Product photography, beer cans

The challenge with beer cans in product photography is that they are curvy and reflective, which has to be managed with care. The current trending style for displaying bottles and cans features a white vertical reflection on one side or both.

A popular current technique for producing product photography is using a white product tent. I got one only recently, and became an instant convert to this method. My current ideal setup for photographing objects is placing them into something like a reflective white cyclorama tube; this can apply to real photography but is more achievable in 3D software. If you can imagine, the photo shoot would be inside of a white shiny tube that is partly squeezed from top to bottom, and extending to the left and to the right, that's what I'm thinking. In reality however we work with what we've got, and a bunch of MacGyver-ish improvising -- still you get most of the effect that you want.

Features to target include:
  • Even illumination, as the light bounces from top to bottom throughout the scene 
  • A seamless background that doesn't cause overexposure flares that break colors and ruin sharp object edges 
  • A real base reflection 
  • Space to the left and right of the object where you can place a white body or a black body to interact with the object but stay out of frame -- remember that if the object is highly reflective then you will need to give it something to reflect 

The setup here was:
  • A white product tent for even illumination, with softbox lights to the left and right, spaced far enough to avoid hot spots 
  • The base was standard shiny white perspex 
  • White styrofoam panels to the left and right, for white body reflections, placed and angled just right to get nice reflections and minimise blocking the lights -- find a balance 
  • A white mask in front of the camera to minimize the camera's black body being seen reflected in the object -- in post, unwanted reflections were further de-emphasized or removed 

Here is a sample of the results:

[1] Left, Basic retouch and deep-etch  [2] Right, same as Left + reflection + asymmetrical lighting + 5 percent black background

[3] Left, sample promo layout square cropped  [4] Right, sample promo layout xmas tree

Dec 29 2016
Client website had been updated with new images