Knowing What Art Directors Want!

Knowing What Art Directors Want!

by William Lulow

Shooting images for any publication requires the photographer to do some homework involving a knowledge of what art directors are looking for in images that illustrate their articles. In order to know what an art director wants in a photograph, one must know what art directors do and how they do it. An art director is responsible for assembling the artwork needed to illustrate the many articles that a magazine or newspaper (or other publication) publishes. The Creative Director is an art director who is responsible for the entire “look” of the publication from images and typography, to layout and overall design. An art director with whom you might work as a photographer, may just be responsible for all photography in the publication. Or, she may be responsible for certain types of articles. Typically, in larger publications, AD jobs are relegated to a staff of art directors, each with her own, particular niche. In smaller publications, there may be only one AD responsible for all the illustration content.

At any rate, as a photographer, you are responsible to the person who hires you and this is the person you must please if you are thinking of doing more than one job for her. The first thing I always do is to make sure I am thoroughly familiar with the entire publication. That means all the columns, all the features and the way the magazine or paper looks. Sometimes an AD will say “Go and shoot so-and-so for this article we’re doing.” If I don’t know the AD, I will start by asking to see what is called a “galley” of the piece they are doing. I want to read the article so that I know what the writer or reporter is talking about. My job is to help illustrate the article with interesting images that will help readers get a better idea of who is in the article and what it is they do. If there is no galley (sometimes articles haven’t actually been written yet), I will make sure that I am, as I said, familiar with other articles the magazine has done so that I can see just how other images have been used in the past. I also know from experience, that art directors want to be able to see an entire image. They don’t want images that have been cropped or otherwise “doctored” by photographers. They want to do all that. So, I strive to give them full shots that they can crop as they wisht. You also never know how the AD will use your photos. Sometimes they might be square. Sometimes long rectangles to be used in spaces that need special treatment. Sometimes an image might be used as a header for an article. Sometimes it might be used as a “double truck” (which is an image that spans both pages in a magazine). Such an image will probably need room in it for the AD to lay type over the photo or drop type out of it. So, compositions need to be provided that will enable the AD to use the picture however he or she sees fit.

Here are some samples from magazines and articles on which I have worked:

CounselorCoverMAR09

This image has plenty of white space as well as plenty of black space into which the AD put his copy. Cover shots especially, have to have all these elements. Here’s an interior image:

ArticlePhoto_1

Here the AD used a combination of header image with copy laid over it and plain copy used underneath it. Here’s yet another use:

LesterWunderman(Tearsheet)

This image was used as an insert with the copy running around it as well as some copy dropped out of it.

The point is that photographers need to know what art directors want. They need to know the publications for which they are shooting and all the possible ways that their images might be used. I also like to provide my art directors with enough images from which to choose. In this business, having too many images is not necessarily a bad thing unless they are repetitive. They must be different enough that the art director can choose between a few.

Sometimes, knowing what they want is something you should study carefully and sometimes, knowing what they want can be intuitive. Most images made for magazines are purposefully made. Every once in a great while they may use a “lucky” shot, but if you, as a photographer, take care to see that you are in the right place at the right time and know all the ins-and-outs of your equipment and how to use it correctly, you will, most likely come up with shots that your art directors will love.

How To Use “Back Button” Focusing

How To Use “Back Button” Focusing

by William Lulow

Well, even an “old pro” like me can learn a thing or two. I read an article in PDN last year about something called “Back Button Focusing,” and learned that you can assign a button on the back of your DSLR to use for your auto focusing tasks. Most DSLRS these days have a feature which enables the user to hold the shutter release button down half way to allow the camera’s auto focus mechanism to acquire proper focus on the subject. Then, when you actually release the shutter button all the way, the picture is taken. Re-assigning the AF task is a simple matter, but you need to consult your camera manual for how this is done with your particular camera.

With “Back Button Focusing”, you can use one of the buttons on the back of the camera to do the same thing. I have been using this technique all the time now and did so several months ago while photographing singer/songwriter Kathy Mattea in concert. I re-assigned the auto focus task to my AF button which I held down with my thumb while I pressed the shutter button with my forefinger, as always. I set up only ONE AF point in the center and while holding down the AF button on the part of the image I wanted to be sharp, I re-composed the shot and then released the shutter with my forefinger. What I found was that the whole procedure of using auto-focus seemed to go a bit faster. One certainly doesn’t have to go to this trouble if you can remember to hold the shutter release button down half way while the camera acquires the proper focus. But, I found it much easier to use both buttons.

For these images, I aimed the center AF point directly on the singer’s face to make sure that it was sharp, held the “Back Button” down and released the shutter, keeping the AF where I wanted it:

Mattea_0325(c)

Mattea_0151(c)

Mattea_0207(c)

Since most of my early concert shots were done in Black&White, I always like to shoot some frames in original monochrome mode when I’m shooting concerts these days.

So, try this technique out. See if you like it and it helps you with your AF tasks. I found it to be particularly helpful with subjects that move a lot. I’ve taken to using it with my normal studio portrait shoots as well. Just seems to make things faster and easier.

Professional Lighting With An iPhone?

Professional Lighting With An iPhone?

by William Lulow

 iPhone(White)

It appears that Apple will try to make the iPhone more like a normal camera by giving it the ability to make an image with some depth-of-field! (That they did with the iPhone 7).  That’s really great, except what about using studio strobe equipment? And what about more control using different lens apertures and shutter speeds?

Until now, there was no way that an iPhone could trigger a studio strobe unit. Reading further on the internet, I found out that a company is currently producing an item called a Tric Cam Lite (free downloadable app from the App Store). This little unit works through a Blue Tooth connection between the Tric unit and your iPhone. (Not as yet available for Androids).

No doubt that iPhones are handy tools to use, but my complaint has always been that other than using hotlights, there was no way you could use the iPhone in the studio. Even with traditional hotlights, getting creative looking images was difficult because of the iPhone camera’s program that tries to make everything in front of it visible! There are some shoots when you want to have a dramatic lighting and not have everything lit up! The iPhone struggles to do this because there is really no aperture, speed control or ISO settings when you are shooting. You can change things about an image in post-processing, but it’s difficult to control other exposure modifications during the shooting! So, I’m not sure this little invention will entice regular professionals to use their iPhones for assignments. When I shoot an assignment, I usually shoot hundreds of images from which I edit down to a selection of images I send to the client. When I shoot with my iPhone, I have to upload everything to my iCloud account, then download them again to bring them into Lightroom and eventually into Photoshop for editing. Seems like much more work than simply downloading them from the camera into Lightroom. But, I’m certainly no iPhone expert, so maybe I’m doing something wrong. I am a lighting expert, however, and it will be interesting to see results from my iPhone with this little gimick! I am planning eventually to pick one up and do some tests.

Follow this link http://petapixel.com/2015/06/09/tric-is-the-worlds-first-professional-flash-trigger-for-iphones/  to read the article.

Here’s the link to the website: TricFlash

There are some problems with this unit however, so it may not be for everyone. But it’s a pretty good indicator of how the field of photography is headed for even more change in the future.

The fact remains that the iPhone, or any camera phone, for that matter, was never designed as a professional tool for image making! There are snap on lenses for some of the newer models, but they hardly take the place of the superior optics available for professional grade DSLRs. Camera phones, as I have said many times, have been designed as, more or less, foolproof snapshot cameras (which they really aren’t), for the more than several billion users worldwide! I’m not sure what the future iterations of iPhones will be like, but I am sure that manufacturers will try to make the taking of professional grade images ubiquitous worldwide in the next few years!

Balancing Interior And Exterior Exposures

Balancing Interior And Exterior Exposures

by William Lulow

We are often called upon to make images of interior spaces that have windows and include some exterior spaces as well. What’s the best way of combining exposures so that BOTH interior and exterior spaces are well exposed?

In the days of film, a photographer had to light the interior and then expose it to balance the exterior exposure. So, the procedure would most often involve taking a meter reading of the exterior exposure and setting the interior exposure’s aperture to be equal to it. Then, one would have to adjust the shutter speed to provide enough light for the interior. If you were shooting with flash, the speed of the flash was fairly constant. That’s why it wasn’t factored in to the overall exposure. If you slowed down your shutter speed, you were just letting some ambient light in to light up the interior, while keeping the aperture for both interior and exterior the same. Sometimes, you had to provide enough light from your flash heads to equal the exterior exposure if you wanted to stop any interior action. Also, you needed to balance any interior lights for daylight color temperature. None of these measures are really needed these days, but exposure balance is still necessary.

Whether you are shooting film or digitally, if you are trying to balance interior and exterior exposures, the interior will have to be lit. Here are some interesting images I made just with my digital camera:

This first image was made of the interior alone. I used the camera’s meter to arrive at the correct exposure, but the exterior is way overexposed.

Next, I made an exposure of the exterior also based on my camera’s meter reading. (I have my camera set on center/spot, so that I can get an accurate reading of anything I aim at). So, the exterior is properly exposed, but the interior is way under-exposed.

So, somewhere in between these two exposures you would figure the correct exposure for both interior and exterior would be, right? Well, it doesn’t work that way in practice. An exposure directly in between would still yield a dark interior and a much too light exterior.

My solution, in this case was to add some light to the interior with my camera’s built-in flash while keeping my exterior exposure just a bit brighter than the reading I got with my camera’s meter. I just made these images kind of off the cuff here to illustrate this article. Were I to photograph this interior/exterior as an assignment, I would have brought several lights in order to light up the interior more fully. I then would have gone through the same process of balancing the lens aperture for both interior and exterior exposures. But this kind of technique works in a pinch. You just have to think about getting the exposure for the exterior and then tweaking the interior exposure using a combination of your camera’s flash and shutter speed.

The Making Of A Great Portrait

The Making Of A Great Portrait

by William Lulow

On my home page, I indicate that light is probably the single most important element to consider when doing portraits. But, once you’ve decided on the kind of lighting you want to use, and you’ve got all your exposures and light placement down right where you want them,  the next most important thing is to find a combination of expression and attitude that says what you want to say about someone you are photographing.

Today, I’m going to take you behind the scenes a bit,  in this process!

I am always called on to make portraits of individuals that can “sell” them! By this I mean, that I want a viewer to look at one of my portraits and think “I’d like to meet that person,” or listen to what she has to say. So, my technique includes making many images while I engage my subjects in conversation, mostly trying to find out what will animate them and bring out their personalities a bit. The shoots average around one hundred poses. Some are very similar, but there is always one that captures that elusive moment when the subject has become relaxed and begins to have an emotional attachment to the camera. Such was the case recently with one of my Linked In connections who needed to update his portrait. 

One of the things I’m fond of doing during the shoot is NOT to look in the camera all the time. I set my camera on a tripod and when everything else is all set up, there is really no reason I need to be looking in the viewfinder. Perhaps this is a throwback to the days when I shot many portraits with a view camera and film and thus was not able to be looking in the viewfinder when the photograph was made. So, I position my face as close to the lens as I can and sometimes I ask my subjects to play to the lens. They can still see my face so that there is nothing blocking them from seeing me. The camera should not really be in the way of the photographer relating to his subject.

The other thing I’m always looking for when I do portraits, is the expression in my subjects’ eyes. The eyes are the most important element of the face when it comes to portraits. First of all, there are usually the white parts of the eye and then there is the color of the eyes themselves. Second, when the subject is truly involved in the shoot and is reacting to conversation, there is a certain gleam present in the eyes that creates that intangible feeling of connection for which I’m always on the lookout!

Here are some samples from this recent shoot:

Note that all of these images were taken at the same time, perhaps just seconds apart. They have also been chosen by the subject and there has been some basic retouching done on all of them. To me, they are all pretty good and they show the subject off with a high degree of clarity. The lighting was just what I wanted. So, what makes the difference? Obviously, the larger one is better than the rest. But what makes it so?

Well, I’m looking for several things: the angle of the head, the shape of the mouth and the intensity of the expression. Remember, I want people to look at these images and think “I would love to meet this person.” So, left to right on the top, the first portrait is good, but the overall expression is not that great and the eyes are kind of dead. In the second one, the expression is okay but again, the eyes have nothing special. The third is good, but, the expression is a bit stilted. The fourth one is also “okay” but lacks something in the expression. The big one however, (which is the “final”) has the head straight up, there is a glimmer of something in the eyes, and has a “presence” about it. It’s friendly but also professional. The eyes have a definite gleam and it is a welcoming kind of portrait. This is the one that we both agreed would be the one he would use.

This is the process that I use most often when deciding which image, out of a hundred or so, to use. Sometimes it is very difficult to pick a best one. And, many of my clients have told me that the most difficulty they had was picking among a number of great images. That’s the result I always want to have.

Learning To “See” Light

Learning To “See” Light

by William Lulow

Students often ask what the purpose is in learning studio lighting for portraits, when they really don’t have an interest in setting up their own studios or portrait business. It’s a great question, and easily answered. You need to know what the classical lighting setups are in order to be aware of them when they occur in nature! Even if you never work with any artificial light, it would behoove you to learn what it’s all about. Many would-be photographers can recognize a good, crisp light on a building, but really couldn’t tell you how it was created – how the sun and shadows play with each other to create an interesting light.

So, if you learn your studio lighting, you will be better able to spot them as they happen and take advantage of the various effects created. Your photographs will improve dramatically! Don’t forget that it is really light that makes a photograph special!

There are many studio lighting setups. Here are just a few:

  1. Hollywood Light:
  2. Rembrandt Light
  3. Side Light
  4. Edge Light
  5. Halo Light
  6. Silhouette Light

I’m only going to concentrate on the first six studio lighting setups for this article. There are quite a few more, but once you learn them, you should be able to recognize them when you see them. To help you do this, I’ve included some examples of these lightings here alongside similar lightings I’ve found in nature

1. Hollywood Light:

The “natural”  image was made from a helicopter with a 4×5 flat-bed view camera mounted on a gyroscope. I went up just at the right time for the sun to create this lighting on the famous statue. Note the telltale shadow under the nose! In the studio version, the light was simply on the other side of the face.

2. Rembrandt Light:

The shot of some peonies was made when the sun was about 45-degrees to the right of the flower and made this light. (Note where the shadows are). The shadows will tell you the kind of light you are using. The studio Rembrandt Light was made with the light at a 45-degree angle from the camera position and above the camera as well.

3. Side Light:

Shooting a performance from the side is a great example of how to use a SIDE LIGHT. When you stand next to the stage, the lights are in front of the stage. But from the camera’s position, they make a SIDE LIGHT.

4. Edge Light:

The EDGE LIGHT comes from 45 degrees behind the subject and lights just the edge of the face (hence the name). In this “natural” shot, the light was coming from  just behind the subject as well, creating a nice highlight on the shoreline’s edge.

5. Halo Light:

The HALO LIGHT is created by putting the light directly behind the subject and making the shadow of the subject fall on the camera lens. Often tricky to do in nature, this image was made with the sun just about directly behind these plants. I had to use my hat as a lens shade. Sometimes I use a black umbrella to shade my lens. You can often stand in the shadow of a tree or building and photograph your subject in the sun with the light behind it, thus creating a “halo.”

6. Silhouette Light:

The definition of a silhouette is that the background is lit and not the subject. There should be no detail in the subject. In this natural silhouette, there was just a little spill-over from the background so that some detail on the faces can be seen. Otherwise, all the light came from behind the subjects.

In order to recognize these lightings as they occur naturally, as I said, you need to know what they look like in the studio. You can refer back to earlier blog articles in which they are explained in more detail (with diagrams of how I set them up in the studio), but knowing them will greatly improve your image-making!

The Real Need For Education Or “How To Re-Invent Yourself!”

The Real Need For Education or “How To Re-Invent Yourself!”

by William Lulow

Many people seem to be angry these days about technology taking their jobs and they sometimes look to politicians to help change things. Well, as someone once said, “You can’t stop the growth of technology and you can’t stop change.” After all, we outgrew the need for lamplighters well over a century ago. And, politicians from the coal-producing states had better get used to the notion that coal mining, the way it used to be, is a thing of the past as well. But, it’s hard to convince people to change when they’ve been used to a certain way of life for generations.

It’s the advancing technology that produces this type of change and it has affected the photography industry as well. But, as old-fashioned jobs are lost, there are many new ones that technology creates. With the photography industry, it’s really the photographer’s creative “eye” that hasn’t really changed all that much. Even though there are new cameras, digital applications and mobile smart phones with cameras built in, the basic need for photographs has only increased not decreased! The problem is that many photographers have had to re-invent the way they make images and thus conduct their businesses. No job will remain as it used to be for very long, so we must re-think what kinds of jobs we want to do and how we wish to proceed. Also, I’ve mentioned before that the world has become a very “do-it-yourself” (DIY) place. People can do all sorts of things these days that they couldn’t do before without some kind of professional intervention. So, rather than lament a lost job, we need to invent new ones. Or, we need to re-invent different and more modern ways of doing the old jobs and sometimes, we need to become more entrepreneurial and change our business models to keep up with the times!

Photography is one of those fields that is both an art and a science at the same time. There are certain precepts that you must follow if you are going to make a successful image no matter what equipment you use! You still have to use a camera of some sort and you still need to use light to make most photographs. This is where the education part comes in. Learning about light AND new equipment would increase your chances of making good photographs. I thought about this over thirty years ago when I began teaching at the New School For Social Research in New York City. I could see that there were people back then, who were attempting to make photographs without really understanding the properties of light! So, I thought it would be a good idea to begin teaching other people what I was doing in my studio to make the kinds of images I was making, and to teach them about how to use light to create better images.

I knew also, that I wanted to impart my love of photography to others and to help them make better portraits. I am certainly not the first photographer who has made this transition. There are many others as well. But, I have developed, over the years, a step-by-step approach to the teaching of studio lighting for portraits which greatly simplifies the application of artificial light in a studio setting. It proceeds from the use of one light up to using multiple lights to help make your portraits (and other photographic efforts) take on new dimensions.

This “re-invention” was a fairly logical step in my case, because I am a trained teacher.  I wound up creating several courses in photography from beginning camera techniques to advanced lighting applications and I often share what I know from my forty years in the photography business, right here in these blog articles.

But, what is significant about my change and re-invention can be applied to almost any industry. With more people trying to do things themselves, comes more demand for information on how, exactly to do it! So, one way to re-invent oneself in today’s employment market is to offer people a way to learn to do what you do!

My workshops offer various techniques in photography and portrait lighting. One of them was about how to use what you know of psychology to make better, more compelling portraits. This was one of the ads I posted via social media and email:

I know several people who have done this in their various fields and met with a high degree of success.

Teaching time-proven techniques only helps elevate everyone’s skill level and helps them re-invent themselves as well!

Photography History: Irving Penn

The History Of Photography: Irving Penn

by William Lulow

I meet many photographers, or people interested in photography these days, who don’t even know who the great practitioners of the art were! Maybe they have heard of Ansel Adams or Avedon but they haven’t ever heard of Halsman, Friedlander, Weston or Evans! It’s amazing to me that people who pretend to “study” the art or business of photography would have never studied these people. And yet, this kind of ignorance is pervasive. When I was learning my craft, I also learned who its greatest practitioners were. I went to countless museums, galleries and shows. I bought and read quite a few books by the real pioneers in photography from Joseph Niepce to Bert Stern. I wanted to know as much as I could about the profession I had chosen. For me, it was something I loved, not just a means to make a living.

Anyway, I had a chance to revisit some truly great images the other day at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was a retrospective of many famous images by Irving Penn! Penn was a true giant in our field.

This exhibit took up over seven rooms. The sheer quantity of Penn’s work could have easily filled more space. There were images here that even I hadn’t seen before (and I have several books that he made). Penn was a true master. He was interested in still life as well as portraits and fashion. I have said many times that a really good photographer could probably photograph anything well! And the reason for this is because he studied the craft and how to use it successfully. He understood light and the processing and printing of film as well. Penn actually had a portable studio built for him that he took around the world. It was like a translucent tent that could be oriented in such a way as to pick up beautiful, soft north light that artists crave!

In addition to his superb understanding of the technical aspects of photography, he also had a keen awareness of how people reacted to the process of having their portraits made. This included Morroccan Arabs as well as the Mud Men of New Guinea.

This is Penn’s Rolleiflex (a 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 twin-lens reflex, square-format camera). These cameras were designed to shoot 120 or 220 size film. The 220 type usually contained 24 exposures per roll.  It is mounted on a Tilt-All tripod head. Many photographers in the 1950s to the 1980s shot with large-format cameras like Deardorff 8x10s or 4x5s. But, the twin-lens variety was very popular because of its much lighter weight and the ability to shoot many frames quickly without having to reload. The larger format film made much sharper images than did its 35mm equivalent.

This was the background that Penn used for many of his images when he was traveling. It is a painted canvas that was rolled up when not in use and yielded a nice even tone background for many of his images.

One of the things I noticed right away about this exhibit was the number of people who came to the galleries on the same day I did. I was amazed at how crowded they were. But, Penn was no ordinary photographer. He was an innovator in the field testified to by the numbers of people in attendance.

Here was an image Penn put together by making four separate prints:

This was done by taping four pieces of photographic paper together and then projecting the negative on them at the same time. I remember doing this to get a 30 x 40″  image of the Statue of Liberty, which I had photographed for American Express. Many photographers (probably including Penn and definitely Ansel Adams) had horizontal enlargers which projected images on a wall-mounted easel. In my old darkroom, I had the room to turn my enlarger around and project the image on the floor.

The history of photography including its more influential practitioners,  is important to study, not only for inspiration but to gain a better understanding of what it was to be innovative in the past. It also gives one a better appreciation for the art form in general. This was truly a remarkable exhibition!

Career Paths To Photography Jobs

Career Paths To Photography Jobs

by William Lulow

As a teacher of photography and, having taught in New York’s public school system, I have always had a healthy respect for what education can do. I have been called on many times to speak to young people about their career choices and what it takes to succeed in the world of professional photography in particular. Recently, I participated in yet another forum about careers aimed at college juniors and seniors given by Pace University, here in Westchester. This one was aimed at the fashion industry, but they wanted to have a fashion photographer to round out the panel.

Some of the questions were:

  1. What is the typical career path one takes to get to work for a company like yours?
  2. What makes for a good resume to gain entrance to your profession?
  3. What kind of advice would you give to someone desiring a career like yours?
  4. What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
  5. What is the workload of your job like? Do you get to travel?
  6. What is the typical entry level job in your profession like?
  7. Is your job competitive? What makes certain candidates stand out?
  8. What is the most fun part of working in your job? What was your transition from college to the workforce like?

These were just a few of the questions posed to our panel. For someone like me who has been in my field for over forty years, career paths today are somewhat different than they were when I started. For one thing, communication methods have changed drastically. Just about everyone, no matter what the job, needs a website or at least, a landing page to explain who they are and what they do. These days, one has to be a good communicator just because there are so many more people vying for just about every position. Not only that, but people who would hire you don’t always have time to see you right off the street. They first have to be impressed by something about you. Something you write about, something you do, something you have published – all play a part in building up interest in you!

In the field of commercial photography, it used to be that you could show a prospective client a portfolio in hopes of getting hired to do a free-lance job. Today, that process has become much more difficult for many reasons. Some art directors like to “discover” talent on their own. Some like to see published work before they hire you for a job. Others sometimes wait until they have seen enough successful work of the type they need, before they will hire you. There are far fewer clients who are willing to take a chance on an unknown talent because there is just so much more talent out there!

However, one thing is clear these days…education is still of paramount importance no matter what field you intend to pursue. There is just no substitute for having knowledge about the history, philosophy, arts and humanities in the world. It just gives you a foundation that is far more valuable than any technique or craft you might learn. Technique can be taught. But possessing true knowledge can only be achieved through a thorough, liberal-arts-type education. And it’s that type of background that will give you an edge on those who are just good practitioners.

In the field of commercial portrait photography, I meet people from literally all walks of life, with all sorts of different interests and ideas. My degrees in philosophy, communication and education have helped me immensely with being able to talk about various topics of interest to my clients over the years and to make connections valuable to sustaining my business for as long as I have.

(Thanks to Anthony K. Bradford of Pace University for this article’s images)

Photographing Beauty Products

Photographing Beauty Products

by William Lulow

As I have said before, commercial photographers are often called upon to shoot all sorts of things besides people. They have to have the know-how and equipment necessary to make products as well as people, look good.

Recently I completed the second day of shooting for Jill Harth Cosmetics This time it was lipsticks and lip gloss. The setup actually included three soft boxes, all balanced with the same power to give the set an even light. I used a large one on the left, medium on top and a small one on the right.

Here was the setup:

I wanted to have a medium-sized softbox directly above the products to give a smooth highlight on top as well as light the background evenly.

Here is one of the results:

You can see the effectiveness of that softbox by looking at the highlight on the top of the lipstick. Notice how smooth it is and how it reflects the color perfectly and gives it some depth! This was also a shadowless light that required absolutely no retouching! The vertical highlight on the product makes it look even longer than it is and adds an even quality to the light. This is the type of effect you should be seeking when shooting products, especially reflective ones.

Here’s another example:

This was a silver container. Note the even lighting and how the product “pops.”

Here is Jill working her magic on her own products:

These images were basically for Jill’s website. All images were shot with an ISO of 100, 1/100th of a second at f/13. Power on my Dynalite M1000 packs was on 125 watt/seconds (one its lowest settings).