Two studio/product lighting tips for you, prompted by me shooting a few product shots just now for upcoming reviews. Shots like this:
That was taken here:
Which, when seen from behind, looks like this:
So what are the tips?
First, avoid stray light, especially on your background. Saturation means “how little white light is mixed in”. A saturated colour has no white mixed in. An unsaturated colour has much white mixed in.
So use a grey backdrop if you can, or just use distance and directional light. Of course since I am using an umbrella and a softbox, much light will stray. So I keep the background far away (you all remember the inverse square law).
So, not this:
But more like this.
Then set your camera to what you like (f/9 and 1/125th for me), and get the background right.
First take a picture with no flash, to ensure that is black; then shoot while activating the background light only. Now get the flash power right: too little and you get a dark background; too much and it turns white. For me, I found this about right:
Then you get the rest right, i.e. set the right power for your main lights, and finally, shoot the shot.
Second tip: always use a brush or compressed air to clean your product. Otherwise, hours of photoshopping will result.