A Short Course Book
Digital Desktop Studio Photography
The Complete Guide To Lighting and Photographing Small Objects with your Digital Camera

Case Study—A Product with its Packaging

When selling new products, you may occasionally want to show the packaging.With collectibles, this is almost essential because original packaging can add significantly to the value of an item.

The Assignment

The assignment is to photograph a product and it's packaging materials for sale on eBay. It's important that colors be accurate and everything be clear.

1. Composition

Since we want to show everything that's included with the item, the first step is to find a way to compactly arrange the materials so they occupy the image area without wasting space. We also make sure all of the important pieces face the camera position so they are shown off to their best advantage.

2. Lighting

Because the setup has so many surfaces and levels, it's obvious that very soft light must be used to avoid dark black shadows. To do this, we use one light above the material shining through a diffuser. Fill cards are then used in front and to each side of the materials to fill any shadows cast by the main light. Tinfoil on the light keeps it off the upper part of the background, creating a graduated effect.

3. Camera Settings

Depth of field is very important, so the smallest possible aperture is used. White balance is also important because the colors are familiar to potential buyers.

The setup uses only one light, a diffuser, and two fill cards.

The soft light envelopes the materials and everything looks evenly lit. There are no hot spots or dark shadows. Even the manual is clear, and almost readable.

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