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  1. #26
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    Getting good pictures is really not as hard as it seems. You don't always need to have a good camera either. A consumer one will do as long as you can get 5 or 6 megapixels out of it. You want to try to get the best picture you can so you have to photoshop less later.

    If it is a large object like a piece of furniture, I would get large sheet of white paper, like an end roll from a newspaper company, they usually sell them to you pretty cheap, I get them anywhere from $2.00 to $5.00, depending on how large it is. You can normally tape it to a wall or shelf or something and put your piece in front of it. Also locating it near a window will give you lots of natural light, which can help your photos alot.

    An even easier route would be to find a nice simple wall or something in the shop and just take your pictures in front of it. Then photoshop them to correct the lighting etc. I find that the white piece of paper does help though if you plan to photoshop your image out all together and put it on a different background, it's alot easier to magic wand the image this way.

    If it's a small product like a watch or something you can get a lightbox and some small lights at a camera shop for pretty cheap. Find a good professional camera shop not Ritz or Wolf cameras they are oriented more towards consumers. At a professional shop you can find all kinds of lightboxes, lights, those big silver discs etc, and most of it is pretty inexpensive. I recently saw pop up lightbox for about $20.00 with two small lights for about $30.00 for the pair.

    Good Luck

    Jodi :0)

  2. #27
    SitePoint Wizard spence_noodle's Avatar
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    I worked at a photo studio for about two weeks while on leave from uni.

    I learned how to do professional photos for magazines and the tricks they use to do them.

    You will need some space, then the following:

    1 - four breeze blocks
    2 - a medium size glass sheet
    3 - a roll of white paper
    4 - a medium/large spot light
    5 - a large spot light with a diffuser attached
    6 - a very good quality camera on a tripod
    7 - Make sure the room is fairly dark, no fluorescent lighting

    Make a table out of the breeze blocks and the glass sheet. Clean the glass, then place the white paper roll underneath and have it going up at the back, say about 3ft (one metre).

    Place the medium/large spot light on the floor and aim it underneath the new table, so light shines in.

    With the other spot light with attached diffuser place this to any corner of choice at the front, near the spot light on the floor.

    Now place the tripod with camera at the front, aiming down(ish) and take photos.

    (If your really fussy) Take the very first photo in black and white. This will give you a perfect idea how the shadows, highlights, etc... will turn out before you shoot in colour.

    Spence
    Last edited by spence_noodle; Jan 26, 2008 at 07:32. Reason: Updating tutorial, bit's I've missed and forgoten.

  3. #28
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    spence noodle I'll have to give these techniques a try.

  4. #29
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    Yes, require enough lights and good but light background

  5. #30
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    I manage a few eCommerce sites with ~8000 products and our setup is like the picture below. (I realize the blue screen was done horribly, I don't actually do this part of the work)

    Anyhow the lights are setup off the right of the frame and the reflective umbrellas(?) are used to reflect the light back on the product so it's a diffused light rather then a hard light. I think the picture guy generally has a white board on that table so the blue doesn't bleed onto the product (we sell a lot of white Christmas ornaments).

    He also uses a tripod so every single product image is nearly identical. He also turns off the lights and closes the shades.

    We wind up with something like this

    He also adds a drop shadow to the images.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #31
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    Lighting is, indisputably, the most important factor.
    I drifted away from the "sterile" appearance, though, of using a plain backdrop and have been photographing in the outdoors. Specifically, I photograph my hand-made jewelry in the garden. Choosing flora with colors that complement the color of the jewelry, I get results like this  
    Of course, the single (strong) source of light generated by the sun is the one thing I plan to change. A diffuser (as many have stated) or, simply, photographing in the shade would be an improvement. In my case, I am trying to show off the brilliant effect the sun has on the Dichroic Glass.
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  7. #32
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    Here's another link to one of those tabletop photo studio things:

    http://www.hammacher.com/publish/730...?promo=QSearch

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by samanime View Post
    A lot of people have been suggesting a white sheet, but I actually recommend getting a green or blue screen (like they use for movies), and then removing those back drops with Photoshop (or After Effects is even a little better).

    Also, try to get a really strong ambient light, but set it far away from the object you are shooting, so it is bright without having any light points. Something like a lamp with an 80+ watt bulb standing behind you and off to one side is a good start. You need to be more careful with the lighting if what you are taking a picture of is overly reflective.

    Also, take LOTS of pictures, especially if you are using a digital camera. Take them at the highest resolution and take lots of them. Then you can go through them and pick the best one(s). Then remove the back drop with image-editing software, then crop it down to the size you require.
    My thoughts exactly - take LOTS of pictures (with a tripod if you have one... a shaky hand can kill a shot!) and edit out the background. Once you edit out the background, you have a nice "object" that you can use for more than just a shopping cart.
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  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by spence_noodle
    I worked at a photo studio for about two weeks while on leave from uni.

    I learned how to do professional photos for magazines and the tricks they use to do them.

    You will need some space, then the following:

    1 - four breeze blocks
    2 - a medium size glass sheet
    3 - a roll of white paper
    4 - a medium/large spot light
    5 - a large spot light with a diffuser attached
    6 - a very good quality camera on a tripod

    Make a table out of the breeze blocks and the glass sheet. Clean the glass, then place the white paper roll underneath and have it going up at the back, say about 3ft (one metre).

    Place the medium/large spot light on the floor and aim it underneath the new table, so light shines in.

    With the other spot light with attached diffuser place this to any corner of choice at the front, near the spot light on the floor.

    Now place the tripod with camera at the front and take photos.

    Spence
    I so need to try this.






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  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shaun(OfTheDead) View Post
    I so need to try this.






    If you try it can you take a picture of the setup?

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by digadesign
    If you try it can you take a picture of the setup?
    Not a problem, digadesign.

    I need to do some shopping first, though.




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  12. #37
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elduderino View Post
    I managed to take some decent shots for an e-commerce site im working on with a decent dslr (nikon) using RAW format, with a flash ( in camera) and then photoshop for clipping away the background and sharpening,levels and re-sizing ( created a batch in photoshop to do this......one for the light coloured clothes and one for dark....this worked well as the photos were very consistent in terms of softness and levels...an saved me bags of time....i didn't fancy hand sharpening 900 odd photos). My client was very happy with them. The time consuming bits was cutting all the pics out.

    Have a look at my screen shot: ( click the image once you get to image shack and it gives u the full res version )


    ...you couldn't have ironed it?
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  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheOriginalH View Post
    ...you couldn't have ironed it?
    No way.......as i said i had about 900 items to photograph...and i'm terrible at ironing....i quite like the creased effect

  14. #39
    SitePoint Wizard spence_noodle's Avatar
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    Thx guys, just a note, I've added another point that I had forgot (#7) and that is to make sure the room your using is fairly dark with no fluorescent lighting (turned on that is).

  15. #40
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    $10 photo studio

    take a look at this:

    http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/07...to-studio.html

    I created one, take fairly good pictures.
    Idan Arbel
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  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by spence_noodle
    no fluorescent lighting (turned on that is).
    hahaha... I don't know if you needed to add in that last part.

    Then again...




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  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by arbel View Post
    take a look at this:

    http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/07...to-studio.html

    I created one, take fairly good pictures.
    I created this one too. It works pretty well.

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by michelle1908 View Post
    I created this one too. It works pretty well.
    Hi Michelle

    Post an example here if you want, out of curiosity.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by arbel View Post
    take a look at this:

    http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/07...to-studio.html

    I created one, take fairly good pictures.
    Hey

    I gave this a try and worked pretty well.
    I only have a 3 megapixle camera though, it would probably be much better with a 6 or 7 megapixle.

    Here is an example.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by digadesign View Post
    Hi Michelle

    Post an example here if you want, out of curiosity.
    My lightbox and photos are in this album. I am definitely not a photographer and didn't have the best light sources, but I see how it could really work well if you have some level of skill.

  21. #46
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    A 3MP camera puts out a 20481536 image. It's normally unlikely that you would need anything larger than this. The only difference you would see is when you're cropping, or the camera has a better lens, or much better CCD.

    3MP is sufficient for most product photos, so there's rarely a need for a high-end or SLR type camera.

    Quote Originally Posted by digadesign View Post
    Hey

    I gave this a try and worked pretty well.
    I only have a 3 megapixle camera though, it would probably be much better with a 6 or 7 megapixle.
    Merchant Equipment Store - Merchant Services, POS, Equipment, and supplies.
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  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by jestep View Post
    A 3MP camera puts out a 20481536 image. It's normally unlikely that you would need anything larger than this. The only difference you would see is when you're cropping, or the camera has a better lens, or much better CCD.

    3MP is sufficient for most product photos, so there's rarely a need for a high-end or SLR type camera.

    What do you think I can do to make it better.
    Because the image looks like it can be sharper. Looks a bit blury.

    Maybe more powerful lighting?

  23. #48
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    Lighting was a huge factor when we were experimenting with product photos.

    Was the camera on a tripod, and is it set at the highest quality setting?

    Also how did you resize the image for the web?
    Merchant Equipment Store - Merchant Services, POS, Equipment, and supplies.
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  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by jestep View Post
    Lighting was a huge factor when we were experimenting with product photos.

    Was the camera on a tripod, and is it set at the highest quality setting?

    Also how did you resize the image for the web?
    Hi

    Yeah the camera was on a tripod and the highest quality.

    I used fireworks to resize the image.

  25. #50
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    It's hard to say then. It almost looks like the camera is focused on the background and not the subject.

    Do you know the dimensions the picture was directly out of the camera?
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