Creating a Product Photography Shot Almost Entirely in Camera

Product photography is all about the details, where every ray of light, every angle, and every placement can make or break a shot. This great video will walk you through setting up and shooting a watch image while working to minimize the amount of time spent in post-processing.

I have such great respect for product photographers; they have way more patience and attention to detail than I could ever dream of. In this great video, Ed Gregory of Photos in Color shows how he conceives of, constructs, lights, and shoots a watch product shot. Perhaps most important in product photography is paying attention to the light and being extremely precise in its power and placement. Due to the increased need for precision, this will often involve some sort of improvisation or trickery to shape the light beyond what standard modifiers may offer. Because of that, it's excellent practice in lighting and something I personally think is worth undertaking once in a while even if product work isn't your specialty. And of course, with all the careful work and attention paid to the details, it's mighty satisfying when you get a great result.

[via Photos in Color]

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Having shot products, commercial work and architectural interiors with 8x10 using chrome film - this is the norm.
You got it right in camera or you lost clients. Film and processing was not cheap but set up time was even more expensive. Polaroid test shots were done, ad and creative types checked and approved them on the spot. Very little re-touching was done because the lighting, composition and quality was there on the chrome for one and all to see. Exposure, color management and precise lighting made the shot one you did not have to play with after the fact.

Good to see photographers who know what they are doing. Lintless gloves as picture framers use will help when setting up reflective surfaces. Keeps them cleaner.

On the video - please learn to control the camera. Jumping around is nauseating.

Glenn Riegel's picture

Agreed! In-Camera exercises camera and lighting skills that seem to have been run over by the digital juggernaut of the late '90's. The idea of craft through-and-through. I'm curious what tied him to ƒ/8? Why not shoot even deeper for sharpness? Stacking is a great idea for smaller format photography. End product is very pleasing

Frank Withers's picture

Diffraction is a btch

Karl Moore's picture

Thanks for sharing. Very nice looking final image and agreed with the decision to move the flag for the gray dial watch.

great shot!! love the idea of the lion paw. I agree as well that the full black face on the watch works well and the rim light on both watches is beautiful. I will say though, that the reflections of the watches are not quite as dialed as the actual watches. its more nit picking than anything but the gold watch specifically has the sharp highlight that isnt there on the real one. Like i said, its nit picking but Overall Nice job!!

Rahul Roy's picture

Thanks for sharing such an informative and educative article.