LilGadgets Untangled Pro - by Ian Knaggs
Ian Knaggs's picture

LilGadgets Untangled Pro -

September 8, 2017

Product photography is not just about the product. It's also about the environment in which the product is placed.
This image was originally destined to have a dark purple background but during retouching it was deemed to look more striking with a grey background.

Now here's he interesting part!... Two images were posted on Instagram and Facebook and he viewers asked which background they preferred: the grey (above) or the purple.
On Facebook, there was a 100% preference towards the grey background.
On Instagram, there was a near 100% preference towards the purple background.
The main difference being that the Facebook followers are mainly 'Joe-Public' and the Instagram followers are mainly photographers!

So it seems to me that, as photographers, we do indeed so the world differently and this is a VERY important lesson to learn when you're a product photographer!

105 · f/15 · 1/200 · ISO 100
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William Howell's picture

Ian your work is terrific. I have a question, how much do you try to achieve in camera? And do you have anything against extensive compositing?

Ian Knaggs's picture

Hi William,
Many thanks and so glad you like my work!
I generally achieve 95% of the final look of a product in camera and spend a lot of time tweaking lighting and modifiers to get the look that I want. I then make a few RAW adjustments and export to .tif
Once in Photoshop I generally cut out the product using the Pen tool and then clean it. The backgrounds are added and often consist of a coloured layer and some gradients and then shadows are added.

Basically, I like to get as much right in camera (of the main subject) as possible. This is because when I started in photography my post skills were not good enough to make up for poor lighting so I learned to light first - definitely the best way in my mind!

I don't have anything against extensive compositing, I just don't do it often because of the time that it takes to get the look right!

Hope that that answers your questions & keep up the great work!

Tim Pumphrey's picture

Awesome work as always my friend!