Don’t forget you have until midnight tonight to enter my Village Haberdashery Giveaway!

Now last week, I left you all in suspense before lunch with the output from the Product Photography course run by my friend Lee a few weeks ago.  For those that had missed the first two posts, we had products from a number of different suppliers and a number of lighting set ups to play with.

I’m leaving what was the most fun bit for me until next week, but here’s what I was playing with just after lunch – makeup from Catherine’s Arbonne consultancy, makeup from a makeup artist, and some jewellery that had also been supplied.

This shot was done on the table with the overhead light.  There were quite a few challenges with it due to the mirror on the lid, so I ended up with a piece of white card acting as a reflector resting on my body, while trying to ensure the photo didn’t include either me or the camera in the mirror!  The lighting is okay, but the image is a little soft around the edges, probably because I had too wide an aperture setting.

This was also on the table with the overhead light.  There were a number of challenges with these – trying to get the lids all at the same angle to show the logo (failed in a couple of cases) and trying to get both the very dark colours on the left exposed correctly without losing the very light colours on the right (again, failed, as the yellow and white are rather overblown.  I also didn’t get those front 2 compacts quite evenly laid out, which is irritating me, and in the original photo below, there was far too much white space above.

Cropped looks better, but ideally you don’t want to hack around too much, since it’s easier on the eye if photos in a group are the same size.

These lip glosses were quite the challenge with their glass bodies, and I think I should probably have put them at an angle, with the lids elevated, as you can see in the glass at the bottom that it’s reflected the labels on the bottom with the colour number.  I wonder if the people that take photos of these for a living actually remove these sorts of stickers, as it really means nothing in the context of this shot, and would make this sort of thing less likely!  I also didn’t get the right balance here between foreground focus and fading away to the background, so it just looks a bit fuzzy near the top.

Another challenging set, this time we had moved onto the make up artist’s products.  Unlike the Arbonne products, which were for sale, these were actually products that had been used, which added to the challenge – for example in this first shot the lipsticks had both been used, so it was hard to get a nice symmetrical shot with them.  Also, with the wide range of foundation colours, it was difficult to get both the pale skinned options to the left and the dark skinned options to the right to show clearly.  Finally the top of that compact reflects both the overhead light, and some other extraneous background crap.

Having swapped out the lippie and the compact, it was on to some eye makeup, but again these had been used, so didn’t have the lovely finish of the Arbonne products.  You can also see, comparing to the photo above, that the foundations appear rather darker, especially at the bottom, as they obviously needed more light reflected down there.

Finally, the makeup artist wanted a wee play, so we stole an A4 foam core board sheet, and had a bit of a splurge.  Unfortunately it didn’t quite have the ‘knocked over’ effect that we’d hoped for, as the foundation was actually a bit too thick to have the splash effect we were after, and we had to do quite a lot of playing with a pen lid to get it to even look like this!

I think that for the makeup artist it might actually have been better to try and get shots ‘in action’ as it were, with her applying makeup to a model, perhaps, and some candid shots of her tools of the trade as she was working.  Hindsight is a wonderful thing, of course, and we didn’t have an available model!

Finally I was back in the light tent with the black background, and a jewellery stand that was also black.  Again, like with my bag last week, I had to choose between getting the black background and getting the most accurate colours on the necklace.  Again the colours here are too dark and saturated, and I should have tried to adjust the height of the lights shining through the sides of the tent, as the bottom of the pendant is much darker than the top in this photo, and the right hand light is obviously closer than the left, as again it is showing lighter on the right.

And finally an absolute and utter failure of epic proportions!  This is a simple little bracelet, with a thin wire band, and a small square charm.  The tag on it was very large, and I was afraid to remove it, so I tried to make it blur into the background.  Yep, I tried to make a white label disappear into a black background, genius…  Of course there were several issues with this approach – by trying to make the label disappear, I also lost the bracelet, and my angle was not the best to show the charm off either!

Next week I’ll do the final vintage, bag, bear and model shots, which I at least seemed to manage better than this lot!

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