To the shock of many photographers I have started to make some video production pieces, this video I have to show is a short video made for the Charity ‘Woof’. It is a charity dog walk raising money for Cancer Research UK. The event took place on 23rd September 2018, lots of nice dogs and dog owners took the dogs on a walk around the famous Heaton Park. There was also a competition for best dog. The park is a great place to hold events such as this one, it’s massive, well looked after and very scenic.
I wanted to raise my skills in video production so I volunteered my services for the good cause. I live near Heaton Park which was helpful, I only got to spend about 45 minutes filming as I had other commitments but I will be working on more videos such as this one in future. I hope you like the video, if you feel compelled to help out with the cause please contact the Woof facebook page.
I have some images to show, these are images of hair dryers and they are to be used on Remington packaging covers to show off the products to their full potential. All 3 images have very different lighting used which can be seen in the reflections on these shiny products.
It takes a lot of studio lighting skill and techniques to make the reflections look as good as these. Every photographer has their own way of working and controlling the reflections through lighting. I have as used some image stacking which is to make sure the whole product is in focus. If you don’t know then I will tell you that lots of photographers who get a shot in one photo may be leaving parts of the product out of focus, not that noticeable but could be an issue if the image is printed large. Than some technical details are more visible.
If you want to me to post about anything in particular then please let me know. I hope you enjoyed reading about my product photography.
I shoot lots of products, a fair amount of electrical products. Sometimes I can be challenged to make products look great, this shoot wan not one of them. The pink toaster with chrome trim is just a good looking product. I wouldn’t have one in my own kitchen but the images look so cool. I did some of my normal techniques like shooting multiple lighting set-ups and combining the shots in post-production using Photoshop. These photography techniques is the main reason the product shots look so good.
If you are from the UK and you are wondering what the piece of kit on top of the toaster is, this is a bun warmer. Sold in Europe only to warm up buns and croissants on top of the toaster, I know what your thinking, I want one. Well in the UK you can’t have one. Europe only…. doh.
For these type of product shots which get used on the packaging cover I will do a range of shots, this main image is the ‘hero’ shot, this is the image that the brand will use the most. It has to match other product shots in look, camera angle, product angle, etc. Colour consistency is also important because there is likely to be a range of products which all match in colour, here is the toaster and the is also a matching kettle, maybe they will have a coffee maker to match also?
If there is any more details about product photography you would like to know please let me know and I will be happy to answer your questions and maybe even do a write up on the photography blog?
I am going to talk about photography that I have worked on for Restaurants and the way I work for best photographs that show the food in their best light. Get ready for the best tips to help you shoot better images for restaurants.
Start with the natural. One of the issues with photographing food in restaurants is the lighting. The lighting normally is set up to create a ambience for the customers who want a romantic meal. Most restaurants are dark with some window light, some side lights. Other restaurants don’t have any window light. I really like to include natural light when shooting food.
Balance the light. When I can I will use long exposure settings on the camera for food photography. This lets the daylight show on the food shots but being careful to balance the light with the flash. If the exposure is too long the daylight will appear too bright, the shot might look OK but some details of the food might disappear and become white areas with no detail. Best keep camera exposure to around 1/2 second and try using different power settings of the flash to get the correct exposure you are looking for.
Use a tripod. Nobody can hold a camera still enough for 1/2 sec, the image will appear to be slightly blurry. If you are doing long exposure shots the photographer will need to use a tripod.
Use a long lens. When I say long lens I am referring to the focal length, I would recommend using in-between 70-200 mm. It just so happens most lens manufacturers make this very type of Lens. I use a Nikkor 70-200 mm lens, an even better option would be using prime lenses. Prime lenses are the ones that don’t zoom, they have a fixed focal range, they usually produce a better image quality. The more noticeable difference is the quality of out-of-focus areas of the image, a good lens to use would be a 85 mm or 100 mm lens.
How shallow. Most food photography is taken at fairly close range as this helps the viewers to see the detail of the food. As a result, the background of the image will be blurred although this is not a bag thing it helps the look of the image. How much to blur the background or even the food is up to the photographer. It helps to add style to the image but if you blur the image too much the food itself may hardly be in focus and the clients can’t see the food clearly. The way the depth of field (blur) is controlled is by the F stops. I don’t recommend using an F stop as low as F/2.8 as I think a good balance is around F/8 to F/11. It does depend on how close you are to the food as the closer you are the more blur will appear. If you go too high with the F stop control, say F/16 or above, I think you are seeing too much of the background coming into focus.
ISO. Most photographers will know this but for better quality images the ISO should be as low as possible. My camera’s lowest ISO is ISO 100, some cameras can go lower than this. By using ISO 100 the image created will have little or no digital grain which usually looks bad. You can shoot on ISO 400 but I don’t recommend going higher than this.
Go Ultra wide. When shooting for restaurants, in my experience, the photographer is not only there to create images of the food but of the kitchen and dining area too. To make the interior look its best, I would use a ultra wide angle lens for this. It makes the room look bigger and it helps the look of the interior by adding a dynamic element.
Look for the unique. If there is anything unique about the restaurant make sure you get images of it. The restaurant industry is one of the most competitive industries there is aside from the photography industry…. Restaurants normally have something about them to help them stand out from the crowd. It could be features of the building, cocktail drinks that only they serve etc. I once captured a staff member because he got his accordion out and started playing for the customers.
If you follow these tips you will have some great results from photo-shoots at restaurants If these tips have helped please let me know and even share images with me so I can put them on my blog to show others.
Whatever floats your boat.
This weeks blog I show some examples of a studio photoshoot I did in Bolton where I make the products float, or just a part of the product. With the right tools and the right know-how it isn’t too difficult to do, but to make it look good is some only a skilled professional Photographer/Retoucher can pull off.
The main example I have here is a shot of a Remington Mens shaver, to create this image I would set up all equipment, camera, lighting in the Bolton Studio. I would then take a photograph of the complete product as normal, the shaver head is still attached at this point, I would then take another shot of the product but this time the head has been removed. I would then bring all images into Photoshop to start the Retouching work, I start by cutting out the product with the pen tool. I do the same for both images, I then use these two images on the same page where they will appear on different layers. I can now cut out the shaver head off the complete shaver image and use it on the other image where the product head has been removed. It is that simple, we are done, finished….
It can become more complex depending on the product.
The image below is slightly different. I used fishing wire to suspend the coffee hopper out of the coffee machine, I then took the same image without the suspended hopper and masked out the fishing wire. Using this technique there are lots of options to do special effects photography without too much difficulty.
The shoot in Bolton went well with some great product photography to show for it, if there are other studio photography techniques you would like to hear about please get in touch and I can work on my next blog post with your ideas in mind.
Tell me what floats your boat….
Thank you for visiting my photography blog. I am going to show you a photography service I have been working on for over a year now. That is 360 spin photography, most of my work is product photography and this is very useful for that area of imagery too. Firstly let me tell you how it is done.
I set -up lights and camera in the studio, I use a white spinning turntable which helps to create an even spin, if you don’t use a proper turntable then the spin won’t be a smooth spin. With the turntable I shoot one full spin with 72 still images, I then bring all images into Photoshop and retouch any issues with the product, I then use Photoshop timeline to create either a video or a gif with the still images. Once the video has been render I then use Adobe After Effects to make the spin look even smoother.
To create one full spin does take a lot of work, the process including set-up, the shoot and the post-production is 1 full day for 1 product. The benefits are a very nice 360 product video, and a high res still of the product from any angle from the cameras single view point. This is a great asset for any business to show off high quality products. If you require a 360 photography service please get in touch and we can chat about your image needs.
This weeks photography blog post is showing a product shoot I did not too long ago in bury. It is a cover image for Russell Hobbs packaging of their red textures kettle, it is a nice looking kettle and the highlight is it mixes smooth and textured plastic surface. I think it is a nice touch to help the look of the product.
It was a bit of a challenge to show off the different textures when photographing the product in the studio, When you use softboxes and diffusion sheets for the correct lighting techniques the textured surface starts to look too soft, the lighting technique for textured materials is to use a harsh lights without any diffusion. I do usually use multiple different lighting setups for a packaging type product shoot but this one was just harder to work on. I then need to blend multiple shots together in Photoshop which is a high level skill all on it’s own. I did find the right set-up to showoff the different textures and the end result is pleasing to the eye. If you are looking for a specialist product photographer then lets talk and I will be able to show off your products in the same way.
I am showing a shot I did last month, in the brief it mentions that this coffee machine has a unique way of infusing the water into the coffee beans, one aspect which was required to capture was being able to see the underside of the water feed and the coffee beans from a single image. To capture the way the water comes from the water feed we needed to cut open the coffee machine, and to get the angle required in the brief I used a super wide angle lens and photographed the product at very close range. A super wide angle lens has a large range of what it can see concerning viewing angle from left to right, but also a wide viewing angle up and down, or vertical axis. This was the perfect lens for the job.
This final image image is a composite of 8 or 9 images each capturing different aspects, one image is of the water feed and coffee, one image is of the steam, and the other 6 or 7 images are different water steams, this is because water doesn’t always behave and go where you might want it to. All the images are put together using photoshop retouching. The final image looks great and the client was very impressed by what I had manged to capture for them.
This other example of technical photography is a good shot of a men’s foil shaver, it is a close-up shot showing the detail and the features clearly. The reason why this is a technical photograph is because even if you shot this close up on a camera setting set for maximum focus (F22) it would still not all be in focus, normally shots this close would lead to out of focus areas at the furthest part of the subject. To fix this issue and keep the whole product in focus I used a camera setting F11 which is even worse for the current issue of keep the shot in focus, I then took several shots all at different focus points, from the front the back. Lets say I took 4 photographs to get the whole product in focus, and I used 2 different light set-ups, that 8 shots in total all which need to be combined using photoshop retouching. The reason why I used F11 and not F22 is to get an overall sharper image, lets not mix up sharpness and focus….I hope I explain why a shot like this can be a technical problem for some photographers, but not for me, it just takes a bit of time, skill and experience.
I hope you liked my example of technical photography, if there is any other topics you wish me to show on my blog or a photography assignment you need a high end product photographer for please get in touch.
Recently I worked on some social media product photography for Remington, the theme is simple but effective. The product is black and orange, using the colours choosing a background colour to match has an aesthetic appeal. The birds eye view is on trend for social media platforms, mainly Instagram. Along with the straight on arrangement of the props and products, the branding is on point for Remington and the images I have created for them in the past have been successful for the brand.
Thank you for reading my photography blog. If you have any suggestions on the content you want to hear please let me know.
Recently I did a photo-shoot for a new brand called ‘Jackpine Socks’. The aim was to get some studio type shots with models legs in the image, the other images would be lifestyle shots where the models are lounging in comfortable clothes and socks, again focusing on the legs and socks. Lastly I used a foot mannequin to do product photography on a white background. We managed to get all the photography done within a day of photography.
The images I have to show you are when we went onto the roof terrace in the center on Liverpool where they had artificial grass, this gave an opportunity to have a sporty look as we used a tennis skirt and tennis balls as props. The look of the final images has worked well, the Jackpine website has been lunched recently so please go to their website and see more of the photography work I have done for them.
If you require photography for your business branding please get in touch and we can chat about your image needs.
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