Folksy Ltd

Photographing Christmas products

(Mangotree) #1

I’ve been working on my photography recently by reading advice on the forums and setting my camera to the highest resolution setting. To my probably untrained eye this seems like a good photo - it’s clear and set in a context which is relevant but not overbearing. Any feedback or advice would be welcome…

(Ronald Koorm) #2

Not bad at all, but try tweaking the ‘Levels’, the contrast, (and possibly the brightness) in small amounts. The photo and the supporting photos don’t quite have the impact or visual ‘punch’, that I think could be achieved.

The third picture seems best of the three. Increasing the ‘levels’ with care, may also bring up the detail in the Xmas tree around the cushion subject a bit.

A tricky subject matter, due to the white, grey outline, and then the vibrant colour. Not easy at all !

I sometimes have similar issues when one views the photos straight from the camera, so I usually use a photo-editing package to make small adjustments.

By the way, a six or eight Megapixel camera is all the resolution you need unless you intend making very big enlargements or crop from the photo. No harm done in having higher resolutions though.

When adjusting in software or the camera, and with white backgrounds, ie the cushion, you have to watch out not to over-do image contrast, and brightness, otherwise you wash out the highlights, and you also lose colour saturation, eg of the red bow.

Controlling the shadows around the cushion is tricky, I think you need some degree of shadows around the edge (as you have already achieved), to give the picture depth.

Finally, two flashguns instead of one, will also balance the images better, but at more cost. If you can’t run to two flashguns, then use of large white card reflectors can often help, and provide very good results. At least they are inexpensive.

Try to make slightly different versions of the photo with adjustments and then pick the best. Hope this helps.

(Sonia Adam) #3

You’ve done very well and I also prefer your third shot.
I’m no expert and like you I have (hopefully) improved my product shots over time by following the advice of others on here & reading tips.
I don’t have an expensive camera but these are my ‘golden rules’:
Always have the camera set to macro for close-ups
Always photograph in daylight - a bright but overcast day is excellent
I use a big piece of board covered in foil to bounce light onto my subject
I use picasa (free to download) to crop, adjust brightness & colour

It takes time & lots of trial and error but it looks like you’re well on the way!

(Ronald Koorm) #4

Foil-covered reflector boards are great as Sonia recommended.

But be aware that silver-based /aluminium foil will give a slightly ‘cooler’ look than a gold -coloured-foil. That is why professionals like to use gold-coloured reflector umbrellas to reflect flashlight for portraits. It gives a nice, subtle warmth.

Also, crinkling your foil before using it, instead of just using a flat sheet uncrinkled can help in diffusing the flash more and sometimes avoid nasty pinpoint light reflections off say, ceramics or shiny objects.

I agree overcast days outside are best, but no help if you have to photograph in the evening, or when it’s raining !

You can, of course, use software (or advanced cameras) to change the ‘white balance’ if using foil reflectors, to a degree.