broncolor ‘How To’: Use continuous LED lighting for pack shots


Hi everyone, I’m Urs Recher, hi I’m Karl
Taylor and welcome to the next how to Karl, white products, white background…
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 of
my normal comfort zone because as you and I, were both very familiar with
working with studio flash, here we’re using the new broncolor LED lights and
quite an interesting way of working because we’re working with continuous
light and the reason I’ve chosen to demonstrate these new continuous
light 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 you
can see when it happens and many people seem to want to work in a more visual
way 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’s
also really useful for video because we need continuous light for video. Now in
this instance where for example we’ve got a packshot here so it could be
something for a small e-commerce company an e-commerce
little studio a lot of those type of e-commerce companies also want to do
video 360s of their products so as well as being
able to take high-quality packshots this could be on a white turntable and
they could be doing a 360 spin on a piece of jewelry, on a cosmetic, or
whatever it is… here we’re just demonstrating it as a still-life but one
of the fantastic things I really like about these broncolor LEDs is the
variable color temperature… that is a big PLUS because many continuous lighting as
you know used to be tungsten based so we we’re dealing with sort of 3200 Kelvin, a
warmer light and you’d have to correct that color balance. Here, with these
lights, we can set them from 2800K all the way up to 6800K. So we can go
really warm – really cold and 5600K, which we’re using now is actually
the same color as daylight and flash. Just to mention one more
aspect, if you have something moving very fast and you want to make a
high-speed video, this is possible as well, because LED is flicker-free.
Yeah, that’s right… and now for this setup I’m keeping it quite simple I actually
think I could have done this setup with two lights this is the 6100 softbox and
actually this is a really nice size in the horizontal format for products this
size because we can allow a little bit of backlighting around behind the
product but we still got plenty at the front and it’s obviously plenty high
enough to cover the height of a product like this and then some flags. I
mean people might not be familiar with this if you’re new to photography but
quite simply we’re shooting white on white products and one of the problems
you get with white on white as you know is that you’ll lose the edges so
we’ve got a simple black velvet flag here which is casting a shadow on this
bottle and it also sometimes picks up a little bit of the reflection
of it sometimes depending on the surface material and that gives us just a shadow
edge down this side of the product and what we’ve done here is we’ve raised it
off the ground because we don’t need the shadow all the way down we want to make
sure 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 fill
but the key one, or one of the important ones is the ability to use a softbox in
this case the 90 by 120 and actually use it as your white background. A lot of
times photographers are struggling with lighting a background or white wall
or white paper with one or two lights and trying to get even illumination but
one way of doing that is if your background area isn’t too large for
small products like this is actually just use the whole softbox panel and the great thing with the broncolor softbox is the very homogenous
even 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 the
the 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 the
object.
A very good point very good point… we’re going back to the physics there in
lighting so as you said the illumination when it’s directly into the camera it
doesn’t matter how far away this is the luminosity value will be the same I mean
they’re minor little details for atmospheric conditions but if the pure
atmosphere ina vacuum it’ll be exactly the same, but what it would
effect, if it was closer, is the light would then start to affect the product
but 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 time
starting with just the pure white background so we’ll turn these two
lights off, it’s going to get a little bit dark because obviously, we can’t use
the video lights this is one thing that’s worth pointing out as well here
is that with the continuous light setting obviously you’re dealing with
any light that is coming into your shot so you do need to be working in a
darkened studio or darkened area. Right let’s take our first shot, we’re working
with a Nikon 35mm, full-frame camera with a 105 mm macro lens and here we can
see the background light coming in giving us value of 255 which is pure
white and a nice clean pure white on the base. These two softboxes have a white
surface front they’re reflecting light back onto the product if we pulled those
away it would be pretty much a silhouette. Let’s add our
first light on this side, our key light, shoot and we have
now just the lighting on that side, you could do this as a two light set and I’m
going to just introduce a mirror now to show you how we can even economize a
little bit more I’m just going to go in here and hold this in position and we’ll
see even a mirror, round about here, you’ll see how much extra light that
brings in, there you go, so we’ve got a lot of extra light coming into here just
with 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 would
prefer to have the softbox there because if you have darker bottles you know you
can absolutely quickly adjust it. It works with the mirror perfectly on the
white but all of a sudden you have like a dark blue and then, of course, you’re
much more flexible with an active softbox. Absolutely, with the softbox
there you’ve got total control on how much light you want to put in so you can
go in from minimal amount of light or you can dial it right up and like you
say for darker objects, darker products, so we’re just going to turn that back on
and let’s take another one there please Urs. So now we have light coming in from
the softbox, so you can see it got a little bit lighter and if we compare to
no light that’s no light but you’ll see we go a little bit lighter this time
with it as a fill light by just having it on a very minimal amount of power, no
cut out required, we’ve got all pure whites you could literally take that
image and put it straight onto your catalog. It’s really ready and
the beauty with this type of e-commerce product shot is if you’ve got similar
sort of products to shoot you can simply take the product, replace it putting the
next ones in. If you have some variability, like you said, in
color of the product then you just got to dial these light powers up and down
to go to it to match. And the shiny part here we have shine still works.
Yeah absolutely. Great, yeah very happy with that so
Karl there’s one more thing I would like to show you. If we take the softbox off… you actually see how the light is
constructed it has an external (not flash tube) but the external light source
in here right behind this matt protecting glass there’s the LED obviously but
we can focus and defocus the lamp head and we can not only use softboxes but
also paras, deep umbrellas, normal umbrellas so, of course, softboxes all
kind of non reflective grids so it’s perfectly shapable LED with the same
light characteristics as our flashes Yeah, absolutely, so that protruding dome
allows you to benefit from light shapers and other
modifies that flat-panel LEDs won’t For me as a creative
photography 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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