Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Behind the scene: Fly photography

This is one of many posts that I will add over the next few months regarding product photography.

Yesterday I got back into the product photography routine, consisting mostly flies for now. For those of you that don't know, I work at a fly shop/travel company called Tailwaters Fly Fishing Co. in Dallas, Tx. We are amidst a new website and I have to capture product photos of everything we carry. To the point....

Something that has been an issue with fly photography is blowing out the highlights in the brighter colors. I am shooting on a white background, which needs to be blown in order for clean placement in our catalog and website. For darker flies this is no problem, but for the lighter ones it's a big problem. If I need to blow out the white background, the lighter materials in the fly will be blown out as well, and I lose detail. I put together a solution that has worked decently. Instead of taking my two softboxes and shooting directly down on the fly, which is what I have done in the past (don't get me wrong, it works great), I have created a system to where I have a light shooting from above and below the fly.

What I did was take a picture frame, strip it down to the glass only, and placed a piece of bright white photo paper in the frame. I placed the frame on a box I had constructed out of white foam board. I now have a way to shoot light from underneath the fly which will not only help blow out the white background, but will create a silhouette of the fly. This is very helpful when shooting brighter flies that contain white or neon colors. Now instead of powering two lights from above, I can bring in subtle light from above with one speedlite. Here is the set up:
You can view all of my photos in my product gallery here

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