Photographer Peter Belanger is the man behind Apple's beautiful product photography. Photo from The Verge.

When you think about Apple products, the visual imagery that comes to mind is likely the work of a photographer you've never heard of -- until now. Apple photographer Peter Belanger recently offered insight into how he shoots those deceivingly simple product shots of iPhones, iPads and more in an interview with The Verge

The crisp, clean product images are the results of painstaking setup work by Belanger and his crew. Highly controllable and complex lighting schemes are key to perfectly portraying the iPhone and other Apple products.

"Because Apple products have such carefully selected materials it is incredibly important to light the product in a way that will showcase the various materials accurately," Belanger told The Verge. "I pick an area to start with and think about how that material needs to be described. Once that section is done I move on to the next. This is how my sets get so complicated! I need to have control over each and every surface so when the client asks for a highlight to be elongated, I can do that."

"I think of my lights as layers that I can adjust individually to get the desired results," Belanger said of his complicated sets used to perfectly capture Apple product images.

Belanger, who primarily shoots with a Canon 5D Mark III outside the studio and uses a Phase One digital back with a Sinar X view camera and Phase One 645 camera system inside the studio, says he aims to achieve a look in camera first, but post production work is always necessary.

"No matter how well a product is made, when you magnify it at 100 percent, you see more than the human eye can see," Belanger said. "Something that looks smooth as you hold it will have scratches, chips and other imperfections once magnified."

Watch Belanger and his crew in action on this shoot for a Macworld magazine cover image: