Product Photography

Understanding Light: Large Light Sources and How To Use Them

I’ve always been a fan of big lights. There are certainly situations where they aren’t appropriate, but a lot of my work is centered around big, soft light. What has always drawn me to large sources of light is their versatility. Almost every subject looks good with soft light. Because large light sources cause such soft gradation in the shadows, they can be useful for both younger subjects with smoother skin, or even older subjects that may have wrinkled and scarred skin. However, there is one thing that should be cleared up: the definition of a large light source.

Precision Automated Focus Stacking with Stack Shot

Ever tried to photograph a subject, only to find out that you don’t have enough depth-of-field to get the whole thing in focus? Typically our first reaction is to stop down to increase our DOF. Unfortunately that doesn’t always give us the results we expect. The first issue is that even with our lens stopped down to its smallest aperture, we still may not have our subject completely in focus.

See the Nikon D5's Blazing Fast Shutter at Full Speed

When Nikon's new flagship DSLR, the D5, was announced this week, the fact that it achieves a maximum ISO of 3,280,000 seems to have grabbed all the attention. That is until now, with a released video showing the 12 fps shooting power in all its glory. While that may only be a measly 1 fps faster than the previous generation D4s, there's something else about this speed that is dropping jaws.

How It's Made: The $10,000 Leica Noctilux 50mm f/0.95

Leica certainly has their share of both rabid fans and harsh critics, but no matter what side of the fence you may fall on, there are two undeniable facts tied to the red dot. The first is that they are priced into the stratosphere. The second is that their lenses are almost universally the best in the world. To help illustrate why, Leica has put together a short video highlighting step-by-step what sets their glass apart from the rest of the pack.

Phase One Brings 100-Megapixel Resolution to the XF, DF+, and Hasselblad with the CMOS-Based IQ3 100MP

Sony's 50-megapixel sensor found in the latest 645 medium format digital CMOS bodies brought such cameras down in price considerably for the first time while extending ISO usability to the more DSLR-normal ISO 6,400. Today's announcement brings a new iteration of that technology in the form of the IQ3 100MP, also in a CMOS flavor. Although the resolution is doubled (and file size is quadrupled), Phase One also managed to pull out an extra stop of ISO performance on both ends of the spectrum, which now goes from ISO 50–12,800. Dynamic range also increases a stop over other models to 15 stops.

How to Create Simple and Elegant Product Photos with Minimal Gear

Product photography is a great way to experiment with lighting and editing techniques. For me, it’s a chance to shoot in a relaxed environment where I have complete control over the subject, lighting, and camera. I can set up something small in the living room and find solutions that can be applied to my portrait work or professional product photography. It also requires a lot of creativity. Homemade items or DIY solutions are abundant on sets. From light-shaping tools to methods of creating parts of a composite, a lot can be created simply and at a low cost. You may be surprised to see how minimal of a setup can create some stunning photos.

Inside of the iPhone Camera Revealed

In case you missed it, Tim Cook and company opened their doors (well, some of their doors) to Apple and gave 60 Minutes' Charlie Rose an inside glimpse of their world. They talked about how they operate, what the future holds, and of course, the late Steve Jobs, among other things. But one interesting segment they shared was how their iPhone’s camera is designed and tested.

Sigma 20mm f/1.4 Art Special: Astronomy Review

Not long ago, I released a review of Sigma's newest Art-series lens, the 20mm f/1.4 Art. Unfortunately, Northern California skies have had bit of a tough time clearing up despite numerous requests from astrophotographers below, patiently waiting for news of this lens' nighttime, Milky Way performance. Last night, although far from perfect, areas of the sky did clear up enough to get a small consensus on how this lens fares when pointed toward the stars.

A DSLR Shooter Reviews the Hasselblad CFV-50c
Last time I wrote an article for Fstoppers was almost a year ago when I had just picked up a Hasselblad V-system medium format film camera for the first time. If you remember my first post, I taught myself to shoot 120 film while traveling in Europe. I reported my findings as best as someone with only a month of practical experience could. In the year that's passed I've learned so much about the modern uses and challenges of this legendary camera system and it has become a fixture in my studio. In today's market it's not always the right tool for the job, but when it is, it's a remarkably satisfying camera to use.