Studio Product Shots

Initial Thoughts

As part of unit 105/113 we were required to perform a product shoot under studio conditions. My initial thought was to photograph a wine bottle in a very low-key sophisticated light with an accent on the curve of the bottle and, of course the label. I went to Sainsbury’s in Wolverhampton to select a bottle for this purpose. While there I thought I would also purchase some cheese, grapes, cheese board and a cheese knife to give me a second product option.

I knew I was going to stack images in Photoshop to layer mask the out the unsuitable parts of various images to produce a finished shot. To this end the camera was set on a tripod framed on the subject and, once happy with framing and aperture, I locked the camera into that position.

I started with a single snooted  strobe camera right set behind the bottle. It was a little way, probably about 110 degrees, from the camera plane. Taking test shots I found I needed to add some blackwrap to the snoot to constrict the light even more.

Below are a few images showing how I changed the light to model specific parts of the bottle with each exposure.

And here are some behind the scene shots showing the basic set up and the different lighting used to create the stills that would be edited in Photoshop to produce the final image.


This lighting diagram shows how the lighting was used. The bottle stood on a slab of black granite and a piece of black perspex was put on a chair in the background to help with the low key effect.

A studio strobe was used camera right with a piece of black wrap to shield any spill from going into the lens. A single Speedlight was used on a small stand and was fitted with a small grid to control the light. It was placed in position one, then position two and exposures taken each time.

I used a Canon 6D with an EF70-200 lens, the exif show the settings to be 80mm ISO100 1/160th F9.0






I imported all the images into Lightroom and used the catalogue capabilities to view the images and select three to edit in Photoshop.

This image cut from Photoshops shows how the layers were stacked and then masks used to get the basic feel of the final image. Once I was happy with the overall image, I sent it to Lightroom for some final adjustments before exporting as a jpg.





This is the final image of my wine bottle

Overall I got the image I set out to create. I think I might have liked the reflection to be a bit more obvious though this might have taken the eye from the label on the bottle. I managed to get the female curve of the neck of the bottle that I so wanted to produce. The editing process was harder than I expected and took me a few hours to get the image to a point that I was satisfied with. I think to do product photography in a studio well you need an almost unlimited time to adjust lights and fine tune the image in camera as much as possible before editing.

Set up two, wine and cheese board.

As I was now photographing food I did not want a low key image but likewise did not want a high key background. To achieve this I rolled down the white seamless background paper but did not light it.  Understanding the inverse square rule I knew it would fall to a neutral gray colour.

As before, I knew I would require a handful of shots lit independently to produce the final image.


Again some behind the scene shots showing the shoot in full swing.



I wanted a soft overhead light so went for a studio strobe on a boom lighting stand with a softbox positioned pretty close to the products to allow the light to wrap around the items and give a soft gradation of shadows across the image. This produced a nice reflection in the black marble. I also used a gridded Speedlight to make the cheese pop in the image.

Again, I stacked the selected images into Photoshop and masked out the areas not required. Once the image was close to how I wanted it I exported it to Lightroom for a final polish before exporting to jpg.

This is the resultant image.

As I had a little studio time left before the next students arrived, I decided to do a variation on the above. Taking a second studio strobe, I placed it on a stand and, with just a standard reflector, I took some different colours of gel and placed them over the reflector. I turned off all other strobes and speedlight’s and took this image.







In Photoshop I added this as a layer then masked out all but the background and reflection in the marble resulting in this final image.

I could see this image may be on the wall in a trendy Bistro more so than the one above. Again this took quite a lot of editing in Photoshop to get the desired look to the images which, in part, will be down to my inexperience with Photoshop.