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spunko

A question for the photographists

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Posted (edited)

Just a business idea i've been toying with for a while, I may use some of the free council grant (thanks Boris) to actually do it. It'll be selling products online, maybe 50 or so max. The problem is that I don't know much about photography. Is it possible for the layman to take photos of products that look decent, and would I need to buy a decent camera or nowadays would a smartphone work as well?

What I mean is, multiple angles of the same product, with a white background. Something like this:

devils-ivy-131ead.jpg

Or this:

 

68571539.jpg

 

Or maybe with some textures in the background:

 

Product photo 1

I don't really want to go to the expense of hiring a professional photographer and hiring premises yet. Is this doable? And what equipment might I need?

 

 

Edited by spunko

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, spunko said:

Just a business idea i've been toying with for a while, I may use some of the free council grant (thanks Boris) to actually do it. It'll be selling products online, maybe 50 or so max. The problem is that I don't know much about photography. Is it possible for the layman to take photos of products that look decent, and would I need to buy a decent camera or nowadays would a smartphone work as well?

What I mean is, multiple angles of the same product, with a white background. Something like this:

devils-ivy-131ead.jpg

Or this:

 

68571539.jpg

 

Or maybe with some textures in the background:

 

Product photo 1

I don't really want to go to the expense of hiring a professional photographer and hiring premises yet. Is this doable? And what equipment might I need?

 

 

yes it's doable.

You could achieve good results with a secondhand Canon Powershot G6 (£40 off ebay), this gives raw output which is important. I still buy, use and sell images taken with these old cameras. I have more modern equipment too xD

The rest of the gubbins you need will depend upon the size of the product. But it is perfectly achievable.

However, if you just have 50 products and they will not change, getting a pro might be very worthwhile as they will better understand lightng and should also have an eye for good composition.

Edited by Hopeful

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1 minute ago, Hopeful said:

yes it's doable.

You could achieve good results with a secondhand Canon Powershot G6 (£40 off ebay), this gives raw output which is important. I still buy, use and sell images taken with these old cameras. I have more modern equipment too xD

The rest of the gubbins you need will depend upon the size of the product. But it is perfectly achievable.

However, if you just have 50 products and they will not change, getting a pro might be worthwhile as they should also have an eye for good composition.

Thanks, will check it out.

What would be the best setup in terms of the background, is it just a case of getting a spotless white table and white poster/wall behind it? I know that some people on eBay etc put their items in the bath and photograph it there... The results aren't too bad.

Or one of these things?

equipment-needed-for-product-photography

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When I've sold stuff on EBay, I've used a camera, rather than a phone. They obviously take better pictures through a lens bigger than a peanut.

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, spunko said:

Thanks, will check it out.

What would be the best setup in terms of the background, is it just a case of getting a spotless white table and white poster/wall behind it? I know that some people on eBay etc put their items in the bath and photograph it there... The results aren't too bad.

Or one of these things?

equipment-needed-for-product-photography

 

I don't have much advice, although I'd know how to make a reasonable stab at it if i wanted to. But my stab would also be trial and error.

As @LC1 said, it's all in lighting, shadows and in the composition. And composition makes a poor quality largely, irrelevant.

Personally, I'd use my Nikon D500 rather than my Canon Powershot simply because the former I can control better via the LCD screen or my Atomos Shogun. But if I didn't have the D500, I'd achieve very good results for online viewing (and for print up to 20"x16" for close viewing or much larger for distant) with a bit more fiddle with the Canon.

Check out dpreview for tips

 

https://www.google.com/search?biw=1161&bih=524&ei=wxTOXtiTOpX2xgOy1Ku4Aw&q=product+photography+lighting+dpreview&oq=product+photography+lighting+dpreview&gs_lcp=CgZwc3ktYWIQAzoECAAQRzoECAAQQzoCCAA6BggAEBYQHjoICCEQFhAdEB46BQghEKABOgcIIRAKEKABUP50WJeLAWCSjAFoAHABeACAAXiIAf4GkgEDNS40mAEAoAEBqgEHZ3dzLXdpeg&sclient=psy-ab&ved=0ahUKEwiYgeziwNPpAhUVu3EKHTLqCjcQ4dUDCAs&uact=5

 

 

Edited by Hopeful

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1 hour ago, spunko said:

Just a business idea i've been toying with for a while, I may use some of the free council grant (thanks Boris) to actually do it. It'll be selling products online, maybe 50 or so max. The problem is that I don't know much about photography. Is it possible for the layman to take photos of products that look decent, and would I need to buy a decent camera or nowadays would a smartphone work as well?

What I mean is, multiple angles of the same product, with a white background. Something like this:

devils-ivy-131ead.jpg

Or this:

 

68571539.jpg

 

Or maybe with some textures in the background:

 

Product photo 1

I don't really want to go to the expense of hiring a professional photographer and hiring premises yet. Is this doable? And what equipment might I need?

 

 

I didn't know you were a "tat" salesman, like Snaccy, but those are perfectly good pictures.

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2 minutes ago, MrPin said:

I didn't know you were a "tat" salesman, like Snaccy, but those are perfectly good pictures.

I am not yet, but if you can make a hit of a business during a massive recession, you can do anything :S

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Photography is all about lighting.  

Most cameras these days can get great results*.

That mini studio would work well, albeit with size restrictions -- but it seems pricey -- search for 'mini photo studio' on Ebay.  The cheapest and smallest ones are 20cm cubed, which is probably useless for anything bigger than an inch long, but the biggish ones are 60cm cubed (as your linky is) which would be okay for objects up to about 10cm long.    Beyond that you'd be better off buying some matt (flock) material from a haberdashery -- start with white and possibly some kind of light tint (I'd suggest grey but blue seems popular for some reason).

To get results in a room (as in your final photograph) is a touch more difficult -- but that's mainly just stupid trivial stuff like getting getting everything clean.  You will need lighting to get the shadows etc doing their stuff; there's lots of info on how to do that online.

[* Note that if you want to get the camera to control the lighting you might need something a bit more than a phone camera (a flash hotshoe, some fancy wireless flash, or control of the actual light flashes so that sensor flashguns can work).  That said, you don't need flash, especially at this time of year where sunlight can be very effectively used.]

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2 minutes ago, dgul said:

That said, you don't need flash, especially at this time of year where sunlight can be very effectively used.]

You need a flash for girls with very long tits, to avoid a shadow.

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1 hour ago, MrPin said:

You need a flash for girls with very long tits, to avoid a shadow.

I miss the olden days, where you could buy 'amateur photographer' magazine and see actual tits and muff get valuable advice about photography.  

I'd recommend this one regarding which equipment to buy:

6Z3A5375-755x1024.jpg

 

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2 hours ago, LC1 said:

No expert, but pretty sure it's mainly the use of lighting/reflectors/diffusers. 

 

This.

Lighting is everything. You basically want 3 lights - A key light (main light), a fill light and then a back light to add depth.

Lights used to be expensive but have dropped considerably, especially as LEDs now have high brightness levels which, in the past, made lights expensive.

It is depth that makes an item, such as the iphone stand out, but you can also achieve those kind of shadows - which give the illusion of dept - very easily in Photoshop using layers - basically made a layer copy of the image - in this case the iphone. Fill it with grey, blur it using a basic Photoshop built-in filter, position it slightly to one side and below the main layer image. Voila - you have depth.

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48 minutes ago, dgul said:

I miss the olden days, where you could buy 'amateur photographer' magazine and see actual tits and muff get valuable advice about photography.  

I'd recommend this one regarding which equipment to buy:

6Z3A5375-755x1024.jpg

 

Her healthy weight and lack of tattoos make her ugly.

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3 hours ago, spunko said:

I forgot to add, I have reasonable photoshop skills so can touch things up afterwards etc.

Most of it is down to the eye of the photographer.

I had all the gear, all the technical ability and took perfectly focused, lit and framed photos that looked shite.

Mrs O takes brilliant photos with her phone or pocket camera.

 

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19 minutes ago, Option5 said:

Most of it is down to the eye of the photographer.

I had all the gear, all the technical ability and took perfectly focused, lit and framed photos that looked shite.

Mrs O takes brilliant photos with her phone or pocket camera.

 

It's shit to have a wife with talent. Make out she can't cook.:P

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Your photos above look decent.

Use a tripod.

Coloured crepe paper for a background is cheaper than cloth and often more vivid in hue. Black can be smart.

Pro photography is done in RAW format. Takes a lot of computing power on PC but perfectly do-able.

I would be interested to know how it goes as a business. Good luck !

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Unless you are trying to take something arty you will probably want all of your subject in focus.

To do that, you may need a large depth of field (depending on the size & shape of the subject).  Which in turn requires a small lens aperture (assuming you have any control of it).

A small aperture limits the amount of light getting through the lens. So you would require bright lighting (if available) and/or a longer exposure (assuming your subject is not moving). Long exposures need a way of holding the camera still, such as a tripod.

You could use diffuse sunlight through a window by covering the window with a cotton sheet. Reflectors can be easily made with white card or bacofoil, don't spend a lot on one. So you may have all you need lying around your home already.

If the subject is small, a plain or lightly patterned wallpaper roll may do as a cheap backdrop.

Secondhand tripods are cheap because people don't use them with camera phones. I use sometimes use heavy old video camera tripods outdoors as they are less prone to shake and blowing around.

You will get more of the subject in sharp focus if you have the camera far away and zoom in, rather than up close.

Experiment. There is no one right answer.

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Unless manufacturing or reselling the products surely those wholesaling them to you will have some promo shots to use initially while you see if it's worth the effort of going bespoke?

Do the bare minimum to get the first sales then once proven there is a market you can exert more effort to capturing a bigger chunk of it.

 

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31 minutes ago, BoSon said:

Unless manufacturing or reselling the products surely those wholesaling them to you will have some promo shots to use initially while you see if it's worth the effort of going bespoke?

Do the bare minimum to get the first sales then once proven there is a market you can exert more effort to capturing a bigger chunk of it.

 

They do but they're pretty shit. I always tend to redo product images myself but on Photoshop. In this case it probably won't be possible though to rely on Photoshop alone.

And yes I agree with the second point.

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