Product Photography

I was asked by a client to shoot some product images for a food supplier. I'd need to shoot the products on a white background with good lighting, as they will be printed in a brochure for food vendors to order from. I've done some product photography in the past, but I made sure that I had the gear capable of doing the shoot.

As usual, I stuck with my reliable Speedlite's, triggering them wirelessly with Yongnuo triggers and an on-camera controller which attaches to the hot shoe. I'll use 2 or 3 Speedlite's depending on the product and what the dimensions of the product are, as a 3rd light may come in handy to prevent unnecessary shadows.

I found the Yongnuo triggers great from the Canon ST-E2 wireless trigger I used in the past. The Canon ST-E2 didn't require triggers to be attached to the Speedlite's and made it great for shooting on the go. However, you could only shoot at a max of 1/200 and it used a really rare type of battery that was only available online, which meant if you ran out at last minute you were fudged.

Here is the gear I used:

Canon 430 EXII

Canon 530 EXII

Yongnuo Wireless Flash Controller

2x Yongnuo Wireless Flash Trigger

2x Pixel Speedlite stands (much more stable than Canon stands)

As for the backdrop, I wanted a large white background that would not only provide a large surface area for the varying sizes of product, but also something that would maximise the light sources. I found lots of great lightboxes available on Amazon, which basically look like square tents that do a great job of diffusing the light and making sure the light is spread evenly throughout the light box.

As for the setup, I placed one Speedlite on either side of the lightbox and had to play about with the settings until I got the results I was looking for. 

Once I setup the equipment you see above, I set the power of the flashes. The Yongnuo wireless controller was great for setting the manual power on each flash. I set either flash to manual mode @ 1/4. The next issue is getting the aperture right. As some products may have deeper dimensions and if you're shooting at F2.8, then you're definitely going to lose some focus. So I found it better to go from F/5.0 or higher, increasing the power of the lights accordingly ( I upped the power marginally on both to 1/4 + 0.3)

For test shots, I used the box of the Yongnuo triggers (no, I'm not getting paid to plug them) which are identical shots, however, the first is a lower aperture where the back of the product is quite obviously out of focus.

1/320 sec, F/3.2, ISO 160

I very slightly increased the aperture with the same other settings in the next one.

1/320 sec, F/5.0, ISO 160

The only other issue is the slight line of shadow tailing off to the left, which I can remedy by including a 3rd Speedlite from the top of the light box or increase the left-hand side Speedlite's power to try and counteract the right-hand side Speedlite.