SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    SitePoint Evangelist
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    427
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi, I need to take pictures of the products in my inventory for my online store. I have a Sony Cybershot DSC-S30 digital camera which is quite nice so I'd like to take the pictures myself to save money. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for how to construct a plain background and set up the correct type of lighting for this sort of thing. Is there a website that might be able to tell me more about doing this type of thing? Thanks!

  2. #2
    SitePoint Zealot SoldierMail's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    184
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Depending on your type of product i would simply just lay the product on white poster board and just take the picture. Once that is done you could simply make the background of the photo transparent.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Evangelist
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    427
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    OK, I assume it's easy to make the background transparent in a program like MS PhotoDraw or Adobe Photoshop? Does it just detect the background because it is a solid color? What about lighting though? Any ideas? I don't know anything about the subject so I was wondering if anyone had any tips that I might not think of. Thanks!

  4. #4
    ********* Content Director MattAus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Sydney,NSW,Australia
    Posts
    12
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I recently shot some furniture for a web site
    see www.balticcollection.com.au

    We hired one of those silver umbrellas with the light in them. seemed to work OK, we were very rushed and had no time to learn how to use the camera properly. Did the entire shoot in one day, that included moving all of the furniture.
    Matt

  5. #5
    SitePoint Evangelist
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    427
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    How much did the silver umbrella cost to rent? What kind of a store rented it?

  6. #6
    ********* Content Director MattAus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Sydney,NSW,Australia
    Posts
    12
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The client organised it, I think he ended up buying it actually because it was only a hundred $ or so. I'd say any decent photography shop would hire them for next to nothing, 10 $20 a day?

    Depending on your product you may be able to arrange your own lighting. With a digital camera this is easy as you can shoot away, if you don't like them try something different. No cost only your time.
    Matt

  7. #7
    SitePoint Zealot
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Westchester County, NY
    Posts
    141
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    For a clients site we finished, http://www.whatabagelcafe.com, we had to photgraph digitally all the bagels and other products in the store. We setup a white sheet, and a white table cloth, and brought in one spot light to shine on the product. (we had it in our basement). We used a digital camera- uploaded the pictures to our G3's and fired up Photoshop 5.5 and "magic wanded" (not sure if thats a word!) the background out....And you are left with your product....whats the cost? Nothing- if you have a white sheet (bed sheet), white tabel cloth, camera, computer and a standing light. Its beautiful, isn't it?
    Darren Herman

  8. #8
    SitePoint Addict
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Posts
    258
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Assuming small products:

    Use a non-reflective background. For beginners, experiment using either a solid black (velvet works well), or a solid white back ground (white butcher paper or a thick bedsheet). Drape either so that there are no sharpcorners at the back (think a curved "L" shape).

    Use at least two, but preferably thee lights to minimize shadows aiming them at opposite angles towards the products. Photographic shops will sell flame and heat resistand "scrims" (semi-transparent fabric) that will soften the lights. If a third light is used position it behind the product to light up and remove shadows from the back side.

    Take some time to arrange the product nicely. Related props (i.e. whipped cream cheese and some fruit for bagle product) enhance the marketability of your product.
    Total Life Success - Don't give in. Succeed. (tm)

    Total Life Success Forums - the Web's Leading
    Success Community™

  9. #9
    SitePoint Addict
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    BOSTON MA
    Posts
    335
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    if you don't have the resources to rent lighting equipement, i would suggest you shoot by a big window.

    here are some inexpensive alternatives to things :

    background - you can use either foamcore or construction paper. the problem with foamcore is that it doesn't bend whereas construction paper will bend no problem. just get a sheet big enough to be used a background. ideally you want bend it (do not fold bec you want a seamless bkg) at a 90 degree angle so that you have an L shape. then just place your product in the middle and shoot.

    lighting - short of renting professional equipment you can, as i said, shoot near an open source of natural light such as a window and strategecally place pieces of foamcore (or something that will reflect light) around or near the product so that you can fill in the areas that would be in shadow. also obviously use a flash if you have one on the camera.

    another alternative would be construct a sort of box out of white foamcore (i say foamcore alot because it will work great), with one side left out, so that means a box with 5 walls instead of 6. now you just place your product inside and shoot with flash or whatever other light source. what the box will do is reflect any amount light that gets in there so that the product is illuminated evenly with very little shadows appearing.

    if you can tell me your budget i can tell what you can get (i'm a photographer so i know)

    some approximate prices so that you can get an idea :

    foamcore - a sheet of 20x24 inches shouldn't be more than 4 or 5 dollars. (well around boston, ma anyway)

    construction paper - sheet of 20x24 inches - about 2(?) dollars.

    professional lighting equipment - probably around 50 dollars per day.

    if you have more questions let me know.
    good luck.
    . . . chris

  10. #10
    Don't get too close, I bite! Nicky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Lancashire, UK
    Posts
    8,277
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Chris

    Thanks for all the great advice! I have been keeping an eye on this thread because I am currently doing awebsite for a model shop and will have to take photographs at some stage.

    What exactly is construction paper? Is it an American term or am I just ignorant of the term?

  11. #11
    SitePoint Addict
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    BOSTON MA
    Posts
    335
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    well nicky, i'm glad you asked that question
    you see, the thing is this. when the universe was first created, all there was to use was paper, so that's what most of the earth was made of before God invented metal. (i know, i know. it was a bad joke). here's the truth .......

    i hadn't realized that construction paper might be an american term (i'm originally from the middle east). all it is is paper that is thicker than regular paper but not as thick as say cardboard. yeah, that's it !! it's almost cardboard but not quite.

    it's usually found in art supply stores in the u.s. so i imagine you might find it in art supply stores in the u.k. also.

    you're not limited to using construction paper only. the idea is to basically use a material that is easy to work with (ie bend), stiff enough to be propped up or handled more than once, and that will be clean and relatively textureless.

    what i'm imagining in my head is that you would want to photograph your product for the web or print and this image will go alongside some text so you don't really want to see things like the background or the table you took the photograph on in the images. plus it would look more professional.

    if you have questions, either now or the future, don't hesitate to ask. i'll actually be able to be of use with this matter as opposed to answering a complicated scripting question.

    . . . chris


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •