Professional Product Photography With One Light



mail time now that's one fine-looking bottle of bourbon from four roses thank you very much there's a little letter here hello scatter we hope this bottle finds you well and inspires more of your beautiful work well thank you first off for sending this over and second I think it might just do that all right I've been wanting to do a one light challenge for a while now because I know a lot of you don't have a studio filled with three to four strobes a bunch of modifiers and all that good stuff so you might be a little apprehensive when it comes to making product photography but if you have one light a single strobe and a couple of modifiers I think you can make some really beautiful look and beverage photos so I have a nice-looking bottle here I got my single light in the background let's do this okay first you got to get rid of this back label right here and that will just really allow the light to come through the bottle and make it glow and then I'll try my best to remove all the fingerprints dust and you know really clean it up and then try not to touch it after I place it on the table now I'm going for a little wooden scene here something rustic I'm thinking wooden barrel like you know smokey maybe use some props to show in an environment but mainly focused on this nice bottle here so it's good to have a couple other props on hand I got some old cutting boards definitely gonna be using this fake ice and a glass to pour my bourbon in yeah you know old a set of binoculars old compass never know what's gonna work and what's gonna fit in the frame but we'll see what goes since I only have a single light to work with I want to make sure I have a nice game plan set up first that way you know I have everything kind of mapped out in my mind before I start moving every around the only thing I really know for sure right now is that I want to make sure this bottle bounces off of this background so I'm gonna drop the bottle here on the third of the frame with the label pointed this way then I'm gonna try to hit this beautiful curved edge of the bottle right here the wooden cap and the label all at once with my very first light then I'm gonna move the light on over to the right-hand side and try to capture a nice reflection on this large flat area now the light that I'm gonna be using for my one light challenge is my elinchrom 500 watt studio strobe with large softbox now to get that curved edge the wooden cap and the label all at once I think raising it up above the bottle and an angling it down a bit will work really nicely but let's jump over and kick off the very first image of my one light challenge just to take a quick look at this image this very first image I'm really loving how that light is hitting the edge and then trickling down the side of the bottle there it's looking pretty sweet and I also like the light on the cap and the label as well everything's looking pretty awesome you know there are just a few more things that I you know want to build up in this image before I move the light here you know the reflection on the side of the bottle it kind of fades off a little too quickly for me I wish it went all the way down the edge of the bottle here so I'm gonna create another reflection with this white card take another photo and I think I'll be able to blend those two nicely together later on there's just two more things that I want to do to spice up this nice bourbon shot before I move that light and the first one is to apply a little whiskey styling trick that's just gonna make that inside of this bottle glow and that's to use this cheap golden paper and that's gonna reflect the light bounce it through the bottle and make it oh so yummy now to prop it up I'm gonna use my specialized propping mechanism here and just place that behind the bottle and then angle it ever so slightly towards the light well the second thing that I want to do is actually bounce some of that light off of this large diffuser that I have right here and this will reflect into the right-hand side of the bottle giving a subtle reflection not too much not enough to take away from our main light source but enough just to make it really smooth and blend nicely with this golden reflector that we have pumping through the bottle now I've move the light to the right hand side here behind the diffuser and I've tilted it ever so slightly outward that way you get a nice gradient across the face of that glass I've gotten the gold reflector out of there and hey wait for it we're almost done I think for this shot I'm really going for the the cap and this sliver of highlight that really defines the edge of the bottle shape okay the last shot is to hit this background with some beautiful light now I'm gonna get rid of that softbox and swapping that out for a gridded snoot now I'm gonna angle this in from the left-hand side just making a sliver a light across that background personally I like to prop the scene after I make the image of the bottle I know it adds a couple of extra steps you got to move the lights around again but it really ensures that you don't have any crazy reflections going on in your bottle and the last thing that you want mucking up your fine bottle of bourbon here is some weird reflections well the one light challenge is finished and I'd have to say it was pretty challenging I mean the big difference between shooting with 3 to 4 lights and say 1 light is that with one light you can only see the reflections on one side of the bottle the other side of the bottle is completely dark but with 3 to 4 lights you can see everything in real time and I would say that's the major advantage of having multiple lights with multiple modifiers but regardless whether you're shooting with one light or with a studio filled with lights you're gonna be doing all of the heavy lifting of putting it all together inside a Photoshop now I don't want you to die sitting through the hours of Photoshop here if you want to learn more about compositing Beverage photos then check out my short course i'll place a link in the description however I do want to show you a couple of cool tricks I'll start out with my very first image here with a nice light on the edge there now I'm going to blend this image with the white card image so that the light continues down the side of the bottle I'll create a layer mask and then I'll press command I to invert this mask this is a nifty little trick it's nothing that special but it'll save you a ton of time instead of masking out the entirety of the image like safe from this gold reflector image I'm only going to mask what I do want with my brush tool' beyond the keyboard I'll start bringing in that awesome color if you want to check out what was in the photo again you can left-click on the mask and click disable layer mask just learning out here you know it's like putting a puzzle back together again one piece at a time there are the big areas of the photo like the gold here but sometimes when you're five or six or even ten photos deep there's all these little details these little surprises in each photo like the light coming through these roses I like to jot those little details on a notepad when I'm shooting that way I can remember them when I get back to the computer now the photo with the light on the right hand side I'm gonna show you another little layer trick here because the image is pretty much black everywhere except for where the light is hitting the bottle I can turn this layer mode from normal to lighten and it will only show my highlights now when I go to make the mask invert it again I can brush in this layer without having to worry about bringing in that dark background see I'm brushing here but nothing is happening pretty cool I mean one to remember especially if you're shooting on an entirely black background alright there's our one light bottle shot we started with the edge added the white card then the gold oh and and the diffuser then the light on the right hand side then the background and it looks pretty solid it's pretty much the same process for bringing in the props brush them in and retouch some of the dust and smudges on the bottle and I'd have to say some pretty nice images and hey I think we rocked this one light photochallenge and I'd like to thank for roses for supplying the beautiful bottle of bourbon I'll enjoy it a little later and hey if you make a photo like this please tag me in it I'd love to check out your work and if you liked this video give it a subscribe a thumbs up drop a comment down below and I'll see you in the next one

24 Replies to “Professional Product Photography With One Light”

  1. Question: I can't find the answer anywhere. How do you keep DUST off of your products and surfaces?? I'm getting into product vids and photos, but the dust specs and fibers and all matter of junk keep landing all over everything. We keep a clean house. But dang! Do I need to set up a fan to constantly blow on the prop area?

  2. Is this result possible without using photoshop to blend images? Like some of the others I don;t see this being a "one light" shot at all. Can it be done in one shot?

  3. I was gonna give you a hard time for this not being a true "one light" shot. But the final product is too beautiful haha really good stuff as always, man! Keep it up, definitely inspiring.

  4. I gonna, after seeing the photo taking and editing, my pants gotten little moist. I m a beginner level of a PS user, looking at this technique making my budget of taking product picture much less. Thank you so much.

  5. my "back-burnered" interest in photography, which I've always wanted to pursue, and which has been put into motion by my passion for vaping and coil building… has finally got me trying to learn… and man, having only begun days ago learning about actual components and characteristics of photos, i was blown away at how sick this shit was man… and the similarities between this and music production (in terms of combining elements or lighting variations)… especially in the age of digital manipulation, as you did here with combining characteristics of different photos… fuckin-A WOWW… the limitless pool of creativity that is offered… buh-lown away… thank you

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