product photography

Our Product Photography Tutorial Is Only a Few Weeks Away

Back in the first part of December, 2014, Tony had the opportunity to shoot some epic tutorial videos for RGG EDU (you can get a peek behind the scenes on the RGG EDU blog). Over a period of eight days, the RGG EDU crew shot fifteen videos of Tony imparting his knowledge of commercial product photography for Catalog, Editorial, and Direct Business. The shoot was 3 months in the works, and another two in post production, but is finally ready for it's launch the first week of March. The tutorial offers an in depth, step by step break down of product photography from set up to post.  RGG EDU and Tony offer a valuable resource for anyone with an interest in commercial product photography, and at $299 it's a hellova deal! Anyone who signs up for RGG EDU's online newsletter gets opportunities for early release of the tutorials as well as info on upcoming releases and workshops. So go sign up!

BlackRapid Podcast

I'm currently in the planning stages for a product photography workshop with the fine folks at BlackRapid, maker of the best straps in the biz, at their Seattle studio in January (more details on that later). During my last visit to their facility, I sat down for a Podcast to discuss my background, my photographic process, Fstoppers, RGG EDU, and lots of other random topics. You can download it on iTunes or listen here:

http://www.blackrapidmedia.com/podcast/ep-39-tony-roslund/

Tips To Improve Your Beverage Photography: Secrets Of The Craft

This week I wanted to  share a few of the tools we commercial photographers use to create our tabletop images. Particularly the items used in photographing beverages. There's a lot of trial and error when it comes to this sort of photography, often times we find ourselves using things in ways far from their originally intended purpose. Having said that, there's a lot of things that have become kind-of standard practice in food/beverage photography, some of those items I'll share with you today. 

I certainly don't claim to know everything, as most of these techniques come from years of experience working with [food] stylists and even other photographers, a learning curve that never ends. I attribute much of what I've learned about food/beverage photography to my mentor Rob Grimm, one of the masters of this genre. Another source for knowledge on prepping food for the camera is a great book called "Food Styling: The Art of Preparing Food for the Camera" by food stylist Delores Custer, that has many more tips and tricks beyond what I've discussed here. If you want to know more, I'd recommend picking up a copy.

Below I've outlined the items mentioned in this video, most of which is available at drug stores and/or grocery stores.

Tacky Putty
Microfiber Cloth
White Cotton Gloves
Tacky Wax
Orthodontic Wax
Canned Air
Atomizer
Glycerin
Krylon Crystal Clear
Goof Off
3M ScotchBright Pad
Acrylic Ice
Rubber Funnel
Kitchen Bouquet
Ice Powder

I look forward to seeing what the viewers do with these tips, and hope you'll share your images on our Fstoppers community. If you have questions, please don't hesitate to hit me up on social media.

Diamonds are Forever | Jewelry Photography

We wrapped our first catalog shoot for Jewelry Design Center, a new client for our studio and one of the largest jewelers in Spokane. Shooting diamonds and precious stones is always an exercise in patience as even the slightest movement in lighting, camera, or subject position can dramatically change the sparkle or "fire" in the stones.

The settings and bands can also be a challenge because of their highly reflective properties which mirror essentially every angle in the room. Trying to balance the two (stone/settings) and make them both captivating at the same time takes a bit of magic.

Typically, for an advertising shoot, we would shoot for each of those elements separately and composite them in post. On a catalog shoot however, efficiency is key. The budgets are smaller with time frames to match, which means we have to capture the entire piece in a single setup.

With our PhaseOne camera, depth-of-field (depth-of-focus) is very shallow (only a couple millimeters) so we have to shoot 15 images per piece, adjusting the focus slightly with each press of the shutter. We then merge all those captures together in a process called "focus stacking" using special software. This allows us to show the entire piece in focus, a task that would be almost impossible with digital cameras.

Once we've merged the photos, we send them off to a retoucher specializing in jewelry, who cleans up any imperfections.

We look forward to doing more elaborate advertising imagery with JDC in the future, but this project was a great way to get familiar with the client and their preferences. Here's a few of the catalog images we created:

Diamond Jewelry Catalog Photography

Diamond Jewelry Catalog Photography

Tony Roslund Photography
www.tonyroslund.com
Spokane - 509-995-6316
Seattle - 206-486-5857
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The Professional Advantage

There are times I communicate with potential clients regarding a project that they ultimately elect to either tackle themselves, or hire another photographer who may not have adequate experience in the applicable genre. The decision is usually made with the intention of helping their business by saving money. The problem with that philosophy is that photography is generally not an area where cutting corners actually helps a business. Before consumers buy a product or hire a service provider, they are usually drawn to images of the product or the service provider's work. Poor quality of images can actually work against a business having a reverse effect. In architecture photography for example, while a contractor may be a phenomenal craftsman, if the images they use to display examples of their work contain slanted walls caused by odd camera angles, or distorted counter tops, vanities, and furniture because of "wide-angle" lenses, potential customers may miss the intended message. This is where an experienced professional can be a huge advantage.

In the example below, a client of mine who's a very talented fabricator and artist, shot his own photo of a table he'd completed and used it for an ad in a local publication. Later, he decided that the image simply didn't do the table justice. He hired me to reshoot the table which we both feel better represents the stunning quality of his work.

Which image would capture your interest when thumbing through a magazine or newspaper? Better yet, which table would you be more inclined to buy?

Before (Client Photo)

Before (Client Photo)

After (Photographer Photo)

After (Photographer Photo)

SCAFCO | Seattle Commercial Photographer

Last week we shot a series of images for SCAFCO, one of the nation's largest manufacturers of steel studs. We spent two days with SCAFCO's marketing guy, Paul Terrell, who provided art direction for the project. The first in the studio and the second on-location at job site where many of their products are being used. The images are going to be used in a variety of advertisements and in their 2014 catalog. We look forward shooting for them in Seattle and possibly even San Francisco later in the year. Here's a few from the shoot:

SCAFCO.jpg
SCAFCO_commercial_image.jpg
SCAFCO_commercial_photographer.jpg

Nitrocat 1250K Impact | Spokane Product Photographer

Here's a quick post of a tool I shot last week for Aircat Pneumatic Tools, a long time client of mine, and always some of the most challenging products to photograph. In addition to raw torque, they continually use texture and design to visually separate their tools from others on the market.

Aircat Penumatic Tools: Nitrocat 1250K

Aircat Penumatic Tools: Nitrocat 1250K

Tony Roslund Photography
www.tonyroslund.com
Spokane - 509-995-6316
Seattle - 206-486-5857
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Furniture Photography | Spokane Product Photographer

Photographed this custom wood and metal table last week, which was created by the guys at 1819 Incubator for Tangible Arts (previously mentioned here). They can build this design with a number of different wood species so showing the top wasn’t as important as the leg/support design for this photo. We will also be photographing this piece in the studio in a variety of other views. MTK

Custom wood and metal table photographed by Spokane product photographer.

Custom wood and metal table photographed by Spokane product photographer.

Tony Roslund Photography
www.tonyroslund.com
Spokane - 509-995-6316
Seattle - 206-486-5857
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Hand Fabricated Lamp | Seattle Product Photographer

Photographed this unique hand-crafted lamp for my artist friend Robert Sevilla Naudon. He and a few other talented craftsmen run a cooperative fabrication shop called “1819 Creative Incubator for Tangible Arts” here in Spokane. Together they create some of the most unique and attractive fixtures, furniture, and decor that the world has ever seen. This lamp was the first of three in a series that I’m photographing over the next week. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!

Hand fabricated lamp photographed by Seattle product photographer.

Hand fabricated lamp photographed by Seattle product photographer.

Tony Roslund Photography
www.tonyroslund.com
Spokane - 509-995-6316
Seattle - 206-486-5857
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | 500px