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Guide to product photography lighting setup

Product photography lighting setup is one of the essential factors in capturing perfect product images. It not only influences brightness and darkness, but also the tone, mood, and atmosphere of the product image. As a result, it is critical to include proper lighting throughout your product photography to get the desired texture and highlight the product's features. In this article, we will focus on how to use one continuous light to illuminate the product photography of a watch.

Here is an example of the raw image.

Example of using COLBOR CL100X to create product photography lighting

Video tutorial on product photography lighting setup

In this tutorial video, the YouTube botvidsson shows how to set up product photography lighting of small items like the watch. The steps are as follows:

Firstly, mount the reflector on the COLBOR CL100X LED lights for streaming with the help of the supplied Bowens adapter. Use the stand to hold the CL100X in place and point it to the product. It is set at the 5600K color temperature and 100% brightness.

Second, place a diffusion between the light and the product. Ensure that it is as close as possible to the watch so there will be a large soft light source hitting the watch.

Third, make use of a background in the color corresponding to your product. In this case, it is the red background. Adjust the light’s distance to the background slightly to illuminate the backdrop as well. This requires several test shots to ensure the best result.

Here are some small tools that botvidsson uses to get different effects:

  • Attach a piece of black molten fabric on the diffusion to avoid reflection on the watch face.
  • Place a mirror on the side to bounce back more light if there is not enough light to illuminate the side.
  • Use something dark on the side for a more three-dimensional look.

Note: The camera uses the setting of f11 aperture and one second shutter speed.

The product photography lighting diagram are as follow:

How YouTuber botvidsson set up the light for product photography

    What to use for setting up product photography lighting properly?

    In the tutorial on product photography lighting setup, botvidsson uses the following lighting equipment for product photography. Here we will introduce what they are and what type they belong to. If you are new to product photography and want to invest in some gear, you can buy the same equipment as botvidsson uses or look for the one of the same type but more fits your needs.

    COLBOR CL100X: This is an LED light for product photography. It features a color temperature of 2700K-6500K, offering warm orange to cold blue lighting. It is compact and lightweight enough for conveniently carrying about and offers a Bowens-mount adapter for mounting standard modifiers on it. Its price is 199 dollars. If you want a budget-friendly and simple-to-operate light for product photography, the CL100X can be a good option.

    Reflector: This light modifier is used to enhance the illumination. For example, with the reflector, the illumination is 25,070Lux when placing the CL100X at 1m away and setting at 5600K color temperature, while the CL100X gives 3,680Lux lighting under the same condition without the reflector.

    Diffusion panel: This is another kind of light modifiers for product photography.

    Light stand: It works to hold the light in place and allows you to adjust the height.


    What is the key to product photography lighting setup?

    You should ensure that the product photography lighting gives the true color of the product. Color accuracy is critical in any form of product photography. Many buyers make purchases depending on the colors displayed in your product picture. They will be dissatisfied if the colors of the items that they receive do not match.

    Make sure you're utilizing genuine white lights and flashes. Such lights are frequently referred to as "photographic-specific tint lights". True white light does not produce any color cast. You won't find fluorescent blue green or warm orange. We should attain more realistic colors in the initial lighting step.

    What product photography lighting tips should I pay attention to when taking photos?

    Here are 4 tips that you can follow to get high-quality product photos.

    Be creative and use simple gear to improve product photography lighting

    Sellers do not need an all-inclusive professional product photography lighting setup to take product photos. They can improve the illumination of the items through the use of a few basic approaches. If a diffuser is not available, a white sheet or plasterboard might be used instead.

    A standard lamp with a tungsten bulb can be utilized for a low-cost setup. To disperse the light around the product, cover the tip with a white sheet. To achieve professional results, mount the camera on a tripod and take photos against a simple wall or white paper fastened in the backdrop.

    Experiment with the light distance and angle to avoid reflections

    Some products may be very reflective, having a variety of bright surfaces. Direct photography of jewelry, metal, glass, and other materials is challenging. Product shiny surfaces reflect ambient light in undesirable ways, causing interference with the lighting setups and shadows. You should not distract the eye with product reflections! Take your time and consider carefully! Prepare to shift the lights around till you find the best place to avoid reflections.

    Feel free to make use of natural lighting for product photography

    Natural light, with light curtains as diffusers, can work as a soft light replacement in product photography. The main rule is to avoid shooting when the sun is directly overhead. It can result in overexposed images with uneven illumination. However, photographs taken as the sun begins to set provide soft, bright, and evenly lit product images. This is one of the greatest tabletop photography lighting setups.

    Play with soft and hard lighting for product photography

    Soft and hard lighting are two product photography lighting techniques that are commonly used and play their role in specific types of product photography.

    Product photography lighting for jewelry is advised to be soft lighting. Jewelry is difficult to photograph because it is very reflective and multifaceted. You'll most likely spend a significant amount of time changing your focus and aperture to capture the target rather than the backdrop. A white background is a nice place to start. This eliminates distractions and emphasizes the piece. You will also want soft, diffused lighting. A medium to big overhead softbox is the most common way to achieve decent results.

    When photographing textured products such as leather purses, freshly made cakes, or hand-carved wooden decorations, the subtle textures and patterns on the surfaces of goods like this contribute to their attractiveness. To capture these details, experiment with hard and soft lighting as well as angles. A diffuse and front-on light source will flatten the item. A bright light source to the side will produce harsher shadows in the texture patterning. When used with a darker background, this might give a moodier effect.