Product Photography Lighting Setup
The art of photography for products must be considered more than simply taking a picture by pointing a camera towards an object and snapping a photo. It requires a sophisticated collection of product lighting configurations that work in tandem to give the most effective possible outcome. The best method to arrange your photographs is by looking at three elements: location, time, and exposure.
Location, which is where you’re will determine the best possible arrangement for product lighting. It’s possible to get complicated, however. Keep in mind that all the fundamental options you’ll use to illuminate your product images come down to a combination of three components which are reflector, light and diffuser. To get the best results, it’s also an excellent idea to have a light reflector within your studio. It should be set close to where you’re taking your photograph to provide backlighting for the photo. This kind of lighting is usually called natural lighting or natural lighting.
Time and exposure Light is one factor, but another important aspect is exposure. In the case of your product equipment for photography, you’ll want to get the lightest possible. However, it would help if you also were precise about the amount of light shining on your subject. It is possible to use a small floodlight to highlight your subject, but be aware that this technique should be reserved for photographers who have experience working with natural lighting and which can be difficult in dark studios.
The most popular product lighting configurations for photography use two kinds of lighting commonly referred to as spread and track. And spread. The two kinds of setups are suitable for numerous photos, but it’s helpful to be aware of what to do once you’ve completed one kind of setup and are prepared to move to the next. The first setup employs a light near the front of the photograph. It could be a desk lamp or larger lighting like a sconce for the wall. Another type of setup is known as a group light arrangement and is best suited when many people are involved. It could involve using a variety of ceiling lights, wall sconces or floodlights or even the use of fluorescent light.
After you have all your products in place and the lights connected, The third thing you will need to add to your product lighting setup for photography is an external flashlight. A high-quality portable flash is vital for those who plan to shoot some photos in dark conditions. You’ll require an unwavering hand, and that’s why you should invest in an extremely durable and robust flash. It is also possible to purchase batteries for your flash so you can start using the flash even after the primary flash has been turned off. Ensure the battery can last at minimum one exposure at dim lighting to ensure you don’t overuse the flash.
The final product lighting setup for photography will include the use of the reflector. A reflector is essentially an enormous panel you can buy at your local art supply shop or online. Place the reflector in front of the light that you used in an external flash source to begin. Connect additional reflectors to the panel so that you’ll be able to illuminate different areas of your landscape. You’ll need plenty of reflectors to cover the entire surface of your object but ensure that you have enough space to move around once you’re done.
There are countless ways you can set up your lighting for product photography. The setup that’s best for your products will depend on the type of item you’re photographing and the overall look you want to achieve.
To keep things simple, we’ll examine three simple product photography lighting setups:
If you position the source of light on the opposite side of the object, you’re taking pictures of, you’ll get side lighting. Your product will be illuminated on one side and shadows falling on the other side.
From this point, you can further refine and test the side lighting configuration.
Create an Air Diffuser
If you wish to soften shadows falling on the side without lighting the product, you can add a diffuser between the light source and the product.
The light will be more evenly distributed when it travels through the diffuser, and the harsh, hard shadows you see in your surroundings will soften.
Any white, plain transparent fabric — like a sheet, curtain or t-shirt stretched over some frame can be used as a diffuser. If you’re looking to go fancy, you could build an individual softbox (a light and diffuser) using items you likely have to lie around your house.
Include a Reflector
If you’d like to bring more light into the area away from the light source, put a reflector on the side of the scene, facing the source of light.
Create a second light source
If you’re using artificial lighting, Try adding another light source. It should be placed to the other side of the product with towards the primary source of light.
Change the Light(S)
Start by pointing your lighting source at a 90-degree angle to the camera facing directly towards the back of your product. Then, you can experiment by adjusting the angle of light.
The light source should be moved so that it’s placed anywhere between 90-130 degrees away to the camera’s left. Watch the shadows change when you move the light source.
Move the Reflector
The reflector’s position will alter the angle that the light bounces back to your subject, which can alter the look of your image.
Start by placing the reflector in direct view of your light source, and then play around with the reflector’s location and angle to determine an aesthetic you like.
If your source of light is located at the rear of the product, it has backlighting.
Backlighting is a powerful and dramatic method of lighting translucent things, such as glass. In a standard backlighting arrangement, you’ll put your illumination source on top of your product and set up the diffuser between the light source and the product.
Backlighting for product photography setup
Create a Reflector
Consider putting a white foam board reflector on top of the product to reflect some light towards the opposite side of your object.
You can also add two reflectors placed on opposite sides of the image and placed close to your camera’s sight. Two reflectors reflect light on the opposite faces of the product to give it an even and balanced look.
If the light source you are using is located directly next to the camera, it is front lighting.
Typically, backlight or sidelight is the best choice for crafts photography. When you use front lighting, the shadows are cast behind the product making your photograph appear flat.
Different kinds of surfaces react differently to light, so you might try an arrangement for front lighting an attempt and check out the way your products appear. If you’re unhappy with the result, consider changing to side lighting, which is more effective across all types of surfaces—product lighting for photography.