product photography

Food photography

Food photography, what a great subject this seems to be, we are talking about food. Well not really we are talking about food photography and that is a bit different 🙂 What I am on about today is one light photography, not one studio light, speed light or continuous light, mmmm strange you are thinking what is left, A torch yes you can easily take a photograph with a torch. 

What you need is a camera where you can alter the shutter speed, so depending on the camera you may need the manual to it for this and you will also need manual focus.
To start this setup what you are going to take a photograph of, set it up so you know where everything is and then you need a torch, I have an led torch and it is great for this job and it has a narrow beam of light.
The next bit set up your camera on a stand and manually focus into the item to be photographed, now is the time to set the shutter speed, I normally set mine for 20 seconds, now turn of all other lights, the room needs to be very dark the darker the better. get the torch ready and press the shutter button and paint over the item you are photographing with light. You have 20 seconds to do this. You will find that it takes a little practice but you can get some very pleasing results.

“by Paul Williams”

food photography


product photography

Strawberries and Cream

Don’t you just love strawberries and cream. Here we have a little fruit photography with high speed flash to get the movement frozen in time. It looks good enough to eat, or maybe not counting how many times I dropped the strawberry on the floor.


I just love the contrast of the white cream, black background, red strawberry and the green leaves, I just think they go together well.


product photography

Flower Product Photography

Well I was getting a bit tired with the usual product photography so I thought I would try flower product photography. My wife found this fake rose in a shop and I saved it thinking I will have a go at that later. So this is the “bleeding rose”. I did this by taking a picture of the rose on it’s own on a white background, then I did it again but this time I poured paint onto the rose petals to make it look like the rose was bleeding, I also took some photographs of falling drips and added them to the image to give me the final result. Flower product photography give me a little diversion from what I was normally doing and it made a nice change.


product photography

Footwear Photography

Footwear photography, well I thought I would do a shot of my new pair of shoes before I decided to wreck them by wearing them. What was the thinking behind this shot. Well I wanted to obviously show that they are black, glossy but show the texture of the shoe and I wanted to show the underside of the sole on them, you see part of the attraction of footwear is the sole and we always pick up foot ware and look all around them and look at the underside of the footwear. So when I do footwear photography I like to find all the attractive parts of the footwear and bring them out in a photograph. I always go back to the theory that, the more attractive the photograph the higher price it commands. 

This shot was taken with 3 lights and 2 diffusers either side on a perspex/acrylic surface to give a little reflection as well and one from underneath to light up the sole. That sounds like I am preaching … I will light up your sole…. mmmm not the same thing.

So with some adjustment of the power and positioning of the lights to get smooth gradients on the surface and a spell in photoshop we got this shot. I did it on white background so it could be used on the web or in a magazine, plus this could also have the white background removed and put in another background like the interior of a shoe shop slightly blurred out in.

When you do a perfect white background it is a lot easier to remove the white and add whatever background you wish.

footwear photography shoes

product photography

Product photography design

Well the challenge was set we had to do product photography design and print, I had 3 days to get a new logo, design and label for a new product launch that could be shown to potential clients. Now sometimes, you know how it is you get a mental block and noting seems to come together. Luckily this was not one of those days. So we had a brand name “It’s Gone” I thought that was quite catchy, then we had the specification on what the product did. Next we had a bottle on which the label had to go on. So it was down to work with the clock ticking. The brainstorming session started with 3 of the staff and ideas flew all around until we came up with a logo that could be used on many different types of product. Now for the colour scheme, do we make it bright and bold or do we go for subtle and refined, well beings that I am an over excited person we went for bold and in your face, so it would show up on a supermarket shelf at the end of the isle with the lights off. 🙂

The bottle picture was the classic white bottle on white background, so it could be used for the internet or in a catalogue and large enough for good quality print. What I like to do is to get the product to look a smooth and sexy as possible. I like images that you want to touch, I know it sounds weird but that is the only way I can explain it.

So did we make the deadline, but of course, it doesn’t matter about eating food, who needs that, it doesn’t matter about sleep, its over rated, all that matters is get the job started and finished to make the dead line.


product photography

Product Photography one light

Product photography one light can it be done. Are you restricted because you do not have enough lights, well here is a one light wonder, totally white background out of the camera to save editing and cutting out, separation between the item and the background as this then shows the item off better and then into photoshop to remove dust and scratches, then boost the contrast.

The setup was a large sheet of polystyrene for the back, you could use paper or a white bed sheet, just make sure it is stretched tight. Then I aimed one light at it and turned it up high, you can determine this if you camera has a highlight alert on it. Then I placed the aerosol that was for the product photography shot onto a clear acrylic sheet, at the front I then added 2 reflectors at the front angled like a funnel (the narrow end nearest the camera, that would catch the bounced light from the back (polystyrene) and reflect it onto the front of the aerosol, the reason for this is that reflected light does not have a tendency to give harsh light on a shiny object, like this aerosol.

I always run on manual so it took 4 shots to get the lighting right with the f stops. 

For the technical people.
This was taken with an Hasselblad H2 with 120 mm macro, at f11 shutter speed, 1/125 second, iso 50. Having said that you could do the same kind of shot with any dslr and still get fantastic results.

So the next time you start wondering how on earth you are going to get that shot because you do not have enough lights, have a think on how you can get around it. The answer is normally reflectors. Remember also if you are shooting glossy subject and you are getting blown out white lights, reflect the light. It works

product photography one shot    product-photographer-lighting-diagram