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Creating Volume & Shape of a Textured Subject

Creating Volume & Shape of a Textured Subject

This BTS video will show the basic approach on how to shoot any non-glossy subjects in tabletop photography, and how to create volume and show the shape. Enjoy :-)


How the Canons Were Photographed: 

These are some of the shots from the photo-shoot:


The most important to remember:

  • Use side lighting, find an angle where it creates gradients on a subject’s flat surfaces
  • Use diffusers or reflectors to create a gradient if needed. Avoid flat a look (i.e evenly filled with light flat surfaces)
  • Stripboxes (narrow softboxes) are preferable for shots like this
  • Tip: use the dodge and burn tool in photoshop to enhance / create gradients on flat surfaces of a subject, if it was not possible to do it with lights during the shot.
  • Create a reflection on the glass (lens) with stripbox, not a softbox ( check out my mistake, make sure you watch the video till the end)
  • If shooting on black, consider creating a gradient on the background, it will add drama to the shot.


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8 responses on "Creating Volume & Shape of a Textured Subject"

  1. Hi! Where did you got those small mirrors?.. I could use a few of those….


  2. Hi Alex,
    I like the Pro Corner. It’s rich information.
    Really, there are many tips and tricks of studio. That’s fun!!!
    In this tutorial, I saw you’re looking best place to open light on EOS logo with mirror.
    I thought in that position of subject. If you see from the camera (active), the logo EOS reflected the base (black base),
    then you should to open the logo from direction of the table to earn light on, isn’t it?
    or use two shots as you did and use mask in the pos.


    • Marcio,

      Yes, with different angle we could get a reflection from a light modifier into canon logo.. But in many cases product angle is pre-defined by a customer, so photographer has to know how to highlight what is needed without changing the angle. Imagine that it will be 5 different pieces you need to highlight: camera rotation won’t work, but a mirror(s) will do the job:-)

      Thank you!

  3. Solid tutorial Alex! Whether photography student or seasoned professional, there is something to take home here for everyone. Really cool that you switch subjects and show different techniques to accent the best parts of each product. Thank you!

  4. Beautiful work Alex are you using Capture One with a Phaseone digital back?

  5. Hallo Alex!
    Six months ago, a good experience at Google Plus. Since then, listening, reading your articles. Past week I bought a package of HDR photography and Tabletop yesterday. Results are amazing. It is much easier and simpler than learning in a school. Congratulations and thank you, that I can learn from you! I wish you good health and an outstanding year!
    Laszlo (Germany)

  6. hi Alex,

    which software you were using for live view and remote shooting, it wasn’t lightroom right ?

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