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Light table for product shots

Charles H (Oregon) , Jan 09, 2009; 10:36 p.m.

We are in a bit of a bind we are setting an on line childrens clothing store and we need lots of product shots to get on the site. We have been using white seamless with 2 constent lights positioned on each side and the outcome is ok .. our goal is to get a nice floating image on white with no shadows of on the seamless.
We are considering building a 4x4 light table with color corrected florescent bulbs to illuminate the product from behind (we are shooting straight down on it) and then just use our lights for fill where needed on the product to make it pop.. Could really use the advice of anyone that has used this technique before. will the light table eliminate the shadow ring around the product while the constant lights fill the product?


see the shadows around the product? Will backlighting it with a light table work?


Andrew Gillis , Jan 10, 2009; 02:01 p.m.

Your basic idea is sound, although you will need to diffuse the light coming through the light table and have enough distance from the fluorescent tubes so that the light is even. You will have to use the same color corrected lighting from above, and the light from below will have to be brighter than the light from above if you hope to eliminate the shadow. For a diffuser, I would recommend getting matte finish translucent plexiglass, so that your lights from above don't cause any glare on the background. I will try to link a sample...

Jack Borlongan , Jan 10, 2009; 02:11 p.m.

Hi Charles,
A light table will not solve your problem here, particularly if you will be shooting light colored shirts. I had this same problem before and my only concern was getting the right exposure of the main subject (which is the shirt) without worrying about the background. Naturally, we all look for that pure white background and the only way to resolve this issue is to cut-off the background in PhotoShop and create another layer.
For this shot, I used a couple of Photogenic 1250 strobes w/ softboxes. Some may disagree with me here but I would prefer strobes over hot lights in all my product shoots mainly for color balance. After all, you are shooting clothing and you want your color 100% accurate.

Tony Palmieri , Mar 20, 2009; 08:10 p.m.

I'm not sure if this will work but what if you were to lay your items on a piece of clear acrylic that was suspended above your white seamless a couple of feet or so? Have a strobe firing across the white seamless to blow it out while having your camera shooting down on the product. You could block the light from flaring into your camera lens with some black material or a piece of black foam board. Just a thought. Someone shoot me down if this is a moronic idea.

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