Lighting up belts for product shots

Started Apr 27, 2013 | Discussions thread
Scrozzy
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Re: Lighting up belts for product shots
In reply to Barrie Davis, May 4, 2013

Barrie Davis wrote:

Scrozzy wrote:

24Peter wrote:

The biggest challenge will probably be the buckles. Family of angles for your lights is all well and good but for really reflective buckles don't forget to include something to reflect back into them - usually white foam board. Otherwise whatever is in your shooting environment will show up, including the dark recesses of any unlit areas of your studio.

For leather belts, it is easy enough to light them. There is usually a diffuse reflection on the leather so I would use (relatively) large softboxes to create a highlight. Texture may also be important, even for Amazon non-artsy shots. That may required harder lighting.

If the purpose of the lightbox is eliminate a shadow underneath the product, make sure your color temp/WB matches with your strobes. Instead of a lightbox, I usually just use a piece of clear Plexiglas raised off the (white) surface of my shooting table to eliminate shadows. If you are getting unwanted reflections in the Plexiglas add more light under the Plexiglas or use a CP filter.

Thanks Peter, that's really helpful. I particularly like the idea of using plexiglass to eliminate the shadows.

So let's get this straight... you want to (a) kill the highlights in the buckles,

To be honest I hadn't thought of killing anything until I read your post, but I'm happy with highlights, just not harsh/blown ones.

AND in the surfaces of the leather...

Not exactly, no ...

and you ALSO (b) want to kill the shadows.

Again, bizarrely I still have killing on the brain too, but I want to kill the shadows under the belt, yes. There's a website called Amazon that sells all sorts of things. If you check out the majority of their product shots you'll notice a theme of clean and white backgrounds: www.amazon.com or www.amazon.co.uk

This leaves me wondering one thing.... HOW are you going to show shape and texture in your products, with the two principle lighting tools available to you for doing so...

-(highlights and shadows, respectively)-

... not used? 

Well wonder no more. I'm torn between voodoo or just flopping out an appendage and flapping it about a bit in a ritualistic manner. I'm sure that will improve my photography no end.

Cheers.

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