Tricky Little Product Shot

by William Lulow

Here’s a seemingly simple little product shot that turned out to be a bit more complicated than it appeared. The client wanted a shot of this breast pump machine shot on a plain, white background to match other shots on the company’s website. There were plenty of intricacies about the product which didn’t lend itself to silhouetting in Photoshop easily. Therefore, it had to be lit correctly so that the product would show against the white background and the background itself, had to match the other shots already on the website.

Believe it or not, this image was lit with three lights. One that lit the vertical part of the background and the top of the product, a second that lit the front of the product and carried the tone of the white background, a third that light the right side of the product and carried the white tone to the lower right of the image.

When you think of rendering the background tone separately from the subject, the lighting setup will usually fall into place. It’s when you try to do too much with one light that you run into trouble. This lighting setup was achieved by a step-by-step approach, as I do in all my lightings.

With all the care taken to render all the tones, I still needed to bring the exposure on the transparent bottles down by creating a separate layer in Photoshop, selecting the bottles with the magnetic lasso tool and then adjusting the contrast.