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Product Photography Blog

Why should I use professional product photographer's service? Wouldn't be worth for myself to invest  in professional DSLR camera and good lens and take photos myself?

These are the questions that many clients are asking. My answer is: The photographer takes a picture, not a camera.

Keep in mind: Professional Product Photographer is a profession and this occupation is a full time job. Of course you can learn it just like anybody else, but would you do the same with all other professions? You want to fix the car - learn how to become car mechanic, fix your television - learn how to do it,  etc. In each case, you need the tools, knowledge and experience.

With all sophisticated equipment available on the market, measuring exposure will be done by the camera, but in PRO product photography you never set up camera in automatic mode. Professional cameras have been designed to be used in manual mode. It does have automatic mode too, but you'll be surprised what would the difference be between the photograph from point and shoot and pro camera. In many cases point and shoot photographs may look much better than pro.

Here is very common question the people ask me: What kind of camera should I buy to do good pictures? Again the best answer I come up with is comparison to the car purchase:

What kind of car should I buy to drive safely? Of course to some point sophisticated safety features of the car matter, but  main factor is still the driver. Same thing with paint brushes. Does purchasing brand name Rembrandt paint brushes make you a great painter?

In my next article I will explain you what are the most important factors in product photography that contribute to the perfect photograph.

If you have any questions - please contact me

Friday, November 25, 2016
By Photography by George
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Today, we will be talking about some important factors that need to be considered in Macro Photography.

Please click here   to see some samples of my work

Depth of Field

What exactly is Depth of Field (DOF) - also referred to as Focus Range? It is important to take DOF into consideration while shooting small objects such as in Nature Photography (ie. flowers, insects) or in Jewellery Photography. Small objects can be of the size of a postage stamp.

 

In photography, DOF is the distance between the nearest and the farthest objects that is judged to be in focus in an image.

 

Depth of Field is a function of 1) aperture (f-stop), 2) distance between the object and the camera sensor, and 3) the focal length of the lens on your camera.

 

The higher the aperture (i.e. the lower f-number), the smaller the DOF. The same applies to the focal length of the lens – higher focal lengths (telephoto) produce images with shallower DOF.

 

Using macro lens to shoot small objects at close range (distance factor) also produces shallow DOF.

 

There are many online sites that have depth of field charts to show you all relations between the numbers for different lenses.

 

Here is another important & helpful information regarding DOF :

Depth of field extends 2 times more behind the focal point than it does in front of it.

 

At maximum aperture, aberrations (ie, spherical aberration, coma, astigmatism, field curvature & distortion) start to play an important role. All lenses have these aberrations and they are particularly apparent with fast lenses. Stopping down (ie. higher f-numbers) on a lens greatly reduces aberrations. Does this mean higher f-numbers result in better sharpness in our images? Not really. Why? This is because another phenomenon called diffraction sets in and reduces image sharpness.

 

In general, we aim to strike a balance between decreasing aberrations and increasing diffractions and the rule of thumb is to stop down the lens (usually by 2 to 3 stops from maximum aperture) in order to achieve the optimal image sharpness.

 

Are you confused? Please call me  and I can help you.

 

Here is the conclusion I took from an article by Bob Atkins:

 

If you want to keep your images sharp, don't use f/32 with an APS-C DSLR. The effects of diffraction are clearly visible at f/32 and significantly degrade the image. Use f/32 only if you have no choice. Optimal sharpness depends on the lens. For a lens with significant aberrations (e.g. a consumer zoom at maximum focal length and minimum focus distance), stopping down to f/16 may give optimum results. On the other hand, for a lens with less aberrations (e.g. a consumer zoom used at infinity focus), optimum performance is around f/11, though both f/8 and f/16 are very similar. For a really good lens like the EF 300/4L, with well-corrected aberrations, performance may peak at f/5.6, but would be good from f/4 to f/11. f/16 is acceptable, but f/22 and smaller apertures should be avoided.


 
Wednesday, November 09, 2016
By Photography by George
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I recommend great Peta Pixel annual article as a guideline to determine professional photography rates.

 

"Professional Photography Rates

Student: $50-100 per hour / $25-100 per image. As with all types of photography, the student rate varies, depending on their photographic discipline, industry experience, and interaction with, or assisting, professionals. Some advanced students do – and should – command as much as professionals. With that said, the photography schools are cranking out a lot of newly pressed photographers and many are trying to earn some income and attempting to get their foot in the door.

Semi-Pro: $50–$150 per hour / $25-125 per image. These are photographers who have ambitions to join the ranks of the professional. They may have another job or income source to keep them afloat, but which they aim to leave behind. Sometimes their additional skills are compatible with their photography. Many compete with professional photographers for jobs, but are not quite ready to jump in with both feet.

Need a quote for product photography done right? Click here

Professional: $75-$250 per hour / $75-$250 per image. We can argue that a professional is anyone who is paid at least once for his photography. For the purposes of categorization, a professional is someone who depends on photography to make living. More precisely, professionals who have a solid portfolio to represent their specialty.

Top Professional: $200-$500+ per hour / $250-$1,500 per image. Is there really a top professional? In any industry, there always will be an élite group. In the case of photographers, some of the top image makers command over $10,000 per day, or $1,500 per image."

 

To see some samples of different assorted products professional photographs visit my portfolio my portfolio

 
Friday, October 28, 2016
By Photography by George
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Props in Product Photography

It is very important to keep in mind that a client has a precise vision as to how the product has to be presented. It is for this reason that the client has to supply his or her own props. As a photographer, I have shot thousands of products in all types of categories. See my Flickr page to have a glimpse of a small portion of the objects I have shot:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/productphotocanada


As such, it would be impossible for me to carry all kinds of props that match every type of product.

In general, we have two types of commercial photography: 1) product photography for online/printed catalogues (w/white background, no props) see white background catalogue examples , and 2) advertising photography (artistic set-ups, group shots with props etc.) see examples of both 1) and 2) in my food gallery

I do advertising photography on location for corporations (note: product stylist’s assistance has to be provided by client) and tabletop product photography in my own studio. I also do larger objects product photography on client's location. I am equipped with full size mobile studio.


As a photographer, I am always ready to do my photo shoot as long as you can provide me with the location that would be suitable for advertising photography. However, you will be responsible for providing me with the necessary props and assisting me with some set-ups during the photo shoot

 
Saturday, October 22, 2016
By Photography by George
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Shooting furniture made of highly reflective metallic material (chrome) and transparent glass tabletop requires using powerful strobe lights and numerous reflectors to control reflections. At the same time, you need to make certain that the actual set-up will show the glass tabletop as being clear and transparent.

 

Adding white chairs on a white background makes the shooting condition even more challenging. To see examples of my furniture photo shoot sessions please visit my furniture gallery

 

Also, post-production editing requires an experienced photo editor.

Do you want to discuss your project? Please click here

 

 

 
Saturday, October 15, 2016
By Photography by George
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Factors affecting “architectural photography” prices

Please check our   architectural photography gallery

 

There are a number of factors that need to be considered during architectural photo shoots that can be used by the real estate industry:

 

- Dynamic Range Management (measuring light intensity in shadows and in lights).

- Color Management - using grey cards and correct color space.

- Perspective/Leveling Control – using hot shoe 3-way bubble level.

- Filters - neutral density (ND) filters & Circular Polarizing (CPL) filters.

- Using appropriate lenses – “tilt-shift” lenses to control perspectives.

- Using special tripod with geared centered column combined with remote triggering system.

- Using light modifiers.

- Shoot in fully manual mode in uncompressed RAW format to control full spectrum of data.

 

As a result of the photo shoot, we obtain RAW uncompressed files that enable us to use “Raw Converter” to perform precise adjustments prior to converting them into end user's friendly TIFF or JPEG files. We can then continue with further image manipulations according to the client's specifications, the nature of the object, as well as the ambient lighting conditions. Since original RAW files contain a wide gamut of data, they usually look dull; it is the photographer's job to extract only the necessary part of the data spectrum.

 

The editing process often takes more time than the actual photo shoot itself. Generally, two and three programs are used to open and edit each image individually using advanced tools. In many cases, editing process with the use of multiple paths is also required.