Shoot: Low End Set-up for Jewelry


Tabletop Photography Fundamentals


Lesson Info

Shoot: Low End Set-up for Jewelry

Group two and great too is leah and mike and they're going to come up in what we're going to work on today. Come on up, guys. What we're going to work on today is we have a siri's of jewelry clients and julie jewelry clients would chose to style their own first basically, what we get to do is choose surfaces lighting for how we're going to photograph these and they're giving us a lot of latitude to giving us a lot of trust on how we photograph them so we don't have specific shots we have to make we just have to use specific propping that they dictated to us first, so this is also one of those kind of challenges where when you're working with an art direction like we did in the last segment there's a person on set kind of directing you sometimes in this situation your styling is already pretty much taking care of initially and then from there you can be creative, so our initial shots have to be what they styled and then we can break them down and start over and work with them again. So ...

the initial styling is already set up here on the brake front for you we didn't choose any surface is beyond what's there so there's always things that you can add and if you want to add anything after we've gotten the initial styling done that's up to you also you don't have to choose how you wanna light these now you have the option of these three lights or if you want to go to a one or two lights set up because you want to change the dynamic of it that's also your prerogative you could also change out the blue bulbs for the spiral bulbs if you don't like the color temperature that you're working with here so with that we can get started so do you have any questions going forward? Not so far no questions so okay so what way surface that they're on we need to use those ones I'll show you so we come over here and we could see that this has already been styled ok these are these are the bird of virtue these air made by berta virtue and berta virtue wanted to see them on this type of in this type of a styling they have an aesthetic for their particular site that they want to see okay and then this uh these are shelly marquis is the metal ones and here's some more for virtue would hear and seymour and here's that driftwood piece that you were admiring first day so actually it's already set up for you so that's what you could do something different with it if you like so the goal here is to try to get all of these things photographed in these configurations with no specific direction as to how to photograph them so use this and then if with each side each set if you want to change it up afterwards that's also your prerogative so have at it it's always good when two people look at each other I was initially attracted I like the it's already styled on the yellow flower with the teal background extra attracted to the the styling obviously has been done very well so we're start we have a beautiful starting point and I think you can probably this's the camera this is the thing that actually takes a picture of you know that a working professional photographer thank you yeah so you're not married to any surface beyond what is already styled whatever you want to add to this that that's fine you want to use this that's fine as well wait I'm thinking of coming in close but like anything questions or concerns about julie photography right off the bat coming out of the internet you know we dio that's the question we got a little earlier from blogger not who said what type of products you find the most challenging to photograph jewelry, food items in motion well, I mean items in motion is a whole nother all right that's a whole nother thing I mean if it were trying to shoot items in motion and we're trying to freeze them we really have to be careful about the kind of lighting we're going to use and whether or not we have adequate shutter speed to make that happen usually if you're going to shoot things in motion indoors or where it is an adequate light you need strobes and if you shooting outdoors like uh in a sports stadium or your kids playing soccer you just have to try to get as much shutter speed as possible so those air for that for sure I think I think items obviously things in motion is really like even in food right when when smoke is rising or flames or jumping or whatever always a challenge but in product photography if you were to say what's just the biggest well I mean I don't know how much more things in motion no photographing for products are skipping motion skipping the items in motion okay? So challenging for product for definitely shiny object whatever those objects might be we've seen that over the course of the three days we've been here that anything that has shimmer rasheen or reflects light really dramatically that's probably the most the most challenging thing flat objects are easy yeah so and we have another question from jackie from georgia she's awesome sportske taken over hillary crystal snowflakes on she sees lots of rainbow prisons with her eyes they're so sparkly she can't even come close to capturing them do you have any well, it depends on what kind of lighting she's using I mean, I think that trying to power some lights through those prisms might bring those rain goes back I think that's all about experimentation because the fastening of something like crystal and how the lights going play through it is obviously you're going to be a challenge because you have to kind of work the light both the source and the angle to see what type of I think just shooting it in daylight is gonna be really challenging you would definitely try to use artificial light for that. Cool. So where are we guys? Oh, what happened? This's kind of from the experience of watching yesterday that with this jeweler just a little more rustic and warm we much preferred the warm light. Okay, cool. Okay, so we switched him out for the fluorescent right now, okay? And we're gonna start with one light and then work from that. Yeah, okay. And then as faras the the nature of the shot you want to take is it going to be a close ish? Not okay, so what kind of lends you going to use? I was thinking that macro okay, so there's are there's a fifty macro one hundred macro and then the lens that's on there, so those of you three options right now and that's twenty eight to seventy zoom lens so I don't know if that's if you really wanna go macro that's not the one you use so they're in the bag and the longer one is one hundred and the short of snobby one is the fifty okay if you break it you bought it so where they got you doing, john standoff here because it's built to tippi okay? Is that sandbag or not saying back not yet. Okay, so not that I'm checking up on your anything I don't think that len shade is on the right way. It looks like it's crooked okay, any questions going into this so far? You have one? Yes. Uh no worries just put it in and I've got it here. Yeah. It's it's okay it's still got a it's still got a filter on it? Yeah. And you have another question jury specific from dynasty with darker black glass beads have proven challenging for her when shooting in the tent she sees the reflection on the inside of the tens that's harder with black because now the black is going to read all the white all around it. What I would do is try to shoot it on a piece of black plexi or even like what we did with the mirror and it kind of give it some you know it'll look dynamic on dh then try to manage maybe shoot with one light to manage that spectral highlights. So maybe you get a little dot in each bead instead of all kinds of white going on inside of the light. Ten. But black is difficult because it will read everything around it. So I would suggest maybe a single light source and maybe shooting it on something reflective to give it to give it a little bit more dynamic. Look, but I wouldn't try to shoot that in the light tent. I think that would be difficult. Andrea, have you shot much wine? Red, white, any with glasses? Can you give a little just a little andrew's guide to shooting wine, but yeah, I mean wine khun b really difficult. I think when you have wine that's clear or light colored it's much easier. I think the most challenging one lines are the heavier, darker wines and it's, hard to penetrate light through them. Because that's, one of the nicest ways to shoot wine is to backlight it. So you can kind of see through the glass and gives us some dimension and the shimmer you see off the top with with red wine. I think the best thing to do is try toe in your styling, kind of get a warmer look and a feel. And just make sure that when you're lighting the glass itself you're trying to give it a cz much light as you can without kind of blowing out the rest of the image I try to push the lightest artist I could on a really dark dark dark wine but I would also go with a warmer styling setting because it would lend itself till probably a little bit darker image great thank you I just want to give a shout out to that question napa key okay so way our talk talk me through what you're discussing at the moment we took one test shot and we notice one thing right away on the styling it's not showing up there just that the prop was cutting the back that we didn't like how that one okay, so you're going to try to stay inside the blue and you're not going to try to pick up the wood on the outs when I get a little in the back I don't want to cut through the earrings that um so we're switching we're going to have to wait can't see what's going on I say hey, that was the whole plan hide from the cameras until it's absolutely perfect that's actually giving almost like a backlit feel you know how I feel about that for a second? I really feel I literally feel my blood pressure rise when I hear things crash in the studio so at the moment, I'm about a about one thirty over eighty over ninety it's like a side of slight elevation okay all right, so we're using what we use what kind of equipment we got here, what way using the compact for russell okay in there to keep it warm right? Because we don't want the like really cool tones of the other bulbs, right? This is the color of that plate kind of did it did it influence your your choice of light? I mean a little bit because I mean the cool tones it would just make the whole scene bluer good. That was the answer I was excellent. I like when I get the right and like, when I give the right here yes monitors not calibrated but blue of that plate in the booth so different is that just the auto white balance or it could be yeah, it could be, but it also could be the calibration of the screen so and we know when we work with photos of every screen it's subtly different different so it's it's something that you have to manage, but I think that you know, if you're also taking a peek in the camera, we can actually get a yeah in camera it's actually much closer to what we're looking at on the green yeah, the green rather than that aqua that we're picking up there so what's what's your you finding what was your what? Your first problem that you're solving way just turn this okay it's it's completely facing the wrong way okay, so it was so light wasn't hitting it properly, right? Yeah, and then we're just trying to use it bounced teo just kind of bring in some of the light here back on it. We don't want to make a flat, but just to kind of introduce someone to the other side, you don't have to like to deeper shadow good. So one of the things that became I was watching the pre show this morning with jim and the students and your and your critiques of one another it's it's important to gain a language when you're learning how to critique your own work and other people's work that has to be a vocabulary that you use. And I think some of you was struggling with that initially one of the things that a cz an instructor that's important in this process is to get people to talk it out. We are a lot of us, no innate lee what to do but to actually verbalize it to put it in words, it's putting it in another part of your brain, and then when you're actually sitting there looking at work and they have to dissected, you can actually have the vocabulary when you're when you're able to talk through your shoots, you'll also be able to talk through your images differently because I think that that's a very specialized skill and it's something that a lot of photographers struggle with and how to describe their own work and how to critique their own work because they could say I like it I don't like it but that doesn't tell me anything so it's important to learn the process not just do it but intellectualize it be able to talk about it, explain it and then be able to teach to somebody else and and andrew to that point you have like maybe a top three like ways to get started like statements that was way weirder top threes around here fell about list ical top three I got stuck on top three what was the rest of the question top five then you're killing me I just like basic ways to start the conversation like starting the sentence of yeah I think the first thing you really should be able to verbalize when you are talking about your images what frame of my looking for what's the first thing you notice that's right and what's the first thing you notice that's wrong I think you have to kind of work both sides of that I like this but I don't like that I like my lighting I would like some more silhouette would like some more vignette I would like a little bit more light on this thing just like we talked through it the end just saying this this this this and this and then all of a sudden those become part of the lexicon of how you could discuss photography and it's important because you will need to do that and also having a better understanding of your own work. I've had photographer friends who were brilliant who didn't have that kind of vocabulary and when they wanted to talk to somebody about their work it wass so what? Tell me about your work and it's like uh it's there look at it you know so this is not just a visual medium and has to also be a verbal medium you have to be able to do both that's really important oh my goodness what is going on here from this side of the prop? Okay realized when we move the light this way okay, we just use you for everybody to watch what you were doing yes it's a win win. Okay, so all right it's it's looking a little more like yeah do you want the not liking how dark one year we can try the you want to get both of the urine to face towards the light and I'm not loving the falloff of light and darkness let me let me see you trying to get the prop toe hang in a way that you can see both of the light will hit them both at the same time well I feel like your angle might be off time so what we also that yeah so if you slide it over a little bit and then maybe try to rotate it back these air not easy because they're moving what was the question about moving products before um okay, well I don't so I'd like to darken you want a doc in the background? Yeah it's because of the light I kinda get okay, so I'd rather not have that really kind of it actually almost looks a little bit back with even though it's kind of a side angle light let's see this one but I might have a suggestion I might not you'll never know ok I think you're lighting is nice now but I want to see I want I want to see you closer you want to be I want to be tighter I want that frame to be tighter and I think that you khun pa probably still frame this in a way where you are picking up this enough of that enough of the branch and kind of shoot it in a vertical plane right in there I think that would look really nice and I think you can probably still get a little bit closer with that camera stand I'll let you work you were playing the art director in the last segment and so how do you know if you have an idea and you're going on? You've got your creative thing going on and they come in and they make a change like remove a bottle and put in a glass of scotch and change up your scene? How do you manage that? Even though your first I throw fit, then I pout on, then I walked, I stormed off the set and then I come back and I do my job, so you just gotta manage it, you know? And then you got to try to work with people that are collaborative, you know? And I think a lot of the art directors who I work with respect me and my work and I respect them and their work and it is more of a collaborative process when you deal with somebody who is going to come in and be this is the way it is, and I only want it this way. I haven't encountered too many people like that, and maybe because I'm bold and scary and people don't want to do that, but I think it's basically about mutual respect so yeah, me shaped head that's the third thing, walk off the set, shave your head and come back and if you really wanted to scary shave off your eyebrows you will never, ever argue through that what I think I want a little more of this front edge, okay, just how you feel about the shadow off the branch, do you like it distracts me. It does, okay, it doesn't necessarily bother me, but I also think that there's a way to crop this image in a way that would eliminate it completely. So I like what I see here. I think I think this is kind of in the spirit of what what was originally set up. So you want to get one more shot like this. But I think if I'm art directing this and I'm representing the company that wants the shot, I would be happy. So I would think because I still have flexibility in this image through cropping. But I would say, get one, mohr that you're satisfied with, and then I would like to see you style that may be your own way or move on to something else. So why don't we, uh, why don't we work with that way? You like the earrings to be fully and focus? Oh, that would have been a little soft. Yeah, what she's talking about down in here is this a little bit soft? So maybe I'm okay with the flower that four point yeah, that should be out of focus, but all of this should be in focus. You might want to change your aperture and get a little bit your center your focal point a little bit more gone too f ate now a fate kind of frightening. So, jim, how about we, uh, anybody asking questions? You know, we got actually we've got a really important question and this comes directly from the makers of the earrings. Oh, so so this is pretty cool. Get this one, right? I know, right? So this is from berta virtue, okay? And it says, you know, for that with the hex hearings it's really hard to determine how tow hang the hearing I don't want it to be just placed flat on a white background and feel like the white cloth is hung on just just hanging there once they want to capture the depth of the peace so that you can see through parts of it and that the little round dot actually sticks out well, there might be a little bit of the delay on the internet, but I think where our photographers here having that very thing yeah, because we're not sitting flat on white we were showing depth and dimension you can actually see the little holes because it is creating that I think we've I think I might want to ask them whether they're not they see what we got here and if they like it think it's pretty great to me from where I'm sitting so you okay? So tell me your processing what you ended up with like what? What what changed in the last three shots that made you happy because I could see you're smiling you can see at least one of this the front hearing is polian focus right? You got the aperture and john did a few other settings didn't entirely see what wass okay settings at the top. So right. Fifteenth of the second at faa at four hundred eso and we're using that hundred millimeter macro life so that's kind of where we're at with settings so tell me a little bit about the changes in the styling and why you're happier with this now what was what was the problem before and what's the what did you say a lot the last shot the earrings were twisted okay, so you finally found a way to get them to kind of stay very fine, ok, which is fine because I've got to catch the moment okay when then that's fine, I think that I like the shot you've gotten here so how do you feel about it? It's good I put the bounce in there just because the shots before it was really dark on the sides so that just introduce a little bit of light just to kind of show the depth there and I like that you can see like the holes in the middle right? And I think that was the challenge that the the owner of the company had to and so I think that you've shown that they have a little depth and dimension and that those pieces inside are inset and you get it kind of bit of shadowing in there, which looks so I think this is this is a really nice image I think it's totally flexible as well because it still could be cropped and it will be used in a number of different ways so let's break that set down and let's move on to something else pick well, I don't know if if we're gonna have time for every single one but pick the one you like or you want to work with the most and maybe change you're lighting up a little bit and andrew, while they're doing that, we have a question about adding other products into shoots so could you add a chanel bag without chanels with permission on that or how do you know what I well I don't put anything with labels in photographs unless they're paying me to put it in there, I think that's important because number one, you don't wanna get sued and number one, you don't want to do product photography for free. So I think those are two important things that you know you can do. I mean, you, khun subtly hint that something without it being completely obvious, like if something's out of focus or something is a distinctive shape. But you can't necessarily tell and kind of maybe reminiscent of a product. But I can't imagine a situation where I would want to put a product in a shot, like even when I shoot wine in a food photograph. I will twist label, and you may be able to tell it's a heineken bottle, but I'm not going to show the heineken label that's what I mean, so that kind of thing so I wouldn't worry too much about it if you can kind of keep it a little bit obscured, but brand.

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.


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.

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!

Sunil Sinha

very nice table top