ENHANCE GLOSSY SURFACES
Product photography professional Max Bridge (squaremountain.co.uk) explains how to add attractive reflected gradients
1 SECURE THE
CAMERA When producing any kind of product photography, avoiding camera movement is essential. This is especially important when photographing smaller items like watches or jewellery. I’d advise using a studio stand whenever possible but a sturdy, weighted-down tripod will do.
POSITION PRODUCT The final composition will depend upon requests from the agency, if this is a professional job, or your own stylistic preference. It’s important to understand, however, that the position of your product will directly affect the placement of lights due to the angle of reflection.
ANGLE OF REFLECTION Imagine a ball moving around a pool table – it bounces off edges at the same angle it approached them. Light works in the same way. Imagine a line coming out from your lens and hitting your product. Now imagine where that line would go – this is where you place your scrim.
USE DOUBLE DIFFUSION To create pleasing gradients on glossy surfaces, use double diffusion. We have our light, with modifier attached and a scrim in between our light and subject. This allows us to create gradients on the scrim which, due to the angle of reflection, can be seen in glossy areas.
DECIDE ON LIGHT POSITION If you’ve paid attention up until now then you know roughly where you’ll be placing your scrim and lights. The next choice is the placement of your light in relation to the scrim. There are many options here and each will produce a different effect, so experiment.
COMPOSITE IN PHOTOSHOP It is extremely time-consuming to get every element of a watch looking perfect in one image. Compositing solves this issue. For more information, visit my YouTube channel Square Mountain, especially this video: youtube.com/ watch?v=JkhkqZcz_Bk&t=48s.