Marco Castro's picture

Lighting suggestions

Hey all, I've been asked to shoot some products for a friend. This line of work has always interested me and so I accepted. The budget allows me to look into some starter light kits. That said, I'm just not sure which route to go. I already own strobes (alien bee),m but my question is, should I be looking at continuous lighting? Or can this be done with strobe?

If so continuous light is suggested, any starting kit suggestions?

Thank you!

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Kirby Hines's picture

What type of product will you be photographing? How many lights to you already have? Are you wanting to shoot it to white with minimal post work or get it close then clip it later on? I personally prefer strobes, just the way I learned and they work for me.

Marco Castro's picture

Hello. It's housewares products. I currently own three AB800's with various softboxes and strips. Client requests white background.

Carlos Teixeira's picture

Hi Marco

If you already have strobes, there's no real reason why you couldn't use them, unless you would be doing video along with the photography. I assume if you have them, you are already familiar with them, right?
So, as for white background, you have some option, could use a paper background in a sweep and a main top light with big diffusion (softbox, octabox, scrim) and use cards on the sides to fill in shadows, for example, my preferred setup for this is one big octabox as background, products on acrylic sheet, a hard top light, and side striplight and cards (I find this one easier in post, as long as I keep the surface clean, but minimal post work on the background).
You may find in housewares that you'll come across glossy and chromed products, and these ones will give you the most problems with reflections (here I find an advantage in using strobes, to get the darks really dark), but if you have one light source up above (specially if it's diffused behind a scrim) and work with white cards to bounce reflection to the reflective surface, you can get nice results.
Have this in mind, one lighting setup will not work for every type of products if you have chromed products together with plastics, ceramics, etc.

Marco Castro's picture

Thanks so much!