Shooting product on white background?

MuneioMuneio Da grinnerRegistered Users Posts: 22 Big grins
edited November 14, 2007 in Technique
How do you get this effect commonly seen in catalogs? anybody know.
Thanks Bill
bag.jpg

Comments

  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Super Moderators Posts: 21,552 moderator
    edited November 5, 2007
    There are many methods of "background removal". Andy has a great tutorial of one method:

    http://www.dgrin.com/showthread.php?t=4963

    Some publications require a "clipping path" or "alpha layer" to eliminate the background entirely. Google for either/both of those phrases to find tutorials on those methods. (Some of the most tedious and boring work I did was endless clipping paths of hardware for my prior employer.)
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • MuneioMuneio Da grinner Registered Users Posts: 22 Big grins
    edited November 5, 2007
    Thanks Ziggy thats a good alternative, but I'm actually more interested in how to set up the lighting to shoot it without having to do a lot of post processing.

    Bill
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Super Moderators Posts: 21,552 moderator
    edited November 5, 2007
    Muneio wrote:
    Thanks Ziggy thats a good alternative, but I'm actually more interested in how to set up the lighting to shoot it without having to do a lot of post processing.

    Bill

    Bill,

    The truth is that most products cannot be lit well enough to lose all of the background without post processing.

    At my previous employers, I used a custom made transparent top product table with two strobes for the products and two for the sweep underneath. I never did get the background to "bleach" without some work after. If you try to illuminate the background too much, you'll get blooming around the subject.

    If it was easy, anybody could do it. mwink.gif
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaSuper Moderators Posts: 14,496 moderator
    edited November 5, 2007
    If you light the background so that it is significantly lighter than the subject, you can select the background in Photoshop with Select>Color Range, and use the Refine Edge command to finally select only the background.

    You can then paint the background white with a brush set to full white, or you can use a curve via CTRL-M to drive the pixels in the background to complete white.

    As Ziggy says, the trick is to light the background without creating blooming around your subject. You can direct a flash on each side behind the object onto a matte white paper background and then process it in Photoshop as I described.

    Andy describes the technique I am talking about in the link Ziggy posted above.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • MuneioMuneio Da grinner Registered Users Posts: 22 Big grins
    edited November 6, 2007
    Thanks for the info guys thumb.gif

    Bill
  • D_C_NCD_C_NC Major grins Registered Users Posts: 144 Major grins
    edited November 6, 2007
    This is something that Irving Penn had down as well as anyone with out the advantage of the new found photoshop methods . His book Flowers is a great example of the white background . The set up Ziggy explained with the translucent plexi with lights in the back and lights underneath the table is the way we used to do it in the studio that I worked at in NYC back in the early 80's. I remember spending a lot of time flagging off the strobes to make sure the light only hit where we wanted as well as flagging off the lens to make sure no extraneous light bounced around the elememts to destroy the color. The set looked more like a film set with all the grip stands, sand bags , flags and scrims everywhrere. Not to mention a lot of polaroids... It is so easy today with Photoshop , it just amazes me. Just understand I am new to all this Photoshop stuff as of a few weeks ago so I am amazed easily . I do remeber the old days and how difficult it was to get close to white out background effect.... Nothing wrong though trying to get it correct in the camera as best you can before you post edit as far as I see . Of course someone today will just say you are wasting time though as it can be done faster today in photoshop I guess...
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Super Moderators Posts: 21,552 moderator
    edited November 6, 2007
    D_C_NC wrote:
    ... The set up Ziggy explained with the translucent plexi with lights in the back and lights underneath the table is the way we used to do it in the studio that I worked at in NYC back in the early 80's. I remember spending a lot of time flagging off the strobes to make sure the light only hit where we wanted as well as flagging off the lens to make sure no extraneous light bounced around the elememts to destroy the color. The set looked more like a film set with all the grip stands, sand bags , flags and scrims everywhrere. Not to mention a lot of polaroids... It is so easy today with Photoshop , it just amazes me. ...

    I was either secondary/backup or principal photographer for 31 years doing product and display advertising images. We started with a 4x5 Crown Graphic, moved up to a Calumet monorail 4x5 (wore one out and bought another), and then digital in 1995 with the Kodak DCS-460 that cost a very real $16,000 in 1995. I convinced them to upgrade that in 2003 to the Sony F828. Later, I started using my own equipment as well.

    Digital does help in processing, but the exposure has to be dead on for many subjects and the light has to be relatively less contrasty.

    The company produced replacement hardware for households as well as farm and industrial hardware. They had shiny finished stuff like chrome, polished brass and bright steel and then black and white painted pieces as well. We shot everything from component pieces of maybe 1/2" in length to 48 foot displays.

    The point is that the lighting component of the image setup was very similar, whether film or digital. Each had benefits and limitations, but digital had enough benefit overall to make me never want to go back.

    Landscapes are still pretty desirable on 4x5 transparency material, formed by that perfect Rodenstock or Schneider optic. thumb.gif (Where's the drool smilie?)

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane!
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • D_C_NCD_C_NC Major grins Registered Users Posts: 144 Major grins
    edited November 6, 2007
    ziggy53 wrote:
    I was either secondary/backup or principal photographer for 31 years doing product and display advertising images. We started with a 4x5 Crown Graphic, moved up to a Calumet monorail 4x5 (wore one out and bought another), and then digital in 1995 with the Kodak DCS-460 that cost a very real $16,000 in 1995. I convinced them to upgrade that in 2003 to the Sony F828. Later, I started using my own equipment as well.

    Digital does help in processing, but the exposure has to be dead on for many subjects and the light has to be relatively less contrasty.

    The company produced replacement hardware for households as well as farm and industrial hardware. They had shiny finished stuff like chrome, polished brass and bright steel and then black and white painted pieces as well. We shot everything from component pieces of maybe 1/2" in length to 48 foot displays.

    The point is that the lighting component of the image setup was very similar, whether film or digital. Each had benefits and limitations, but digital had enough benefit overall to make me never want to go back.

    Landscapes are still pretty desirable on 4x5 transparency material, formed by that perfect Rodenstock or Schneider optic. thumb.gif (Where's the drool smilie?)

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane!
    I got out of Photography in 1984 just at the dawn of the digital imagery and went sailing for almost 10 years .( Confirmed member of the He-Man Woman Haters club as the Evil Ex took everything from me ) So I missed out on this whole era of digital and am just now looking at all of this for the first time. As I said photoshop is amazing to me , a little complicated to me at the moment to grasp it all with my book in one hand and trying to practice with an old image to learn on with my old G4. Your experiance with varying size sets reminds me of a furniture studio that shot hot lights and the exposures were so long you could actually move through the set, not recommended though, and not end up on the image. The things we did were like the Macy's catalogue and the avon catalouge nothing really large at all. But , I had a blast learning and shooting until my wife decided to take me to the cleaners and then I took my hiatus from the world . I applaud the starter( MUNEIO)of this thread to ask how to in camera create this effect , as I have seen some folks that actually were getting paid for a shot and have a light stand show in the shot and then say I will take it out with photoshop. Maybe I am old fashioned , an old fart I am for sure , But , photoshop or no photoshop I will try to do the best I can In Camera first . If I had ever had an object that was not supposed to be in a shot even a speck of dust ( amazing how a speck of dust shows up so well on an 8x10 piece of film)I would not have had a job for long when I was younger that is.... Glad I took you down memory lane as there are fewer of us that know the old ways anymore it seems....
  • Red JRed J Big grins Registered Users Posts: 57 Big grins
    edited November 14, 2007
    Doing a similar thing and ran across this tutorial from Photoflex.

    http://www.photoflexlightingschool.com/Equipment_Lessons/Soft_Boxes___Continuous/SilverDome/Bike/index.html

    The short version is, they used a ton of lighting.
  • cpoexpertscpoexperts Professional Graphic Designer BangladeshRegistered Users Posts: 1 Beginner grinner
    The simple and most easiest way for background removal into a white background is using of Photoshop pen tool.
    Most of the designers whom really needs to edit images into a white background or remove the original background into any other plain surface is commonly use the latest version of Adobe Photoshop.
  • pathfinderpathfinder Drive By Digital Shooter western IndianaSuper Moderators Posts: 14,496 moderator

    Almost 13 years, and almost no major change whatsoever - Pen tool or Select>Color range will both accomplish the selection today -

    The Pen tool still works great but does require just a bit of use to become really proficient with it - Naive PhotoShop users usually haven't mastered the Pen tool early in their Photoshop travels.

    Color Select will grab a white background that is a couple stops brighter than the subject pretty reliably.

    Or one can continue in Photoshop to Refine Edges or Select and Mask

    Despite all the PS capability, proper lighting and flagging CAN and WILL make the selection tasks faster and easier.

    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
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