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In Product Photography for E-Commerce, designer Dane Howard shows how to take professional-looking photographs that showcase products and build buyers' trust. Using a practical approach, Dane covers objects from collectible coins to real estate, and the lessons can be applied to just about anything that can be sold online. When it comes time to capture images in the studio, Dane discusses how to select a camera and other equipment on any budget. He shares his favorite tips and tricks for getting the most out of camera angles, backgrounds, and scene lighting. He reviews image editing basics, such as cropping and retouching photographs, and explains how to take a presentation beyond a 360-degree view with the integration of rich media.
Let's talk about lighting equipment. Lighting equipment is going to be a pretty easy setup. You're not going to hear me talk about strobes, or flashes, or any of those types of things. When I think about lighting equipment, I think small, compact, easy to set up, directional, really flexible setup. Let's talk about the three main things you want to think about. First is a directional hood. The directional hoods that I have here do the job great. They basically allow me to position and point the light wherever I want. These are a little bit higher end. You can get them online. I got these at TableTop Studios. They have nice setups, two or three.
Just about any set up you'll have inside of any photo cube, you'll have a left and a right and maybe a top, depending on the type of product you are shooting. This type of hood is on the cheaper end. I got this at a hardware store. It's just a couple bucks. It does the job great. Now the second thing is what attaches to the light itself. You may want a tripod, which is great, or a little clamp. One of my favorites are one of these type of guys right here, small, compact, light tripod. It has got the nice little attachment and when it grows, it can grow even above my head, which is really helpful for all the different setups, table sizes, et cetera.
Now, let's talk a little bit about the light temperature itself. We are not going to get into much science, except just get daylight bulbs. You can pick these up at any hardware store and this is a 30 Watt bulb, 125 Watt equivalent in the tungsten side and it puts out about 2000 lumens. So, these things are pretty remarkable. Pick yourself up a couple of those. You can see the color temperature here. Now, notice one more thing you might want in your bag, one of these bad boys. This is a reflector. This is a piece of foam core. One of the things that you want to do is think about bouncing the light off.
If you look at this side of my face here, imagine this was diffused through a nice screen. Watch what happens when I move this closer. It gets brighter. This is really helpful when you're outside, underneath a tree, and you just want to bounce some quick light off of something. You don't have to use any lights at all. So, that's going to be super cool. Now, the next thing, which is really nice for shooting tiny, glass objects or whatever, is the light box, just take a look at that. Now, the light table is really great thing to have if you shoot a lot of pottery or glass, because it lights from the bottom. Now, imagine that the lights come down a little bit and now look what it does to this glass.
Take a look at some of the specular highlights, look at how the light passes through it. Not only is the light box great at reducing shadows, but it allows translucency and a lot of the light to pass through an object. This is really, really cool! Now, whatever you put into your bag, whether it be a light box, a hood, daylight bulbs, whatever it might be, a couple of things I think of. Cost, I think of something that will also be quick to set up, quick to tear down. So, whatever you put in, I can just take it and go on a moments notice and set it up. So, use some of these techniques when choosing some of your lighting equipment and have fun with some of the product photography that you choose.
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