product photography Tag

Look at that title - normally photographers are trying to do just the opposite - use glass to tame light. But there are times when you need to go at it the other way around.We've all been to museums, shops, and galleries where interesting things are displayed under glass. It is under there to prevent you from getting your grubby hands on it and degrading it - or to create a sense of wonder and desire on your part. The awkward part comes when you want to take a picture of it.Sometimes the people selling or displaying the things won't let you do it - for fear of breaking some law or giving away some advantage. Sometimes it is to allow them to sell their own pictures of the objects in their own bookshop - this is a classic ploy for some museums. No good you taking your own pics when there are postcards to be sold!Even if you are allowed to shoot photos, you frequently fall foul of the way the goods are displayed:1. The items may be behind...

I often wonder if Manfrotto make one of everything. Their catalogs are one of the most comprehensive and well-organised documents for any shop. Of course this stuff is accessible on the net, but what a pleasure to see a well-printed book that you can refer to instantly for camera support or light support.A particular pleasure has been the Manfrotto practise of numbering their equipment simply and then organising a number index in the back of the book. If they have been wise enough to number the goods clearly - with a number that doesn't peel off - then the whole process of sales is much easier.A small cavil; of late the simple numbering system that prevailed a few years ago in the tripod section has given way to complex codes. We could sort out " 055 " pretty well...

We've been looking at an intriguing new item from Manfrotto for the digitally delighted - those photographers who are so connected that they have App dreams instead of nightmares.It's a cradle for an iPad that allows all the things that the camera you are using at the time to appear on the pad - but without making it hard to do. Tethering, if you will, for dummies. It is going to need one of the later generation of DSLR or mirror-less cameras to work but the facility it will give for the shooter is magic.Shooting a composition that someone else has to okay before you press the button? Let them see the iPad image as you compose and focus. It won't make art directors any better but it might make them quieter.Need to see the framing for your own shot? For a video you are recording? Attach the Digital Director to a bracket on your tripod and swivel it around until you are taking a high-quality selfie. No duck faces, now...

If you are new to photography, you may never have done the dance. The RiseTiltShift Waltz. You have no idea what a delight you are missing.Those of you old enough to have wrinkles that won't go away may have had a chance to use a view camera or a tilt/shift lens in the past. You know the dance, and when to dance it.For the newbies - you do the dance when you want undistorted verticals in an architecture shot - or when you want easy stitching for a panorama - or want infinite depth of field for a product or landscape shoot at wide aperture. The Scheimpflug Principle takes care of the last named and the rising front of the camera - or falling back, for that matter - takes care of the first. The shift lets the budding panoramacist add more width to what they do and the stitching programs love the result.While you can get massive movements on a 4 x 5 or 8 x 10 sheet-film monorail camera, you are a little more restricted with the dedicated...

Do you have a letter box at your house? You do? Have you noticed the people who stalk the streets and fill it with advertising flyers? They are unstoppable - no matter how many signs you put up they will still stuff your letter box with paper.Apart from the ecological question of all that paper and ink, and the moral question of being able to defend your letter box...

The three B's*. A glorious night.Canon Australia sent some of their new Canon EOS 5Ds cameras out, and one of them landed in the hands of Brodie Butler. Last night Brodie gave a memorable lecture regarding this camera to a gathering of enthusiasts at the Oxford Hotel in Leederville.Canon made a good choice in letting Brodie work with the new camera - Brodie can do, has done for a long time, did then, and was able to do right in front of the viewers. He can also explain what he did and why and THAT is a rare talent.As Brodie explained, the new camera is massively increased performance packed into a familiar body shape - that of the Canon EOS 5D MkIII. If you know how that feels, you know how the 5Ds feels...

Old gunnery officers from the Ruritanian Navy will immediately recognise the piece of apparatus shown in the heading image:  a Skoda M 320 recovery mechanism for  the main battery of the SZENT LUDWITZCH. The ironclad may be gone but we saved her guns.Or not, as the case may be. It might be a Velbon Macro Slider for close-up and product photography. The resemblance is uncanny.As a macro slider it allows the careful worker to move a camera and lens fore and aft, and left and right with extreme precision. The shallow depth of field and the tiny field of vision encountered in the macro world demands the utmost care in positioning - otherwise things are just not in focus. If you try to move on a conventional tripod or studio stand the crudity of the adjustment defeats the whole thing.You'll still need a tripod - and a good one too - and a good three-way or ball head to mount the slider. The Cullmann range has enough variety to suit most systems. I am afraid that ye canna change the...

And no holes in it, either!The Arca Swiss company is famous for letting it all hang out - in this case in about 4 directions at the same time*. Studio photographers will immediately recognise the way this Arca Swiss C1 cube has been set up - the fore and aft Sheimpflug modulated tilt/shift toggle beam position. As used to render advertising images for sock manufacturers...

I'm not being literary or philosophical or anything. I am just struggling with reflections from the shiny surfaces of scale models in studio photography.If it was just depiction of the scale models in a bare space the problem would be easy - I would take home a Glanz light tent, pop the car inside and flood the outside with flash light. The reflections that bounce back from the little chrome bumpers and shiny paint surfaces would be an even white with no hot spots. Good advertising picture but not the artistic effect I want.I set the little cars in little scenes and then add more in Photoshop, but the surfaces of the cars can betray the position of the lights...

I like table tops. You can take pictures on them, you can eat your dinner off them, and you can sleep on them after 18 bottles of beer. Actually, these days I can get there in 6, which means I can afford a pillow for the tabletop...