What You'll Need: Click here for a complete list of what you'll need for this project. Most of the things you need are common household items that most homes already have on hand. You'll also need UFRaw, and Gimp. Part 1 - Setup 1.) Get a Box and a Sheet of Cardboard
|First off, get your box and a sheet of cardboard and lay them out like this. Both the box and sheet will be covered later|
|Don't worry about the sheet not covering everything, the backdrop is pretty easy to duplicate using Gimp.|
3.) Put a black sheet on your box
Part 2 - The Photos
Now that you have your scene set up, simply set up your tripod and camera. You're going to take a series of several photos. It's very important that you do not move your camera, or the product during this process because we're going to tie these photos together in Gimp later. Set your camera to shutter priority, and adjust the shutter to a fairly slow speed, and crank your ISO setting to the lowest possible setting. If possible, set your focus to manual after autofocusing on your product, that way the camera doesn't try to focus on something else later. Finally, make sure you're shooting in RAW - this will give you unbeatable flexibility when doing this project (as always, I have a list of affordable raw shooting cameras available.). The only light that is going to be used in this scene is your LED flashlight, and a as much ambient light as possible without compromising the contrast that your LED flashlight can put out. In other words, turn your LED light on, and adjust your light until you find a good balance of contrast and light between your LED light and your ambient light.
1.) The Scene
|I held the flashlight up high, and aimed it at the top surface of the box. I set my camera to go off after 10 seconds, and held the flashlight in place. Keep adjusting your shutter speed until your photo exposes like so.|
Take a series of different photos at different angles. Take a ton of photos of different angles, intensities, and angles with your LED flashlight.
Part 3: How To Use Gimp To Put It All Together
The final part of this tutorial consists of taking all of the information we gathered with our photos, and putting them together with Gimp and UFRaw. Check out the video below for the complete tutorial.
Layer Mask Gimp Video Tutorial
How To Use Gimp For Beginners - Layers
The Benefits of Shooting in Raw
Affordable RAW-Shooting Cameras