Photographers have to overcome a number of challenges in their line of work, especially when photographing products that are highly reflective like metals, gems, and glass. However, a photographer who understands how best to shape and also control light, eliminate reflections and other distractions will find it easy to capture great shots in this scenario. There is a type of product photography that is having growing demand: the clean and straightforward packshot. This is the type of shot taken on a white background with even lighting and soft shadows. Clients prefer this type of photography due to the ease of use on their printed material and webshops.
It is important to note that everything you do in the photography and retouching field always starts with an idea. However, in order to achieve your vision, you ought to learn how to control, shape and modify the amount of light that will illuminate your subject. A Product Photo Retouching Specialist ought to understand the fundamentals of light and the way it interacts with various different surfaces. Here we focus on how to prepare for product photography and how photo retouching services can take your studio images to a higher level.
Using Hard Light and Soft Light
Most photographers understand the basics of the qualities of light like its diffusion and hardness. However, in order to become an expert in the field of product photography and retouching, you should not only know these basics but also know the reasons and when best to use each type of this light. Soft light presents a favourable solution in various situations like fashion, portraits, beauty, products and architecture. Soft light is usually a diffused and flattering light that illuminates your subject in an even manner thereby eradicating the creation of harsh shadows. It is important to understand that the closer you set your light source to the subject the softer your light will become. Increasing this distance can create a harsh illumination. The larger your light source is your subject, then the softer it becomes and the other way round.
Hard light, on the other hand, presents a great solution for a number of occasions, but some photographers consider this type of light as hard to master. This is for the reason that it can create harsh shadows that come with edges that are more noticeable, exaggerate the subject’s surface texture and is clearly visible in reflective surfaces. Even though you are not comfortable using the hard light, you should know how to use this light to highlight a certain area of your image or create some more contrast. The art of illuminating products is similar to the way it is used in fashion and beauty: light shows something while shadows help in hiding something. Products are mostly illuminated using both these types of light and it is important to understand the pros and cons of both to enable you to use them well together.
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In product photography, most photographers prefer well-illuminated reflections and highlights. They also prefer that the person doing the product photo retouching maintain and improve these reflections and highlights during the post-processing phase. A photographer who knows how to create some pleasing reflections in their work will only need minimal polishing on the final images. The reflections ought to be well elongated in an image in order to give it a more natural look. The person doing the polishing ought to know the subject’s shape well and how its surface interacts with light.
In order to get the best commercial product shots, you should follow a simple rule: KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). In order to illuminate your eCommerce image editing shots, you only need sunlight and a small number of reflectors. You should be careful with your lighting setup as a complex one can ruin your product shots by introducing unwanted highlights, distracting shadows and overexposure regions. The secret is to start with a single light source and reflectors and add more if the first light does not create your desired result.