TTT – Anatomy of a Product Shot

Curvature of the spine

In this week’s Tuesday Technique Topic, I’d like to take you through the thinking that went into a product shot that I did a couple of years ago and present you, the reader, with a little challenge.

Graffiti Anatomy

First of all, let me talk a little bit about the product here.  As you might guess, the product is the wonderful spine with a spray paint can actuator for a head, which was created by the wonderfully talented Scottish artist Chris Alexander who also founded Creology, which is focused on the study of creativity.  This piece is called Graffiti Anatomy, of which Chris created a total of 10; the choice of the color schemes were up to the purchaser, which made this truly a one-of-a-kind item.

The challenge in photographing the amazing Graffiti Anatomy was in picking up the high gloss finish, so that the shiny nature of the finish showed up really well.  As I truly enjoy the challenge of photographing shiny objects, this was a fun shoot and I thought that the product table would provide a nice surface, as I could pick up a cool bit of reflection as well.

When I first looked at setting up this shot, I felt that the Graffiti Anatomy looked a bit ‘naked’ and alone without something to offset it in the image.  As luck would have it, I have this small blue vase in my studio, which was both complementary in color and provide a nice bit of counterpoint to the curvature of the spine (yes, bad pun…).

The rest was all up to figuring out how many lights to use and placing them, which leads to my reader challenge:

  • How many lights did I use and what was their placement (hint: this may be a little tricky).

I look forward to your answers and hope you enjoyed this post!

Author: jansenphoto

A Fresh Perspective Photography is more than just a vehicle for capturing the world around me; it provides me with a palette and a set of brushes, with which I paint not only what I see, but also look to express the emotions that are evoked by the scene in front of me in that moment. Growing up in the Netherlands exposed me to a wide cross-section of visual arts that laid the foundation of my photographic view of all that surrounds me. Early influences were the Dutch Masters of the 17th century, to whom I was introduced by my grandfather during museum explorations; favorites among them are the scenes of quotidian life depicted by Jan Steen and Frans Hals and the vivid landscapes of Jacob van Ruisdael. My classical high school education was supplemented by the Boijmans Van Beuningen museum, where I spent many a lunch hour exploring its great collection. Here I was introduced to surrealism with a particular love for the approach taken by Salvador Dali; Dali also rekindled my appreciation for the work of Hieronymus Bosch, who often showed the folly of us mortals. Universal Connections My approach to any photographic subject is to look for understanding first; in this I look to establish either a connection between the viewer and the subject or capture the connection of the subject with its surroundings. The captured image then aims to portray this connection from a perspective that is part of my personal interpretation. This interpretation is often a form of externalized introspection, which may alternately display the connection of isolated beings and items with their environment or highlight the whimsy of the profound world, in which we find ourselves. The universe is full of connections, many of which are waiting to be discovered; part of my journey as a photographer is to document these connections. Any assignment, be it an event, a product shoot or a portrait session is always approached through communication with the client; this is where the first connection is established. Ideas are exchanged and a collaborative plan of action forms, ultimately resulting in a set of images that aim to exceed the expectations of each client. And, lest we forget, it is important to have fun while practicing the serious business of photography!

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