Lighting Curved Reflective Surfaces

About this tutorial

Yes, a wristwatch can absolutely be photographed with a single light, in a single exposure in your camera – but not this one. The lighting on this watch would not be possible to do conventionally; instead the watch is a combination of well over 20 different photographs and put together as a composite. I know I have done this a few times now and no, I do not do every still life I shoot as a composite image. However this website tends to focus primarily on the more challenging lighting scenarios and those often do have to be built as a composite. I promise I will do quite a number of still life and product tutorials that require minimal lighting and can be completed in camera – after all, I do originally come from the film and pre-Photoshop world where we had to sometimes go to extraordinary lengths to complete an image entirely in camera!

Topics covered in this tutorial:
  • Producing product shots using complex composites.
  • Why using very large modifiers gives us much more control over sculpting our light.
  • Depth of field challenges on shooting small products – Focus Stacking in Photoshop has limited options and will not work on a shot like this.
  • Strategies for shooting complex composites – it all starts with a lighting plan!
  • Using your modifiers to sculpt highlights. Flat lighting is rarely interesting.
  • Using light fall-off to add drama.
  • Working with Specular gobos.
  • Broken specular highlights, and how they show surface quality on a product.
  • Using masks in Photoshop to build complex composites.
  • Keeping complex composites manageable and in order within Photoshop.
  • Lighting and creating composites designed to give you maximum flexible when building the final image.
  • Understanding what details need to be enhanced in a product shot.
All images, video and written content of this tutorial © Greg Blue Photography. Images, video and written content may not be used, copied or republished in any way without the express written permission of Greg Blue Photography.


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