Everyone has heard the saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words," and in the fast-paced world of online business, there's no exception to this rule. This lesson shows how to light a reflective model car, a typical product that one might see at an online auction website or other small business website.
We took this very well made Ford Cobra model car that retails for $65.00, and imagined that we were going to sell it on the Internet in our model car business' website or on an auction site such as eBay.
- Comparing On-Camera Flash to Studio Lighting
- Setting Up a Main Light
- Adding a Fill Light
Looking through auction sites like eBay, you see lots of images where people just put products on a table or the floor and photograph them with the camera's flash [figure 1], then they attempt to make up for the sub-par images by writing a lot of text to explain all the features of the product. Save time by learning how to setup a simple lighting solution that will make your photos standout!
Setting Up a Main Light
We began this shot by mounting a Medium SilverDome (medium Starlite Kit) with 1000-watt bulb on a Photoflex Boom and placed it directly over the model car. [figure 3]
We angled the SilverDome toward the front and lowered it down close to the cobra. This will keep the light off the background and make it go dark.
This is the result.
Adding a Fill Light
Notice that the front of the car is a little dark. Again, when you are shooting product photography, you want to illustrate the subject so that the consumer can see any and all details that you describe. So we decided to continue to further develop our lighting set-up. To improve the light on the front of the model we placed a Photoflex Starlite Small Digital Kit with a 500-watt bulb to the left and flush down on the shooting table, making sure to angle it away from the background to maintain the dark contrast we enjoyed from before.
We moved the SilverDome in close to get the right amount of light that we wanted.
This result shows more detail on the front of the Cobra, but we still have slight shadows on the side to give the Cobra depth and dimension.
With the SilverDomes in the same position, we turned the model to take a few photos of different positions.
We turned the model again and took another shot.
With the final lighting set up established, you can shoot as many photos as you need to show the features of your product. In this case, we can show how the doors and hood can open.