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Subject: Re: Product/Still Photography Question

On Thu, 10 Nov 2005 14:24:46 -0800, SinSister wrote:

> Hi,
> I am working as a designer for a small business putting out a catalog and
> website. Since I have a few years schooling in photography (tho nearly a
> decade ago) and a small personal business as a photographer doing real
> estate and landscape photography, the company has asked that I try my hand
> at doing some product photography for them, as it is a bit out of their
> budget to hire and outside vendor. I said I'd give it a shot, but would
> need some additional equipment, although the budget is very limited....I'm
> excited at this opportunity to try and expand my skill set, but...
> The products are mostly tabletop sized - dinnerware, such a fiestaware
> plates, stainless steel pans/pots, etc. What we'd like to accommplish is a
> preferably seamless white background with little shadow. I'm assume the
> use of a light tent, including sweeps, will be necessary....30x30x30 -
> good size or larger? What about lighting? Will a couple of flood lights on
> each side of the tent work, or should I get a small boom for overhead
> lighting as well? There is a possibillity of doing some glassware...will I
> need a light panel to light from below for these shots or just a graduated
> color sweep? Lastly, since my employer will want the images digital and as
> quickly as possible, I'll be using my Nikon D70. Will the 18-70 lens be
> ok, or should I look into investing in a different type of lens? More
> tele?
> Did I miss anything? Anything you would change? Pointers or websites/books
> you would suggest?

You've got the basic ideas, but whether you should use a full tent or
partial one or just a large softbox overhead with a few strategically
placed reflectors as well as how big the set should be all depends on the
product and how many there are in the set. My suggestion is first, before
you buy anything, go to the book store and find the best book (or books)
they have on product photography and table top lighting techniques. Make
sure it has lots of examples along with detailed lighting diagrams. A
book, in hand, is more instructive than any website on photography
technique I've ever come across.

FWIW: the D70 with the 18-70 lens should be fine. For average table top
work, you want kind of a longish "normal." With the D70, around 40mm
should be fine. This will give you enough working distance to place
lights, etc. and still have good perspective.



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