Product photography lighting: Don’t forget the shadows!

Both light and shadows work to create perfect product photography lighting

Both light and shadows work to create perfect product photography lighting

We all know that product photography is all about the light, but don’t forget that what makes the light perfect is the inclusion of shadows. In the video tutorial below,¬†Alex Koloskov, walks through the process of first removing the shadows with well place diffusers and then bringing gradients and shadows back onto the image in order to really capture the life and feel of a shiny object in the end photograph.

One of the more difficult things to grasp when you first start working with studio (controlled) lighting is that you can’t have light without shadows. A professor I had in film school called it “painting with light,” a phrase I always loved. In order to paint with light, you are placing light on one plane or part of your subject which in turn creates an opposing shadow on another part of your subject. If you over-light your subject by filling in shadows and adding light on every part of your subject, you end up with flat, boring light with minimal shadows (good for green screen work!).

This video is well worth a watch to try to grasp the concept of creating and controlling both the light AND the shadows when working on a product photography shoot.