Monday, 7 May 2012

Product Photography

Firstly an apology for the lack of updates, although I do have a great excuse - I somehow pulled my hamstring courtesy of the day job. Utterly frustrating as making it across the front room was hard enough let alone going out to take photos! Managed a short trip to Clumber Park with a friend but between my leg and the rain it wasn't what you'd call a completely successful day. On the plus side, Clumber Park definitely has a lot of potential, especially if you can get in at night for star shots.

One of the more commercial areas that suits my approach to photography is product photography. It was actually a part of my job a while back until the institutionalised opposition to creativity within the company led me to give it up - a shame, but the experience was useful and I got to play with some nice lighting gear and, if I say so myself, come up with some pretty neat solutions to doing things on a budget (boss too tight for a light table? Simples! Take top off ordinary office table, cover with white acrylic, put desk lamp underneath).

I'm doing work at the moment for twistedwhisker jewellery, which is actually my partner :) It's a proper commercial arrangement however so the pressure to deliver quickly is still there and it's proving a great way to get my act together as a contracted photographer rather than an employee. Here's a few samples:

She's also started doing step-by-step guides to jewellery making - as a photographer this presents an entirely new set of challenges as traditional rules of composition go straight out of the window - it's all about illustrating a particular point with absolute clarity and involves communicating closely with the client to ascertain exactly what they want illustrating and how. I suppose the benchmark for this type of photography is still the older Haynes car manuals. Some more samples (from the twistedwhisker blog, where there are a lot more steps and it probably makes sense!):

As an aside these shots also illustrate how good the EOS 7D is in low light - these were shot at ISO 3200 and although there's grain, if you know you're shooting solely for web use you can get away with it. And a better lens would probably help - my current macro lens is a Tamron so ancient that I think some of the components are made out of stone. The good news for me is that it's not for much longer - I think an L-series is looming on the horizon...