After watching a series of our Studio Photography Insights G+ Hangouts I’ve noticed common mistakes photographers do, and created this post to highlight them and help to solve them based on eight examples. The images I have selected are from our weekly assignments submissions, done by our hangout and assignment participants.
These are very easy and fast fixes, but they change the final look drastically.
1. Not White Enough Background
If you choose to have a white background, it should be white, not grey. If you want a grey background it should be a more pronounceable grey, better with a gradient.
2. Uneven Horizontal Line (not leveled shot)
Use levels to make sure your table and camera are horizontal. After the shot, you can use guides in Photoshop to check the horizontal line. It should be strictly horizontal, unless it was planned to be different.
3. Not a Clean(ed) Photo
Make sure you clean all the dust, imperfections, sensor dirt spots, and uneven gradients. An image looks very unprofessional with all this stuff on it.
4. Not Enough Contrast
Use Levels or Curves in Photoshop to add contrast to your subject. Contrast will make your photo pop.
5. Not Bright Enough: Items that should be Bright and full of Contrast (text on labels, ornaments, watch hands etc.)
Use Dodge tool, or Dodge and Burn Technique to make part of the subject brighter where it is needed.
6. Wrong White Balance
Adjust the white balance in Adobe Camera Raw or using Curves in Photoshop. I’ve added brightness and contrast to this image as well.
7. Not Correct Perspective
Unless you have the ability to tilt and shift your lens, use the transform tool to correct the perspective.
8. Not Realistic / Not good looking Reflection(s)
Unless you have a separate shot for a real reflection, it is better not to have a reflection at all. Example is below: I left just a little reflection from the stones to give an idea about the reflectiveness of the surface and removed the rest of the stones. Even though it was a real reflection (sorry, we though it was fake at first), it took too much attention from the subject.
Hope this will help you guys understand that post production is extremely important in product photography, and it is not wise to EVER post an images as-is, even if you got a pretty good result out of the camera.