View Full Version : Two scenarios - tips needed!

Asher Moses
04-16-2005, 12:16 AM
Hey guys, I am buying a Canon G6 and have two main scenarios that I want to shoot in. Thus, it would be great if some of you could provide advice on the best f-numbers, shutter speeds and sensitivities, etc for each type of photo.

1. Product photos for magazines/websites. Usually of computer equipment, some of which is reflective (e.g. metallic PC cases).

2. Photos of parties/night clubs which are usually dark with lots of flashing lights.

Also, is there any special equipment I need in addition to the stock G6 in order to produce good shots?

04-16-2005, 05:40 AM
1. Product photography depends on good lighting, and suffice it to say that the camera's built-in flash will only provide adequate lighting to take a pic, but will not provide the kind of indirect lighting that is needed for good product photography. Entire books have been written on the subject of lighting, and if you are serious about this type of photography, it would be worth your time to get a book or two and learn how to set up a lighting system. A few spotlights, a backround and a tripod (and a lightbox for small items) will go a long way to help you make professional-looking photographs.

2. Buy a big accessory flash, one that will allow you to adjust the head (so you can be a bit creative when the opportunity arises), and blast away. Adjust ISO according to the range needed.

If you can't use flash, then the only thing you can do is to jack up the iso as high as you can, shoot in aperture priority mode and select the widest aperture you can get. This will force the camera to use the highest shutter speed possible. Of course the shutter speed you get depends on how much light there actually is, so no one can tell you in advance if you will have enough speed to handhold the camera, or to freeze your subjects...


Asher Moses
04-16-2005, 05:45 AM
Thanks - that was really helpful. But a quick question....

So as far as product photography is concerned, one of the flashes that attaches to the top of the camera isn't necesasry? I just need to make sure I have proper lighting, etc? And what about lenses? Will the stock lens be adequate?

04-16-2005, 06:32 AM

The point that Phil was making is that the built-in flash on the Canon G-6 will probably not be sufficient for creative lighting. Therefore, you will have to add some additional light to the photos via an accessory flash mounted in the hot shoe of the G-6, or by using floods in a rather simple studio set-up, slave flashes etc.

Your second scenario requires using the P for Program Mode and raising the ISO, as much as possible, if flash is not an option. And seeing what the resulting shutter speeds are. If the shutter speeds are too slow you will not be able hand hold the G-6 In this scenario the G-6 with its F 2.0 lens has a decided advantage. Here is a sample photo taken at a shutter speed of 1/25th of a second, which is about what I can handhold and still maintain some sharpness.

Sarah Joyce

Asher Moses
04-16-2005, 06:37 AM
Very new to photography so still vague on the lighting terminology. I've read up on all the glossary terms on DPReview, so I know about shutter speeds, aperture etc and their effects on exposure and how to tell if a product image is over-exposed (through histogram) etc.

One thing i'm not too sure of though is lighting. I.e. what's a slave flash? If you've got a few seconds, would you be able to provide me with a list of products I'd need for a lighting setup given that I don't won't it to consume too much space? Also, help with how to position it all would be good too...

Thanks again!

04-16-2005, 02:31 PM

In the General Digital Photography folder there is an excellent thread of studio lighting.

Sarah Joyce

04-16-2005, 05:54 PM
I was meaning to post the following tips on my website at some point, but since you've asked, here are my tips on product photography.

Set Up Your Little Studio
The first thing you need to start taking product photos is to set up your own little studio for that purpose. You donít need to invest thousands of dollars to set up a professional studio. All you need is some cheap materials to get started.

Youíll want to look for a white background to place your product and take photos. What I recommend is to get a sturdy piece of white foam or poster board, which can be had for a couple of bucks.

Next, position the product on the board. Iíve found that the best lighting to use is indirect sunlight. Turn on the flash on your camera and take the product from an angle to avoid any reflection.

Edit the Photo
Once youíve taken the product photo, you need to put the photo through an image editor to fine tune it.

Hereís what you do with your image. Correct the color balance, remove any harsh light and sharpen the photo if necessary. If you want, you can also want to apply perspective correction to make it look like we took the product from the top (instead of from the side like we mentioned above).

Internet Photo Studio
If you intend to take a lot of product photos for online auctions, a good product to get is Internet Photo Studio. This is essentially a little stand alone studio that has 2 lights which sweep any subject you place on it. The results are terrific and look really professional. Itís best used with small items like jewelry and or electronic components.

Good luck!

04-16-2005, 06:52 PM
Thanks, Gary!

That is a great addition! I am sure that many posters will appreciate it.

Sarah Joyce

Asher Moses
04-16-2005, 06:54 PM
There's also some really cool stuff on Ebay that i'm thinking of bidding on and setting up in my garage. It looks like some really good equipment and it's fairly inexpensive.


Anyone care to comment on that stuff?