Photographing our Projects

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Project by maplerock posted 09-11-2013 10:58 PM 2419 views 8 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A few have asked me about how I photograph my projects. I will give a simple run down on how I do it. It may not help everyone, as I have some equipment that most people don’t. I’ll post a few of my most recent boxes and tell you how I shot them.

I like to “feather the light on my subjects, whether it be a box or a person. Direct flash tends to be harsh, so I try to angle it it get a softer brightness.

I use white paper for my backdrop. It’s available in rolls about 4 feet wide at camera shops or on Amazon. I use an old stand to hang it, but you could hang it any way you want. I like solid backdrops to show the beauty and detail of the project. I don’t want clutter in my picture.

The item to be photographed should be placed to show it as you’d like it to be seen. Sounds simple. If you love the top, angle the item to show that. If you are proud of the hinges be sure to show them. By the same token, If you don’t like something don’t show it in the photo. This little box has a beautiful lid. There is also a dark line through the front that looks like a crack. I chose to highlite the top.

I have three flash heads permanently mounted in my garage. they are on a slave which means when the flash on my camera fires, they fire. If they are angled correctly, and I fire the flash on my camera, they fire and I get the desired effect. I use novatron flashes with a transformer. You can get the whole setup for about $200 used on ebay, sometimes less. Then get a cord or a slave, and you’re set.

I use a Canon 50D camera, but just about any modern camera can work. So… eliminate the clutter, get a solid backdrop, provide ample light, feather it, highlite the features you want to show, and voila! (wah lah!)

-- Jerry... making sawdust in the Knobs of Southern Indiana

11 comments so far

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3368 days

#1 posted 09-12-2013 12:32 AM

Nice boxes and nice write up on your techniques for photographing small projects. Any suggestions for photographing larger projects, such as those that are free standing? Thanks for sharing.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 4841 days

#2 posted 09-12-2013 01:12 AM

Looks good. How do you get those shadows?

View maplerock's profile


529 posts in 2876 days

#3 posted 09-12-2013 01:22 AM

Thanks John. As for photographing bigger items, I have a white wall… again a luxury that most don’t have.
Juniorjock, The shadows are not really desirable, but don’t really detract from the intended purpose. They are a product of the lights above that I have crisscrossing (feathering) the shot.

-- Jerry... making sawdust in the Knobs of Southern Indiana

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 4841 days

#4 posted 09-12-2013 01:34 AM

I was just kidding, Jerry. I think your photos look fine. But, you could always go out and spend a couple of $K for lights for picture-perfect pictures. You know what I mean

View Boxguy's profile


2897 posts in 3343 days

#5 posted 09-12-2013 02:00 AM

Jerry, great posting and great boxes. These are sharp photos. I like the advice…if you don’t like it, don’t photo it. See you next week. Happy hinging.

-- Big Al in IN

View deon's profile


2522 posts in 4101 days

#6 posted 09-12-2013 03:13 AM

Thanks for the lesson

-- Dreaming patterns

View robscastle's profile


7875 posts in 3280 days

#7 posted 09-12-2013 06:54 AM

Well I have to use my phone, so I guess its life for some!
Very nice effects!!

-- Regards Rob

View spud72's profile


333 posts in 4570 days

#8 posted 09-12-2013 10:53 AM

Nice job on the boxes and photography

-- Guy,PEI

View laketrout36's profile


201 posts in 3102 days

#9 posted 09-12-2013 04:15 PM

Nice work. If for no other reason than to showcase your work for yourself and your family and friends. Your techniques provide a very good amount of light, contrast, detail and definition. I like it. Your work is sure better than a dimly lit shop using a disk camera. Remember those?

View Woodwrecker's profile


4240 posts in 4651 days

#10 posted 09-12-2013 05:49 PM

A nice back ground, ample light, no clutter and your work will automatically look better.

View natenaaron's profile


442 posts in 2873 days

#11 posted 09-12-2013 07:30 PM

Nice explanation. For those looking to get rid of shadows simple white foam core boards used as reflectors do quite well.

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