How To Use Continuous LED Lighting For Packshot Photography

Hi everyone, I'm Urs Recher, hi I'm KarlTaylor and welcome to the next how to Karl, white products, white background.

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always tricky! Oh, it's tricky but you have the solution for us.

Well we have a solution and I'm working a little bit outside ofmy normal comfort zone because as you and I, were both very familiar withworking with studio flash, here we're using the new broncolor LED lights andquite an interesting way of working because we're working with continuouslight and the reason I've chosen to demonstrate these new continuouslight LED products is that a lot of photographers or new photographers, people new to it, they kind of fear flash because flash isn't something youcan see when it happens and many people seem to want to work in a more visualway where they can just see what it looks like continuous.

What you see with your eyes is actually what you get in the photograph later on.

Exactly, and the other great benefit of continuous lighting like this is it'salso really useful for video because we need continuous light for video.

Now inthis instance where for example we've got a packshot here so it could besomething for a small e-commerce company an e-commercelittle studio a lot of those type of e-commerce companies also want to dovideo 360s of their products so as well as beingable to take high-quality packshots this could be on a white turntable andthey could be doing a 360 spin on a piece of jewelry, on a cosmetic, orwhatever it is.

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here we're just demonstrating it as a still-life but oneof the fantastic things I really like about these broncolor LEDs is thevariable color temperature.

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that is a big PLUS because many continuous lighting asyou know used to be tungsten based so we we're dealing with sort of 3200 Kelvin, awarmer light and you'd have to correct that color balance.

Here, with theselights, we can set them from 2800K all the way up to 6800K.

So we can goreally warm – really cold and 5600K, which we're using now is actuallythe same color as daylight and flash.

Just to mention one moreaspect, if you have something moving very fast and you want to make ahigh-speed video, this is possible as well, because LED is flicker-free.

Yeah, that's right.

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and now for this setup I'm keeping it quite simple I actuallythink I could have done this setup with two lights this is the 6100 softbox andactually this is a really nice size in the horizontal format for products thissize because we can allow a little bit of backlighting around behind theproduct but we still got plenty at the front and it's obviously plenty highenough to cover the height of a product like this and then some flags.

Imean people might not be familiar with this if you're new to photography butquite simply we're shooting white on white products and one of the problemsyou get with white on white as you know is that you'll lose the edges sowe've got a simple black velvet flag here which is casting a shadow on thisbottle and it also sometimes picks up a little bit of the reflectionof it sometimes depending on the surface material and that gives us just a shadowedge down this side of the product and what we've done here is we've raised itoff the ground because we don't need the shadow all the way down we want to makesure that the label is capturing the light down here as well.

The second softbox is smaller the 35 by 60, this is just acting as a gentle fillbut the key one, or one of the important ones is the ability to use a softbox inthis case the 90 by 120 and actually use it as your white background.

A lot oftimes photographers are struggling with lighting a background or white wallor white paper with one or two lights and trying to get even illumination butone way of doing that is if your background area isn't too large forsmall products like this is actually just use the whole softbox panel and the great thing with the broncolor softbox is the very homogenouseven light spread so we can get a really good nice pure white background.

I think from the understanding it's quite important that this is thethe largest softbox in the set because like this we can put it far away.

It doesn't lose the brightness but it has less effect on theobject.

A very good point very good point.

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we're going back to the physics there inlighting so as you said the illumination when it's directly into the camera itdoesn't matter how far away this is the luminosity value will be the same I meanthey're minor little details for atmospheric conditions but if the pureatmosphere ina vacuum it'll be exactly the same, but what it wouldeffect, if it was closer, is the light would then start to affect the productbut having it back at a distance it's not affecting the product at all.

Okay I think what I'd like to do is to show our viewers one light at a timestarting with just the pure white background so we'll turn these twolights off, it's going to get a little bit dark because obviously, we can't usethe video lights this is one thing that's worth pointing out as well hereis that with the continuous light setting obviously you're dealing withany light that is coming into your shot so you do need to be working in adarkened studio or darkened area.

Right let's take our first shot, we're workingwith a Nikon 35mm, full-frame camera with a 105 mm macro lens and here we cansee the background light coming in giving us value of 255 which is purewhite and a nice clean pure white on the base.

These two softboxes have a whitesurface front they're reflecting light back onto the product if we pulled thoseaway it would be pretty much a silhouette.

Let's add ourfirst light on this side, our key light, shoot and we havenow just the lighting on that side, you could do this as a two light set and I'mgoing to just introduce a mirror now to show you how we can even economize alittle bit more I'm just going to go in here and hold this in position and we'llsee even a mirror, round about here, you'll see how much extra light thatbrings in, there you go, so we've got a lot of extra light coming into here justwith a mirror alone and it's quite a nice contouring as well.

I think personally when I have to shoot a whole bunch of different products I wouldprefer to have the softbox there because if you have darker bottles you know youcan absolutely quickly adjust it.

It works with the mirror perfectly on thewhite but all of a sudden you have like a dark blue and then, of course, you'remuch more flexible with an active softbox.

Absolutely, with the softboxthere you've got total control on how much light you want to put in so you cango in from minimal amount of light or you can dial it right up and like yousay for darker objects, darker products, so we're just going to turn that back onand let's take another one there please Urs.

So now we have light coming in fromthe softbox, so you can see it got a little bit lighter and if we compare tono light that's no light but you'll see we go a little bit lighter this timewith it as a fill light by just having it on a very minimal amount of power, nocut out required, we've got all pure whites you could literally take thatimage and put it straight onto your catalog.

It's really ready andthe beauty with this type of e-commerce product shot is if you've got similarsort of products to shoot you can simply take the product, replace it putting thenext ones in.

If you have some variability, like you said, incolor of the product then you just got to dial these light powers up and downto go to it to match.

And the shiny part here we have shine still works.

Yeah absolutely.

Great, yeah very happy with that soKarl there's one more thing I would like to show you.

If we take the softbox off.

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you actually see how the light isconstructed it has an external (not flash tube) but the external light sourcein here right behind this matt protecting glass there's the LED obviously butwe can focus and defocus the lamp head and we can not only use softboxes butalso paras, deep umbrellas, normal umbrellas so, of course, softboxes allkind of non reflective grids so it's perfectly shapable LED with the samelight characteristics as our flashes Yeah, absolutely, so that protruding domeallows you to benefit from light shapers and othermodifies that flat-panel LEDs won't For me as a creativephotography one of the biggest advantages of this LED light.

Absolutely, fantastic.

Well I hope you've enjoyed that 'how-to' on e-commerce packshots and how you can also use these LED lights for video as well.

I'm Karl Taylor, I'm Urs Recher thank you very much, Karl, was very nice.

We'll see you next time.

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