Tabletop Photography Fundamentals

Lesson 10 of 33

Shoot: Experiments Continued

 

Tabletop Photography Fundamentals

Lesson 10 of 33

Shoot: Experiments Continued

 

Lesson Info

Shoot: Experiments Continued

Do you send what you send them all the options or just make your own choice? I think I would make my own choice there I think I would rather on lee send what I would want to see published I think that's a really good rule of thumb in any off photographic format is that if you are sending something that you're not in love with, that will be invariably what gets published so I have a better idea this is something I saw before and I thought about it and now I'm realizing it was probably pre pretty cool, okay, a lot of kids wear their headphones around their neck right as a fashion statement, so why not kind of take that to the next level and display it like jewelry? So maybe we shoot it like this and see what this looks like first now lighting might have to change a little bit because this is a little taller, so I might this doesn't give us that option too much, but I have a solution to that even though this light doesn't go any higher because the stick we're on this does so if I rotate t...

he diffusion panel this way and angle the light up into it, it will throw light higher so it'd get does give us an option to do that a little bit better um my all right, you want it that way you know I'm gonna love moving into like the regular gear right have to this okay? Is that okay? One one going forward one going back okay and then we're gonna angle this up and throw so that we're lighting up that diffusion panel and it's pushing the light across and we'll do we'll raise this one up a cz well, this is a little bit more practical, okay? And I would probably like to shoot this from a higher angle solid gold basket a tripod okay, thanks so there's an unnecessarily conventional way thatyou might shoot something like an electronics product but it is a creative way to do it and highlight the idea that these are more than just something that you use toe listen to they are hadn't have become a true fashion statement so watch the clutch the nfl playoffs this week and see how many of those guys have, um headphone contracts they all do they all have headphone contracts now they all have designer headphones on you know it's kind of funny andra as you know, we have studios here in seattle and we have studios in san francisco. So it's a little bit of a controversy issue he's got the better team I don't care I'm a giant wave won a super bowl before sooner than any of those teams have the seat that I can't say anything about this year we were terrible it does set up a unique situation for your for the creative leiber's I'm going to go live you here so I could see what I'm doing yeah can you say that again? Because I'm trying to manage the flare that might when I get closer to these lights use it when you use yeah it's different than when we're shooting in daylight where we're really managing the light differently when we have a light this close to the to the to the camera lens it is definitely has the opportunity to wrap around and into the corner of the lens and you going to pick up some flair and that's one of things we talked about about managing lens flare and that and that obviously is what that's designed for so uh ugh oh, you got it there ok, I would rather see the whole thing instead of just that so this probably that looks kind of strange it doesn't really tell the story I want to tell there's a smaller one here way might be able to play with it might also do the trick so we could try that too try to be a little creative with it so let's see if there's potential from a starting point here I mean it's okay, it doesn't really tell the story but the idea is the one thing I notice really clearly is that putting it on the velvet where it's not on a reflective surface really highlights the headphones themselves it kind of makes them front and center I don't really like the idea of doing it like this this isn't what I expected but it was worth a shot I mean it's always worth it to trial and error with things if you have a conceptual idea and you think it might be fun to work with why not? You know there's no, you know, one of my favorite shows a san francisco based show this mythbusters right? And they say failure is always an option and that's absolutely true I mean, we're we're we're in a really kind of jaenke set up here we're doing everything we can do and we're going to try everything we can to find that one great shot that we want so I'm not you know it doesn't trouble me to say ok that didn't work and then move onto something else it's always an option failure is always an option so you know what I was thinking it was would be fun would be to put the headphones on the model oh right why not? Could be fun let's do it way needed to bring her back at least once more and we still have the black background here so that's kind of cool and we're gonna focus maybe in on her are up on the upper part of her body here and I love that idea about the bag and how you shot that and how it looked like an illustrated drawing, right? Just feel this isn't going to be really cool. So the first thing I noticed that you don't want to shoot it straight on like that because the whole idea of this is the logo, right? And shooting it from a profile position is gonna look a lot better e I thought that was falling on itself scared me let's look at this from a artistic perspective first stand in a photo of graphic perspective second, because I can tell already just by looking at the lens that the lighting is not right for this, but let's, try and see if it actually looks cool. I wonder why you're sending this up? You talk to us a little bit about how long from start to finish to product shots take. I mean, it depends on what you're trying to accomplish number one, and it depends on how cooperative the subject is. So you if you're trying to do something complicated, which we're trying to attempt here, we're not trying to just do a white on against white silhouette shot of this with a balanced lighting we're trying to do comes from some cool, funky stuff I think you need to budget. A good amount of time for every shot that you're trying to attempt unless of course you have like some kind of repeatable formula and a product that's very similar and you're just going to bang them out one after the other and honestly once you've achieved a lighting setup that you really know works and is once you're done with the experimental phase you obviously can just go through stuff really quickly but I think that once you're starting and you trying to do things that are either artistic or creative in a way other than just straight product photography you're going tohave teo budget yourself on afternoon for every experiment right? Exactly no thank you I'm gonna change my lens here um I'm gonna get closer so I'm gonna go with my hundred macro and take this one off I hope I didn't screw up the control room by shutting my camera off so again the one I've been playing with here is twenty eight to seventy and I'm going to go to one hundred macro which is the newest lens in my repertoire because I replaced my old hundred with this new l siri's hundred, which is new for cannon they're taking us macro photography is a little more seriously building l siri's macro lenses sure the tethers working okay, yeah there goes all right so compositionally I'll shoot it again you have a question while I'm you bet we dio alright okay so this one comes from uh c n d u can photo wanted to know you said you learned on your own without any outside influences can you talk about where you find inspiration for your product stuff how do you get that creativity flowing I think with any any photography that you're drawn to you have to be constantly seeking out things that you find interesting so like what I did for this course is I started to look through pages and pages of people's etc and other kind of product photography product photography and google and all of a sudden different things come up and you find that when you're looking at an array of images and you gravitate towards the same things and you put them is in a kind of mental roll index of things that you think are interesting and smart or the lighting is really nice thea the thing I do with my food photography is tear sheets out of magazines and pin them on the wall and look at them and so I think that so are you and more modern kind of way of doing that is building your own pinterest boards of things that you like um and that way you can refer to them as it isn't inspiration so I don't necessarily I don't know that I necessarily said I learned everything on my own I mean I did have influences in photo I just didn't learn in school I think that's got distinction is that I had some very talented photographers teaching me some very interesting things when I was young and even into uh into adulthood I've learned mohr I think from people and watching people do things like what you're watching today I always found that to be the most honest way of learning for me I think learning by watching is really powerful particularly in a visual medium because obviously if you're already attracted to a visual uh enterprise then obviously you're a visual person so I think that's really it's working it's working all right so I like that I think that's really cool but now I want to just kind of maybe we're kind of brush up the light a little bit a little better because I think that that that catch light on the front ej here which is coming from this light probably needs to be moved back a little bit so which catch later on this year yeah it's gotta be coming from the front side so if I I need to move this light to adjust that catch so I'm goingto maybe turn it subtly that way way see what we get to see what my eyes it looks a little bit different not much but it's it's getting there want a taller possibly that's when you want to hold it by hand yeah just so we can play around with it because the thing is, you see that catch lights kind of cool, but it's too short. What? Ultimately, what I would really like that catch light is if that would kind of create this kind of swoosh that goes up like all the way up to the to the break so that it gives me that really solid kind of highlight. So we can play with it like this an experiment a little bit and see what it does for us. E I think that light would have to be hired to do it. So it's all right, here we go. Ready? See what that does for us. All right, well, we're managing this this highlight and we you know, the thing about this is we can fuss with this all day until we get it right. The one that I showed you in the in the in the keynote at the beginning today, with the glass with the two lines came down the side. We shot that for about an hour and a half to get it right to get it exactly the way we wanted it. So that's the whole, the push and pull of this, but I think we come up with a concept here that is prime mini well, what we liked, the conceptual concept we under we're understanding that our lighting is getting there as we're kind of adjusting and doing a couple of more things here, let's try a few more generations before we weigh break this one down. This is also a little tricky because we're so far up off the table, so we really have to kind of manage at this high level with a lot of things from out of this. Yeah, that's really cool, you know, if we move it's a risky thing to do because it might melt the plastic, but one of the things you might do in this situation is move the light closer to the filter on dh that would kind of bring the light down this way a little bit, and it wouldn't be as kind of unruly you might be able to direct it a little bit better. I don't know if I want to know my screen on the first day, but, um let's try something out of the way. The other thing is we might be picking up catch from any number of things in the room, so when john was tending the top of it, you know which one we're tenting the top of it, that might actually be pretty helpful, so why don't we try that again? Because we're boxing that out, we're kind of eliminating what the reflective surfaces can see, and we're changing lighting around as we go yeah, we're gonna have a hard time eliminating that catch because what that catches reading is this whole panel it's reading this so let's see something? Hold on. Yeah. So what? What I mean by that is that this whole white surfaces the thing that's that the eyeballs on those thing is looking at and unless we can make this bigger or smaller or closer or further away it's going to look at it the same way and the fact that we're trying to use the lighting to eliminate both sides of this because we want to see the inside and the out of it let's try it without that panel there, I just want to see if it's maybe picking up the windows too. Yeah, I think it might be let's say yeah it's possible it's picking up the windows too because it's still there cnn honestly, this is a really good thing for you to be watching quite honestly because when I was doing this in my studio the other night, this is exactly what we were doing. We were fussing with the light in such a way that we could hide this one catch that we couldn't figure out where it was coming from and that's that's the challenge right is to figure out where the cash is coming from and then manage it so I wanted to breakdown this and talk a little bit more I wantto answer questions about both the d I y setup that we got going on here and maybe a couple of things about lighting because quite honestly weaken we fucked around with that all day and I'm perfectly happy to do that because I find it interesting and fun to work that way because you have to learn that every single object that you try to photograph presents different problems regardless of your lighting regardless of your camera equipment, that particular object we photographed three or four different ways, and every single time it looked at the light differently. So it's these are manageable problems and this is what you need to learn as a photographer is that you can't get frustrated and you can't look at it and say I can't I can't do this until you put it away and you go back to it and you try it a different way and that's that's the beauty of having your own equipment to work with and play with because that's kind of what this is so go ahead, give me, uh give me everything you got way got it we'll give you everything on the internet guy so a number of people are asking when you first get started and you mentioned that you have to learn the product and then there are certain problems for each product do you have, like, three steps of the questions I ask or the things to look for as you're getting started to kind of learn what those problems are and understand how to solve them? Yeah, I think the first thing is, whenever you're working with lights and reflective objects that's probably your hardest scenario to deal with that's. Always hard because you have all the things that we've gone through here. You know, every turn and twist in a reflective object is going to pick up lighting. So is the object reflective or not? That's the first part, the second thing is, you know, can you light this thing in a way that is going to be pleasing to the eye? I think it's really important to understand that if it's something that's very difficult to photograph, you have to figure out one of the only need to find out one particular set up. You only got to get it right once. So even if you try all day and you only get one that's all you need for a product photograph you need one really good shot. So I think that's. The thing you got to keep in mind is that your goal is to make one shot and it might take all day. But that's one so I think those two things reflective is the thing you need to work on right away and figure it out because that's the that's the stuff that you're gonna have to experiment with good good in long every object is different so cool thank you jewelry maker would like to know have you ever had a plastics infuser? Milt yeah, I've melted quite a few things gels, diffusers the set a couple of things on fire yeah, I mean you know and would you say what you've shown us here is this sort of would you say the holy trinity of do it yourself like you have the stands? Yeah, the diffusers you have your lights I mean really have given from what I've seen from the work that's up there it's pretty much you're good to go I think so. I think that if you if you want to learn this on your own and you know watching us some creative live and watching other things and learning to experiment this is a great starting point get some lights put him on stands, makes him diffusers, put stuff on the table and go and I think from there you can only get better you can only get better from there and I think that's what's great about this this is your, um you know thes e your training wheels these are the training wheels. We're going to move up to, uh, to a schwinn in a little while.

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!