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Time to be with loved ones

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I'm looking to do some very high quality professional looking shots for my collection of various items. They are not big items, imagine camera collection or lens collection etc. What must I buy to be able to do shots similar to these?

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I know there are a few discussions here that covered these kind of things. But I'm looking specifically for an ability to do the kind of shot that has a cool reflection at the bottom like the image above. Also, dramatic lighting not just even lighting on the entire object.

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Start with a book, maybe a camera or two, a studio, etc. –  dpollitt May 14 '13 at 20:51
    
Start with practice using smaller objects before buying anything. I think you're really asking the wrong question here, this isn't answered by a list of things to buy. –  John Cavan May 14 '13 at 20:53
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Is that top photo even a photo? It looks like a 'concept' rendering... –  NULLZ May 15 '13 at 0:04
    
To start with, you need a fancy bike to make the top picture and a fancy car to make the bottom picture. –  Olin Lathrop 5 hours ago
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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Wow. That is analogous to asking a top chef in a top restaurant what you would need to buy to make food as good as his. Or perhaps asking a surgeon what you would need to buy to be able to repair hearts like he did.

So, now that I have made my point on experience, practice and skill, I will make an attempt to answer your question:

Images such as these are carefully composed, in a controlled studio, with lights, modifiers and likely a bit of photoshop (in the case of this image). You can see it is smoothly lighted from the back, top. The front is either reflected, or using a low power light as the accent.

  • So for the image of the bike, there are likely 3, perhaps 4, studio lights. They appear to be modified with snoots or grids, and likely are softboxes rather than umbrellas.

  • It is sitting on a reflective surface, likely a piece of lexan.

  • The backdrop is a smooth paper or perhaps a cyclorama.

  • Camera, lens and I suspect a tripod. This image appears to be metered for the top lighting, so any ambient has mostly been removed with settings, suggesting a slow shutter speed. Otherwise, there is no way of knowing the studio conditions.

The colored lights look suspiciously like Photoshop. In fact the entire image does in some ways. This entire image is easily possible with Photoshop in the hands of a skilled artist.

So you would need:

4 studio lights softboxes, grids, snoots for lights background or cyclorama in studio lexan sheet material Photoshop Camera, lens Tripod

The car is similar. Its on a reflective glass or plastic sheeting, it is lit from the top and front. Softboxes and grids. Metered for key, therefore the background doesn't matter, and there likely is not one.

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Nice description of how to recreate the bike in the real world, but its definitely a 3d rendering, ive seen it numerous times before :-) and the car is a (real) model. –  Darkcat Studios May 14 '13 at 20:17
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That looks like a 3D rendering to me!

However to achieve similar results on smaller items you will need:

  • A Grey backdrop and/or black, and some black side panels
  • A piece of thin glass to place under the item to create the reflection
  • Lighting - I would go with a twin-head studio system with soft-boxes (although these seem to use a single source)
  • a long-ish prime lens (say 100m - 150mm) - zoom would be ok, but possibly not "very high quality professional looking"

You did not ask HOW do do this, just what to buy, so I will not answer that!

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Please tell me how I can take the shot, and "very high quality professional looking"! What lens do I need? –  erotsppa May 14 '13 at 19:46
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For smaller objects a light box and lighting equipment (either fixed or strobe) is a minimum to start. For larger objects, backdrops and larger lights or strobes that will allow you to setup studio lighting.

While the equipment is key (you'll probably need at least 3 or more good lights), skill and practice are going to be far more critical. Especially when too big for a light box. A light box does a pretty good job of making it easier to get good quality images but only works up to a certain size before things start getting much more complicated and expensive.

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