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Photographer wanted: product photography on pure white background

CatLover Junior Member 5 11 United Kingdom
29 Sep 2012 12:45PM
Hi are there any product photographers here that know how to take a photo of product on pure white background?
This has to be achieved using either continuous lighting without a light box or in a light box or by blowing out the background with flash lighting.

The pure white should NOT be done by masking and cutting out the object in photoshop afterwards.

It is for earrings I hand make.

Im in Wimbledon, if anyone can teach me, please get in touch. I will pay you. Grin


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hobbo Plus
7 1.2k 2 England
29 Sep 2012 3:10PM
I'm no expert so can't advise you directly.......but I can point you towards dozens of photo tutorials to be found on YouTube, many jewel leery specific.

I HVE just watched a couple and the favourite system is to hang them from extremely fine fishing or filament thread in front of a white card lit to be completely shadowless.

The other method was to hang or fix them to a clear sheet of plexiglass then shoot through that against a white background.

Have Fun

CDSINUK 5 223 England
29 Sep 2012 3:29PM
you might laugh but this might just do you ? its not a lot of outlay and cheaper than hiring someone, and for small things like earings it may be perfect, and theres plenty of tutorials on various websites Smile


Quote:You might laugh but this might just do you ? its not a lot of outlay and cheaper than hiring someone, and for small things like earings it may be perfect, and theres plenty of tutorials on various websites Smile


This is a perfect solution for small items. Once you have the kit setup. You need to set the camera in Aperture priority at f8. half press the shutter and take note of the stutter speed. Then set the camera to manual mode. set an aperture of f8 and the shutter speed to previously noted.
If your shutter speed is below 1/125 second. increase the iso until it comes to at least 1/125 sec. (dont worry about high iso noise if your using the images for website)

Take a test shot and see if it looks the way you want it. if not. You can then adjust the aperture until you get the exact exposure you want. open the aperture to make it whiter or reduce the aperture to make it darker,

you could use spot metering but this is a really simple method.
llareggub 7 825 United Kingdom
29 Sep 2012 5:39PM
Light tents are simple to use and are great for product photography but the lighting has a tendancy to be flat and that tends not to show "shiney jewellery off at its best as you do not get the specualar highlights apparently Smile
Misty56 10 22 1 United Kingdom
29 Sep 2012 5:44PM
I take photos of Jewelry, what I use is a light tent two studio lights, my lens is a 18-250, or macro lens, depends on the length of the item or how close you need to be
I have the photos I have taken on my web site, feel free to look ask any questions you want to know
cattyal Plus
13 8.5k 6 England
29 Sep 2012 6:00PM
Here's a very useful site for hints and tips on product photography - Tabletop Studio
lemmy 11 2.7k United Kingdom
29 Sep 2012 7:07PM
Hi Angela - I live in New Malden and I'd be happy yo show you how to do the product shots as you mention. I wouldn't want any payment, though, happy to pass on knowledge.

It's mainly to do with separating the foreground from the background for lighting purposes. I'm in France until the 12th or 13th of October but anytime after that would be fine.

My brother required a similar thing for his business making TV equipment so I showed him how to make a simple setup that would do the trick.
riddell 13 81 United Kingdom
23 Jul 2015 12:45PM

I'm a professional commercial photographer and I've shot literally thousands and thousands of items against a white background, I've shot hundreds of pieces of jewellery.

OK, first the don'ts.

Don't use a light box or light tent. Its a really amateur way working and results in 'ebay' quality photography.

Don't use continuous lighting, unless working with really large products like cars, and even then flash is often mixed in. Again it results in poor quality photography most of the time, its also really not good for small products like jewellery as its really difficult to get all the accents etc.

And don't cut or mask, again an amateur technique of working, and much more time consuming.

All the above techniques are easy to use and easy to achieve just about good enough photos which is why most people use these kind of techniques for ebay or low end websites.

[but not for Amazon. Amazon won't accept this style of photography as its not good enough and don't fit within their guidelines. Amazon only accept professional commercial grade photography]

So finally the way to do it is with studio strobes. Its a matter of setting everything up, lighting, bouncing, flagging and balancing everything correctly. The background is white, because you set the light up perfectly. You don't just burn it out, you set it correctly, and you mask, flag, bounce, get all the angles right so its perfect, even and don't burn or bleed.

Using the above techniques you'll often have to change the settings, angles, modifiers etc. between different pieces. When shooting jewellery different materials such as gold, silver, white gold all need lighting differently and different stones again make a difference.

Its really not easy or straightforward. You need to be able to see the light and how it moves and know how to control it. It takes a long time to master.

Normally for most jewellery I use between 3-4 heads, but the modifiers are entirely dependant upon the piece. Usually I'll mix softboxes with reflectors with grids and or barndoors, but then the softboxes need to keep changing size and position, same as I use different tightness of grids. When nice stones are in play then I'll usually throw some fibre optics in there too.

Its for this reason there are two main ways to go. Mediocre shots with a light tent, or employ a professional.
thewilliam 9 6.1k
24 Jul 2015 9:58AM
Read this last post before mine carefully and several times over!

If you want your jewellery to have that sparkle that distinguishes the high-end product from the market-stall crap, a light-tent really is the worst way to do it.
saltireblue Plus
8 7.9k 33 Norway
24 Jul 2015 11:04AM
Hope that after nearly 3 years the OP reads the new input to the thread.Wink
keithh Plus
14 25.4k 33 Wallis And Futuna
24 Jul 2015 11:43PM

Quote: Amazon only accept professional commercial grade photography

Well it took all of thirty seconds to prove that one wrong
Chris_L Plus
4 4.5k United Kingdom
25 Jul 2015 2:08AM

Quote:Don't use continuous lighting,


It can make models' pupils go tiny and they might find it hot and uncomfortable but why wouldn't you use it for product photography? Strobes are generally much brighter but If you're shooting from a tripod and your camera and subject are both keeping still you can open your shutter for longer. A flash isn't some kind of magic light compared to a continuous light.
riddell 13 81 United Kingdom
25 Jul 2015 10:53AM
> why wouldn't you use it for product photography?

There are a few main reasons.

1. Their lack of power means that they are not even when using large modifiers, which are common in product photography. Hotspots everywhere. Less control, less adjustment.

Its like trying to light things with lightbulbs. not good.

2. The heat can often be a problem. It can warp and move products and make them sweat.

3. The amount of electric used. To a professional shooting consistently every day it would be a considerable additional expense.

4. Shooting longer shutter speeds just slows everything down and adds the risk of movement. You try carefully balancing an earring on its end. with strobes it only needs to stay still for 1/125 of a second. It may be a second with continuous lights and will result in more blurred images, plus camera shake in there too.
thewilliam 9 6.1k
25 Jul 2015 11:24AM
Studio flash lighting has the advantage that, so long as you don't have the modelling lights switched on when actually taking the shot, the product will suffer practically no heat. When photographing something that's thermally delicate, like ice-cream, you can have a substitute in position for focusing with the modelling lights switched on and then go to room lighting plus flash for the shot.

With flash, the product lighting will completely overpower any normal room lighting so your lighting will be WYSIWYG.

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