's just one tube just one two small handheld easy tio I think in a tabletop setting if it can throw enough light for you then sure I mean, I think is the fact that it's daylight balanced and if you can arrange it in a way that gives you some type of dimension I think that you'd be okay so I think that's fine, I think recently that ice like to come out one accessory barn doors that are white on the inside so make it like a larger light because it's just yeah it's narrow and john if you wanted to make one of those life yourself do it yourself would you recommend anybody where they could go to figure out how to get a block post a few months ago and I had a how to make your own but minor a sea power they're not battery powered and they're not dimmable but it only cost about twenty three dollars in part to make it should have read that on what? Your website uh corner cello dot com thanks ok cell on the block I think we proved the point that this is a adequate light for still but I want to show that we can use this particularly in the orientation that we have it to shoot directly down and into the bag to get that kind of a shot and then from there we're going to be set up to shoot shoot some video right over from from that perspective and that's where we're going to go now so when we get the camera set up and if you have questions for me here yeah I want to be right here so if you have questions for me jim yeah, we sure dio so I know we talked a little bit about this earlier but aske quincy wanted to know do you usually shoot with the clients directly in the studio or do they do they usually send the products the directions and let you do your own thing about fifty fifty yeah ah a decent amount of my client's trust me because we've been working together for a while but there are some that are new or have a protocol that they need to adhere to where they need to be there and our director so there's I would say in my personal circumstances about a fifty fifty proposition but oh, it all depends mean, it just depends on who you're working with and how long you've worked with them and whether or not you have ah, you know, a level of trust and it's with the clients that do allow me to do that there is a level of trust so cool I appreciate that so one more what we're doing here yesterday said that some sometimes you'll shoot horizontally and sometimes vertically depending on medium so would you set it up, shoot horizontally and vertically and then change? Or would you go through shooting all vertically and then go back and re create? I would I would try toe set it up to where I shoot it one way first and then reset it to shoot it the other way because the way you compose and the way you style inside of a frame will differ because of the and I think that was the that was the part that was difficult for me to make the adjustment when we started shooting more for the web was that it was important to understand that you couldn't just flip the camera around and shoot in the same way and that was the adjustment and once we got there um that became parent that that was the way the workflow had to go do it one way change it do with second way for sure a lot of people are asking like would you ever use the led toe light something pre for focusing and such you mean the led as modeling like yeah it's an awful expensive modeling if you got the money then go for it that's all right you can uh you know in a certain circumstance if you have these things in your studio and that it's you know you have you know that led will build a lesser kind of softer light that you could model with and then strolled will just blast it out sure why not but it's that's an awfully expensive modeling like sure is and on something like this what's your technique for focusing for the above shot I'm going to use the live you and I'm going to basically keep my focal point right in the middle okay and then be able to kind of see where composed that way and then use the auto the auto focus and let it let it do its thing. Great. So because, obviously, I'm not going to climb on the ladder here because I do not want to fall off a ladder in front of you.

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!