Sojourns

Reflections on a year in 365 photographs

Posts Tagged ‘product

Project 365:ONE-HUNDRED-THIRTY-THREE

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Death by chocolate cake by Michele.

Death by Chocolate

Considering the image:  I am taking product shots of cakes my wife does for her business in order to use them on the website I’m building for her.  This is One Delicious Chocolate Cake, complete with a super light and fluffy Italian Butter Cream frosting. This thing melts in your mouth!

Making the photograph:  Back to the bedroom softbox and the Nifty Fifty lens.  Just fill board on the left to help define the edges, shallow depth of field and then process.  Easy day.

For those following this project regularly, I will be offline until  Sunday when I will catch back up with posts.

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Written by Brian Fancher

May 13, 2010 at 8:24 pm

Posted in Stock

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Project 365:ONE-HUNDRED-THIRTY

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A tasty little dinner treat from my own hands

Mangé

Considering the image:  I mixed up some dough and we did “Interactive Pizza Night” at the house.  Mine looked so good I thought I’d grab a quick food shot or three in the bedroom softbox.  Unfortunately I only got a couple of shots before the white fill board crashed into the Dogfish and I was scrambling to save the pizza and clean the area.  I didn’t have time to play much with the composition.   C’est la vie.  Still, a very tasty dinner!

Making the photograph:  I grabbed the Canon 40D with EF 50mm f/1.8 Mk I mounted and dialed up Aperture Priority at f/4.5 and ISO 400, which gave me a respectable shutter speed of 1/50th.  I didn’t have the tripod handy so I couldn’t really go with a higher f-stop to keep the entire pizza and beer in focus.  And as noted above, I didn’t have time to clean up the composition and get rid of the distracting white trim and dark wall corner.

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Written by Brian Fancher

May 10, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Project 365:ONE-HUNDRED-TWENTY-EIGHT

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A coconut mother's day cake by my wife, Michele

Mother's Day

Considering the image:  My wife has begun a cake business in earnest and had a couple of mother’s day cakes due this week.  This one was a coconut cream cake in the shape of a spring hat.  Once again, my softbox bedroom came in handy.

Making the photograph:  I used the same equipment as I had the last couple of days with the nice soft light of my bedroom accented with a white fill board to camera left.  I mounted the camera on a tripod since I was shooting f/8 in order to get a decent depth of field.  The lens was the same “Nifty Fifty” EF 50mm f/1.8 Mk I, which is really a lovely, sharp lens and works well in these situations on the Canon 40D.  Post processing added a bit of curves and contrast before cropping and saving for the web.

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Written by Brian Fancher

May 8, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Project 365:ONE-HUNDRED-TWENTY-THREE

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A product shot of an Italian hand carving.

Forest Girl

Considering the image:  Today’s subject is from a series of product shots that will be used for online auctions.  Of 31 items, this one was the most interesting.  It is a hand carving from Italy, dating from the 1940s.

Making the image:  I used my DIY light tent with a 580EX II on one side and a 430EX on the other.  A white fill board to the front prevents camera reflections in more reflective items.  These were post-processed entirely in Apple Aperture 2 using the lift/stamp settings method to speed up the processing.

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Written by Brian Fancher

May 3, 2010 at 7:56 pm

365:SIXTY-THREE

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Just a product shot of a lens I'm selling.

Product

Yup.  Had about that much time today.  I’m selling this particular lens so one of the product shot series became my 365 entry for today.  Back to regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.

On a side note, these types of product shots have become exceedingly easy to do well in this digital age.  One simply needs a couple of lights, whether flash or even just a pair of lamps.  I built a box out of white parachute nylon, white sandwich board and poster stock, and some velcro for about $10 and an afternoon of work with scissors and glue.  Just shoot away, process with a quick white balance to get rid of any color cast and there you have it.  Or you could pay $50 or $60 bucks for a pre-made tent online.  It was more fun for me this way.  I’ve more than made my money back on my DIY kit and will probably get many years of use out of it.

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Written by Brian Fancher

March 4, 2010 at 9:14 pm

365:SEVEN

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Serenity

After a busy day all I could think about this evening was “serenity”, so that became the theme I wanted to photograph.  When I think about meditating and calming the chaos inside, I like to pour some tea and sit down to journal.  After a few moments this image came to mind and the shoot became simple.  I shot on white seamless with a single strobe through an umbrella from camera left.  I added white reflectors close in on the subject’s right and from camera front.

Lesson for the day:  The simplest compositions often work best.  I had added a spoon at one point, but the composition became cluttered and distracting; the very antithesis of the mood I was trying to capture.

Comments and critique are always welcome!  How would you capture “serenity”?

Written by Brian Fancher

January 8, 2010 at 12:41 am

Posted in Stock, Strobe

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365:Two

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Warmth

Nearly everyone with a camera seems to want to take GOOD product or detail shots.  I don’t know whether this qualifies as “good” or not, but it is the best effort I could make today.  While looking around the house for an object with lots of detail and warmth, my eyes naturally settled on my pride and joy Paul Reed Smith Singlecut guitar.  This should be a piece of cake, right?  It should be impossible to take a bad photograph of a Paul Reed Smith guitar.  These are some of the most beautiful instruments currently made.  What could possibly go wrong?

Well, it turns out plenty can go wrong when photographing guitars and other shiny objects.  All of those small metal parts just LOVE to reflect light in odd directions.  And then when you’ve finally controlled all of those specular highlights, you realize your 2-strobe lighting ratio has gone completely haywire.  A seemingly safe shot quickly devolved into a lesson in patience and perseverance as I made small adjustments between seventy-four images in order to get the photograph I was looking for.

Lesson for the day:  Two hours to capture a simple product detail shot is simply too long.  More practice!  Today’s experience could just as easily have involved food and table settings, medical instruments, or jewelry.

Written by Brian Fancher

January 2, 2010 at 5:23 pm