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Product Photography Tips Needed


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#1 Michael Salyers

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 11:50 PM

I'm shooting a Rockstar Energy Drink commercial on spec and was wondering if anyone has any advice on lighting it, specifically if you know of any tricks to make it dripping can sweat.

I will be shooting on a Panasonic HVX-200 at 720p, 60fps. I have at my disposal a fairly decent sized green screen (three walled-- 15 feet per wall) which I plan on shooting the can against. I also plan on getting the can as far away from the green screen to prevent any green spill. Lighting equipment I will have is as follows: two 4'x4 bank kino flos, one 2k softbox, one 2k BJ, one baby 1k, possibly a Dedo kit (two 200s and one 150), several flags, silks, and all applicable stands.

So my question is, what is the best way to get that sweat to drip off of the can perfectly, and then what would the best way to light that sweaty can be?

I have a rough idea in my head-- spray the can with water and put it in the freezer for a little while, then use larger, soft sources to catch as much reflection off of those beads of sweat as possible.

I also may be able to obtain use of a spider dolly in order to get something of a half circle type of motion around the can, so I would possibly need to light for that.

Any advice is much appreciated. Thank you!

Edited by Michael Salyers, 07 November 2007 - 11:51 PM.

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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 12:51 AM

Here are some things I gleaned from going to a school with a really good ad photo program, and from ym girlfriend that was in it:

Glycerine is the secret for those drops. That's what still product photographers use. KY jelly is just glycerine and water. That will be more controllable and make distinct droplets nicer than water and you won't ahve the working time problem if trying to freeze it. You wouldn't get nice droplets if you froze it anyway because the can would be frosty. Try to work in a cool space and the glycerine will set and stay put well.

As for lighting it, remember that those drops on the edge of the can will work like little lenses and will show everything (like stands, the edge of the cyc, etc) behind the can like a fisheye lens. You'll want a dark studio so nothing shows in reflections except the light sources you place. Generally, you'll want large soft sources to look nice reflected in all those drops. Probably 4-bys really close or 6-bys a couple feet away. Further diffuse the kinos or they will make very funny looking reflections in all the drops that will look like prison bars. To get really shiny droplets, think in terms of reflecting/refracting your lights so they shine into the lens rather than just throwing light on the object. You can also do things like use several hard light just skimming the droplets but cut off of the actual can.

Since you're shooting against a greenscreen anyway, why don't you spin the can on a lazy susan rather than move the camera around it. Same effect and you won't endanger the quality of the lighting and kill your focus puller.
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#3 Kevin Zanit

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 02:00 AM

I would use a turn table for the can rotation.

The above is all true, big soft sources and big solids so that you can create the shape of the can.
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#4 Matthew Rogers

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 08:50 AM

Two things, I shot some tea in a clear plastic cup earlier this year and used rock salt and a mister bottle to get the dripping effect. I also used a rotisserie motor (Wal-Mart $20) to move my rotating platform. It's very hard lighting something so friggin small. In my case, I was doing bluescreen also, so I was trying to light that along with the products.

Matthew
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#5 Michael Nash

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 02:33 PM

As for lighting it, remember that those drops on the edge of the can will work like little lenses and will show everything (like stands, the edge of the cyc, etc) behind the can like a fisheye lens.


Including the greenscreen, as will the reflective surface of the can. Since the can is round there will always be a portion that reflects the greensceen behind it, no matter how you turn it.

You might be better off shooting the can against black and pulling a luminance key instead. With either color (green or black) only need enough screen to barely overlap the edges of the can to minimize reflections.
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