Prod­uct photography pro­fes­sional Max Bridge (square­moun­tain.co.uk) ex­plains how to add at­trac­tive re­flected gra­di­ents

Digital Photograper - - Techniques -


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.

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