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04-05-2019, 02:27 AM   #1
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Big product photography

Hi,
I have been asked my company if I photography one of our engines. A container size engine. So this is huge.
I am not sure how to go about this because of size.

I will go to the factory to check the light and see if I will need.
The widest lens I have is a 16 mm lens on a crop sensor. Of course going wider presents it own problem of distortion.
I was thinking of shooting overlapping layers and blending them together but not sure

I thought I should ask the good folks if there is a better way to do this.

Culture

04-05-2019, 03:15 AM   #2
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The size of the object isn't that much of a problem I would say. It's how much free space you have to position the camera and how to deal with the background. You could use a set of speedlight or studio strobes with softeners positioned at different points around the product, all triggered together. The strobe may help remove the background, but it may not be enough, so maybe use some sort of large dark fabric for the backdrop.
04-05-2019, 03:23 AM   #3
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You could try turning off all the lights and then light paint it with a torch and flashes. You're creating highlights and shadows to really honour it as a 3d object. Combine best frames in post as necessary.

04-05-2019, 04:59 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
You could try turning off all the lights and then light paint it with a torch and flashes.
It's not easy to figure shadow transitions with flash / strobes. I'd go get for LED projectors (the kind of projectors used for outdoor/garden lighting), move the projectors around so that to model light/shadow transitions, and manual adjust WB with a gray card because those garden projectors aren't necessarily aligned to 5000K. How about having a sexy lady model in bikini sitting on the engine ?
Using a wide angle can make the engine look larger than it actually is. Using a secondary element can give a sense of how large the engine is.


Last edited by biz-engineer; 04-05-2019 at 05:07 AM.
04-05-2019, 05:15 AM   #5
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How far can you back up from it? Up close with an ultra-wide lens or further back with say a 35mm will deliver different looks. Your company might prefer the more natural perspective of the "normal" lens.
04-05-2019, 05:21 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
You could try turning off all the lights and then light paint it with a torch and flashes. You're creating highlights and shadows to really honour it as a 3d object. Combine best frames in post as necessary.
I think the light painting might be a better option. I do have led lights for paint.
I am not sure of the space so I am going to check the place out. But I am going to assume that there is not enough space. Space will be the main problem. I guess I will find out.

---------- Post added 05-04-19 at 15:23 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
The size of the object isn't that much of a problem I would say. It's how much free space you have to position the camera and how to deal with the background. You could use a set of speedlight or studio strobes with softeners positioned at different points around the product, all triggered together. The strobe may help remove the background, but it may not be enough, so maybe use some sort of large dark fabric for the backdrop.
Thanks but I think this might be a little too complicated. I dont have that large a fabric for background. So its post.

---------- Post added 05-04-19 at 15:24 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
How far can you back up from it? Up close with an ultra-wide lens or further back with say a 35mm will deliver different looks. Your company might prefer the more natural perspective of the "normal" lens.
I agree with the natural look of the lens might be the best option. But it also depends on the space they can offer. Thanks
04-05-2019, 05:29 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
It's not easy to figure shadow transitions with flash / strobes. I'd go get for LED projectors (the kind of projectors used for outdoor/garden lighting), move the projectors around so that to model light/shadow transitions, and manual adjust WB with a gray card because those garden projectors aren't necessarily aligned to 5000K. How about having a sexy lady model in bikini sitting on the engine ?
Using a wide angle can make the engine look larger than it actually is. Using a secondary element can give a sense of how large the engine is.
(Laughs)

I think you can do a lot of experimenting with selective lighting combining layers in Photoshop.

Some focus stacking will probably be needed anyway, this thing sounds huge.

04-05-2019, 07:15 AM   #8
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What is the purpose of the image? To make the engine look big? Look small for its power-rating? (Look up "forced perspective" for ideas on making the engine look bigger or smaller than it is.)

Do they want the engine to look complex? Look simple to use? Look shiny or gritty?

Do they want a huge print that can cover the wall, a 8x10 for some marketing material, or just snapshots of parts of the engine for the maintenance manual?

Maybe you can get them to move the engine: suspend it in the factory with a crane, place it on a flatbed truck in front of the sunlit factory, or do a shoot at a nearby customer site.

04-05-2019, 07:31 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Culture Quote
Hi,
I have been asked my company if I photography one of our engines. A container size engine. So this is huge.
I am not sure how to go about this because of size.

I will go to the factory to check the light and see if I will need.
The widest lens I have is a 16 mm lens on a crop sensor. Of course going wider presents it own problem of distortion.
I was thinking of shooting overlapping layers and blending them together but not sure

I thought I should ask the good folks if there is a better way to do this.

Culture
Depends on space around the engine. If you have plenty of room then the 16mm is just fine. As far as lighting, you can light it with strobes or use HDR and do some post work making the final image(s). If I had to do it, I would put me camera on a tripod and do light painting with a strobe. This would allow me to use one light and light different parts of the image for a complex lighting look. You then assemble the images in post into one final well lit image. Test different angles, heights, etc. Identify a few positions that show the engine best then do the multi-shot magic for each one of the camera positions. Shoot RAW, lowest ISO possible and no auto white balance. Just my two cents.
04-05-2019, 07:46 AM   #10
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or bring the engine in the studio of Karl Taylor, he's been photographing horses and a truck load of environmental waste in his studio.


04-05-2019, 08:16 AM   #11
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When you visit to see the space you may want to bring a couple of flashes, stands and modifiers to do some test shots. If you want to have environmental shots (preserve background and surroundings) you can meter for the background prior to lighting and light the subject as needed. If you want to localize the subject more from its surroundings/background, you may want to meter for a black frame to start with, then light as needed for the subject.

Good luck.
04-10-2019, 10:05 AM   #12
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Here are some "out of the box" suggestions based on a recent Thomas Heaton video where he created an image based on a composite of multiple multi-frame panoramas. I think the same process might work for you.

Rent some LED lamps & stands, shoot a number of panos with either your 16mm lens or something longer for less distortion. Change the lighting for each pano and then create a composite image in Photoshop using the best light for each area of the engine. This would create a lot of work, but the result could be interesting.

I also agree that adding a person or common object to provide a perspective of size would be beneficial. This would provide a very descriptive environmental image.

Best of luck - lots of great ideas so far. Let us know the final process that you choose.
David
04-10-2019, 06:25 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by R. Wethereyet Quote
I also agree that adding a person or common object to provide a perspective of size would be beneficial.
Yeah, you can light separately overalls-covered workers or suited executives and add them into the Photoshop layers.
04-10-2019, 09:47 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by R. Wethereyet Quote
Here are some "out of the box" suggestions based on a recent Thomas Heaton video where he created an image based on a composite of multiple multi-frame panoramas. I think the same process might work for you.

Rent some LED lamps & stands, shoot a number of panos with either your 16mm lens or something longer for less distortion. Change the lighting for each pano and then create a composite image in Photoshop using the best light for each area of the engine. This would create a lot of work, but the result could be interesting.

I also agree that adding a person or common object to provide a perspective of size would be beneficial. This would provide a very descriptive environmental image.

Best of luck - lots of great ideas so far. Let us know the final process that you choose.
David
I have done this type of photography of blending different exposure so I guess that can be an option. Quite the same as the light painting.

They specifically said they dont want people in the shot as that is too old style. People who buy these engines are already familiar with size and perspective.
04-11-2019, 05:48 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
or bring the engine in the studio of Karl Taylor, he's been photographing horses and a truck load of environmental waste in his studio.
Nice videos. Thank you for sharing.
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