Who doesn’t love shooting commercial work in a studio? Shooting in a studio environment allows the photographer to have full control over the lighting and the subject. It also allows for full creative freedom over what you can composite into the shot if needed by easily matching up the lighting. If you’re interested in taking studio-quality shots, but in your own home, keep reading for some tips and tricks.
To start, you might want to sketch your idea down on a piece of paper. It might look fine in your head, but it might help your process by scribbling down a version of the image you want to produce. Previsualizing may give you ideas of what you want to add in the post. But sometimes when you look at the sketch, you might decide that you’re overcomplicating the shot with additional elements.
First things first. Set up your tripod and camera, and then figure out which lens you want to use. In this instance, finding a lens with a longer and fixed focal length really does get the job done, as it doesn’t distort the product and produces a much sharper image due to fewer elements having to move around inside the lens.
Next, you want to place a table in front of the camera and drape a black-out cloth over the table. You will also want to test your lights to make sure that you get the perfect angle and emphasis on your object. In the example we are going to talk about, the photographer took photos of a Barcardi Rum bottle. Once you have the photographs taken, it’s time to work on editing.
Once the images are stacked, it’s time to start combining them and getting all the layers to shine through where needed. This is done in Adobe Photoshop by setting all the layers’ blending mode to “Lighten”, as it allows the mid-tones and highlights from the layer below to shine through the layer above while containing the shadows. For the background image to appear properly, you have to create a mask around the bottle and apply it to all the bottle layers. This will allow the background to appear.
The whole process of creating this image took the photographer for less than five hours. This includes setting up to finishing in post-production. Which is incredible, don’t you think? Five hours might seem like a long time. But think about it in terms of your portfolio. You now have photography to add to your portfolio that is of studio quality, which you didn’t have before. The photographer who created this image also used a softbox that he created himself. Essentially, he created a $100 softbox, that would normally cost him $900 if he bought one from a store. It was also modular, mobile, easy to set up and easy to store. This means you can do a lot with photography, on a budget, and in your own home.
What is your favorite thing to shoot in a studio?
Picture from: Mel & Rose and is Labeled for reuse with modification.