Product Photography Gone Wild
Today, I am having a bit of a lazy kind of day. I just can’t come up with enough energy to do anything productive and the same goes for anything fun or entertaining.
I’m just sitting here on the couch with my laptop and I’m fiddling around with this and that while watching my husband play Fallout 3.
So I was looking through all the “discarded” product photos I still have and was contemplating deleting them all. But since I am in a fiddling kind of mood, I grabbed one and started tweaking it with my graphics program.
I am not the type of person to read instruction manuals. I learn by pushing buttons and seeing what happens. So that is what I did with the photo and it’s actually quiet amazing what can be done with something you consider garbage when you change the intent and purpose of it. And it’s even more amazing how much fun it can be.
So here is the original photo that wasn’t good enough to use as a product photo.
On a side note:
You can see some of my make shift photo setup here. In the upper right corner you can see the diffuser panel I use between the light sources and the object. They are called acrylic light diffuser panels for fluorescent lights and you can buy them at Home Depot. I clamp them with two steel spring clamps (like this one) and I am then able to simply stand the panels up on the hand part of the clamps.
I take most of my product photos on mirrors. It enables you to quickly and without a fuss change the background color by simply standing up a colored foam board behind the scene (as you can see in the upper left corner of the photo). You can get these boards in many colors at stores like Michaels. Also, the mirror diffuses the light further and reduces the amount of light you have to shine on the object to begin with.
In this photo I placed a textured clear sheet of glass on top of the mirror. This trick creates neat relection effects without eliminating the merits of the mirror and if you take the photos from an extreme angle, it almost makes it look wet.
OK, now that I have gotten all side-tracked, let’s get back to what I actually wanted to show you.
So, here is the first adjustment I made, which is simply cropping the photo to something that looks nice with an interesting composition. In my opinion, it always helps if you include parts that are out of focus that either lead towards the object in focus or away from it. In my case here, I had to place the unfocused part of the photo into the foreground because the background is taken up by undesirable elements that I needed to get out of the picture. So I ended up with quiet the extreme composition but I think that only makes it more interesting.
Next, I started playing with some of the effects my program has to offer. First I turned everything except for the rainbow in the pendant and the rainbow reflection on the glass into a black and white photo.
Then I applied some light burst effects to the chain and pendant. It looks like there is some kind of spell on it now =)
The next one has the weave effect applied. It’s not good to see the object very well but it does look rather funky.
And the last one is even more funky. This is the chrome effect of my program and it works really well on photos that have a lot of contrast to begin with.
There are many many more cool effect to play with but I would run out of available memory here.
I actually just wanted to show you the photos and now this has turned into some kind of how-to article.
Anyways, it’s just lots of fun to hit all the buttons and get entertained by the results. It might not sound like it, but it’s a form of learning.