Catalog series on white (No Name Ejuice)
Jan 13, 2017
Catalog Series on White (No Name E-juice)
So you've spent all that time perfecting light painting, water splashes, crazy levitation shots and your client comes to you and just wants plain white images for their website? Well, here is the workflow I use to do it. We have all seen the crap bottles on grayish backgrounds at weird angles, that is what not to do. A lot of people may choose to clip out the bottle and throw it on a white background, but I like to do it all in camera whenever possible.
Let's start with the BTS
After your lights and equipment are set up, the first thing you want to do is dial in the lights. Remember to always shoot in manual mode while doing this and change the WB on the camera to a custom Kelvin equal to the output of your strobes.
Wipe the bottles down with a microfiber cloth to remove fingerprints and smudges, and I like to either run just the cap under water to remove dust or use a wetwipe (since having Myrt there is no shortage of those around the house). Wet wipes work a little better and dry very quickly for bottles that are already relatively clean. The more dustier ones I will use the sink for and then dry with a terry cloth. The cons of that are the terry cloth still leaves fibers sometimes and the labels may or may not be water resistant. If your client only gave you one set then your screwed.
So I have all the bottles clean and ready to go! What now?
Shoot your first bottle, make sure the exposure is just right, and this will be your baseline for the rest of the series. I like to use liveview on the camera for this, zoom in and place the bottle in the center of the frame and the focusing point on some sort of "landmark" on the bottle. Whether it be the top of the bottle, a logo, a design on the label, something that can be the same on all of them.
Ill make sure its focused on the front of the label and move the focusing points up a bit and have it right where the cap and bottle meet. It ensures the bottles is in the same place each time because the labels may or may not be.
Once you have the first shot done, your happy with it, use an expo pen (dry erase marker) and put a small dot behind the bottle. This way you can put the next one almost exactly where the first one was.
Line up the second bottle, center the logo/label and shoot again. Use your preview and flip back and forth between your first shot and second. Did the bottle move at all? It shouldn't. If it does, DELETE the second picture, make your slight adjustments and shoot again. Take your time, line them up and continue until all your shots are identical. Don't forget to also check the focus of each bottle after each shot. There have been a couple time where I thought I was all done only to double check the focus and find out that it moved halfway through. Doing it this way will save you tons of time in post production.
Once they are all shot, I simply import into Lightroom, edit the first one, sync the remaining to the first one and review again to make sure they are still lined up evenly. Make sure to bump the whites a bit in the develop module to ensure the final image will be pure white.
If done correctly you should be good to go, OR edit them individually as desired in PS.
Questions, comments, or rants? Drop em in the comments.