3 worst mistakes to avoid in product photography. Tips and Tricks – Part 1


– Hey guys. In this video, I’m going to show you three most common mistakes when people without much experience
in product photography make when shooting beverage. Beverage bottles, side glasses, anything that has glass
and that is glossy. Stay with me and it will be useful for you if you’re going to shoot
products or beverage. So, we have a bottle of
liquor on a glossy plexiglass. This is sort of the usual level at the top to start with in beverage photography. Something glossy
underneath and the bottle. And if you never, ever
with trying to shoot this, but you haven’t experienced
shooting people, Portraiture, fashion, anything like this, well, most likely, you have umbrella. Umbrella and some lighting. It could be speed light or
it can be studio lights, monolights or whatever,
continuous or strobe, it doesn’t matter, but
you have an umbrella. Not one, I’m sure, but you have. So, you may think I shoot
people, it looks great, let’s shoot a bottle. So, let’s try. One light to top umbrella and this is the net, net umbrella. White umbrella, whatever you call it. In studio, shooting still life, you always shoot on manual focus. No ultra focus and we
should manual exposure. Since this is strobes, we
don’t use camera exposure meter and anything like AV, aperture priority or shadow priority mode. No, we shoot M mode, manual mode. So, I have 160 every second shutter speed. F/13 and ISO 100. ISO is important. It’s important to be set as well. If you have ISO outer,
it’s not gonna work. Because camera will try
to compensate the exposure without having any idea about how bright your strobe would be. This is the specifics
of working with strobes. So, let’s shoot. Okay, and, this is my cool viewfinder. Look what is going on. What worked for people
is not going to work for anything that is glossy. Why? Because it’s like a mirror. You see the umbrella. You see the reflection of umbrella. Why you don’t see it with
people, with portraits? Because we’re matte. We’re not as glossy, at least, we try not to be as glossy. You know with some powder
and all that stuff. As a bottle, bottle is
glossy, so it doesn’t work. You really need to work
with light modifiers. The rule, number one, they use softboxes. They use softboxes
because of the reflection that it giving us. Controlled, nice square,
nice looking reflection. No umbrellas. So, let’s switch to a softbox. And I can tell you that most of the cases, we use not just a softbox
square, but a stripbox. A stripbox, it’s basically
a narrow softbox. So, going to put it there. Okay, now we do have a stripbox here and it creates some other nice reflection. Let’s see. Here we go. At least it looks better
then umbrella, right? Look at this and this. It’s nice. Plus, check out the background. What is going on? The same background, gray. Actually, it’s cool to have gray to brown. You can turn anything to
black or almost white, depending on how much light you put on it. So, with the stripbox, you
definitely have less spill to the background. It’s super cool feature and it’s important for those of you who
doesn’t have large studio. If you’re studio is relatively small, meaning that the background, well, it’s like five feet away. Spill is a big problem. So box, you have less spill. So, let’s see what we can do next. The reflection is sorta okay, but it doesn’t look good. It’s not, what I call, sexy shot. To be sexy. How to make sexy in product photography. Radiance. Really? It’s all about ability
of creating radiance. With this reflection, we
don’t really see the shape of the bottle. Yes, you understand that this is bottle because we remember it, but still, it’s flat. Photography is a flat media and you need to know
how to create the shape with your light. And we use radiance. How we create gradient? Diffusers. You put a diffuser between
your light and the subject. Okay? And I’ll show you what to do next. This is professionally made diffuser and, actually, I enhanced
it with additional layer of diffusion. On other media, I’m
telling why it’s important. You can check it on that coordinate. There is a link to that media. But anyway, this is a diffuser and it can cost quite a
lot if you buy it pre made. It can be more than $100 for a piece. What you can do though,
if you’re just starting. You don’t have much budget for this. You can make do-it-yourself. The simplest diffuser ever is this. Foam cardboard with cut hole in it. Big hole and the diffusion. In this case, it’s heavy plastic. I’m not affiliated with them, but it’s really the best ever material to make a do-it-yourself diffusers. In the Complete Guide
of Product Photography, we do cover do-it-yourself
type of light modifiers and lighting. You can check. It’s super cool lessons that will help you to save a lot of money. ‘Cause you can do many things with just do-it-yourself diffusers. Okay. So, the diffuser, the light behind it. You understand why it’s this
way and not the other, right? It’s not a reflector, it’s a diffuser. We can shoot through. And we have a reflection of
the diffuser on the bottle. So let’s shoot it. So, what do you think? Will be brighter? Okay, you’re right. We can add, let’s say,
one up step to the light. Let’s shoot. Okay, now it’s nice and bright. Do we like the shot? If you said yes, this
is the second mistake that most of unexperienced
photographer make when they start shooting in the studio. Start shooting beverages
or anything that is glossy. They use diffuser and they
make the surface look matte. And it’s not correct. It’s not a matte surface. You see what is going on. It looks nice, but it’s not glossy. We don’t perceive as glossy. We perceive it differently because there is no sharp cut of line. What is going on with matte surface? Like human skin. You put a light and it diffuses it. In this case, it’s a glossy surface, but you already diffused our light and it looks like matte,
unless, well, we do something. So, next, fix for your mistake is this. You need to create a
sharp cut of line, okay? Sharp cut of line which will
make things to look glossy. Let me show you how to do this. So, what you do is this. You touch the diffuser, okay? And then it creates gradient. The same way as it used to be, but there is no light behind the diffuser. You understand, right? And let’s do it nicely. Okay, kind of straight. Let’s make sure the diffuser is vertical. Everything looks cool. So, you do touch it and let’s take a shot. Let’s make a shot. See what is going on. The bottle looks glossy again. This is matte surface. This is glossy. Yes, we need to fix the way
that the gradient forms. It’s too much contrast,
but the sharp cut of line, I’m talking about the sharp
cut of line on this side, on the left of the bottle, right? This one is what gives us the
feeling that this is glossy. This is super important. And what you need to make, we need to basically make
it a little bit toward the edge of the bottle. It’s always good to have
it on the edge, okay. So, I’m moving it closer. And get it really close to the bottle. Even a little bit on the frame, but since we’re gonna crop it, it’s fine. We’re still touching it
and now, we need to work with the gradient to make
it a little bit softer. Okay. The light appears to be too bright, so half a step down will help. Okay. It’s better. Actually, we can make it even more down. And, the softness of gradient
will regulate by changing the angle that we have our
light hitting the diffuser. Okay? Different angle, different
type of gradient. It could be like this or
it could be like that. Here we go. What is going on here? Why it looks good? You see, what I did, I moved
it away from the diffuser and it gets softer, but
it’s still sharp cut of line because it’s at end of diffuser. So, instead of touching the diffuser, I use just the end of the
diffuser and actually, the light exactly hits
there so it’s not spilling on other way and we have
sharp cut of line, okay? This is one more secret
that will help you to create beautiful gradient
because this is the key. So, on the next video, I’m going to show you how
to finish this bottle. What else needs to be done. Stay with me and the video list, it is
over there on the link. Subscribe to the channel. More video is coming soon. We’re going to cover all the aspects of product photography for beginners. See you next time. (bright music)

Comments 8

  • This is so awesome! Thank you Alex 🙂

  • Amazing stuff once again!

  • Ваши уроки в свое время очень помогли мне, спасибо большое за ваш труд. Успехов в ваших начинаниях.

  • I have stripboxes with grids which stays on all the time. Is that a bad idea? What is the con of that. I mean I have more control of the spill.

    I am afraid of having the light spilling in to the camera if I remove the grids, but I see that you have the stripbox pointed nearly directed in to the camera

  • amazing ..waiting for the next …thanks

  • Hello. Thank for the video! I have some questions. What to do if I have just softbox, no stripbox? And Also why do we need additional diffusor between stripbox and the subject? After all every stripbox and softbox already have diffusors????

  • Hi what is the name of the plastic that you used for the Home made defuser
    Great video thanks

  • Good job, love from india

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