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How To Create A Fruity Pear Lightbulb With Photoshop

Photographer Markus Pettersson is back with more fruity themed photography but this time, his in-depth tutorial walks you through the set-up for creating an eye-catching fruit shot with a twist.

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Markus Pettersson is a professional photographer who you might remember shared his rather vibrant collection of fruit photos, captured with a Hasselblad H5D-40 camera, with us a couple of weeks ago. Well, he's back and this time, he's put together an in-depth tutorial on how he captured one of the shots that featured in his tasty and colourful photo series we shared previously. 

As well as the above tutorial, Markus has shared a free to download layered PSD file you can play around with which you can download from Markus Pettersson's website.


Light bulb pear


The Set-Up

Markus used 4 flashes but he does says that you can use natural light or indeed less flash units should you not own 4. The most important thing is that the lighting is constant, that your composition is good and that the camera doesn't move between capturing a shot of the pear and lightbulb. It's also important that the fruit you pick is about the same size as a light bulb. 

You need to ensure everything is sharp so use a small aperture that gives you good depth of field. Markus recommends DSLR shooters use at least f/16 and do remember to take a few test shots to check the light levels etc. 

As you'll be extracting the objects out of their backgrounds in Photoshop, you'll want the images to be as clean as possible to make your job easier so if, like Markus, you find reflections / shadows appear that would make the extraction more difficult, adjust the composition. 


Light bulb pear


When it comes to building the final image, you basically want to switch the glass part of the bulb and its reflection with the pear and pear reflection, as Markus explains: "The way a light bulb is designed, you basically just have to add a shadow where the plastic and the pear meets and a small drop shadow to the pear after putting it in place to make it look realistic. Of course, there are lots of other steps involved as well so I will let the 30-minute retouching video speak for itself."

The video is divided into these parts so it's easy to navigate should you wish:

  • 00:17 – RAW conversion
  • 01:55 – Cloning and healing pear
  • 03:05 – Extracting pear
  • 04.20 – Color adjustment and D&B
  • 07.00 – Fitting and masking pear
  • 14.04 – Cloning and healing light bulb
  • 16.40 – Adding shadow
  • 18.06 – Creating new reflection
  • 21.00 – Extracting pear light bulb and new reflection
  • 24.32 – Liquify adjustments and adding new background
  • 27.15 – Adding drop shadow
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