Do These Photos Make My Rock Magnet Look Phat?

I’m trying my hand at product photography for the first time. After a bit o’ the afternoon spent perusing some how-to articles, I taped a piece of white paper up, put white tissue over my halogen lamp, and gave it a whirl. Now I want your opinion! What do you think – does my serpentinite magnet look fairly spiffy?

Image shows a bit of dark green serpentinite glued to a magnet.
Serpentinite Magnet, right profile.

Here’s the other side.

The other side of the same magnet.
Serpentinite Magnet, left side.

Something of a top view:

Serpentinite Magnet, top view. Now we can see some of the variations in color, with darker and lighter green streaks, and one rusty brown one.
Serpentinite Magnet, top view.

Oh, and I suppose some scale would be nice!

Image shows the serpentinite magnet with a wooden ruler for scale.
Yes, that’s an American ruler, and that’s an inch you’re seeing there. Sorry!

I’ll also be taking photos showing them in-situ on the fridge, but first I have to wash the fridge. It’s got a bit grubby since I scrubbed it last. I doubt photos of a pretty magnet on a dirty fridge will inspire people.

I’m going to make a light box studio sorta thing, but first I have to scrub myself, then go to the craft store (Michaels, not Hobby Lobby) and buy the appropriate supplies. We’ll see if that turns out any better – I’m hoping for a smoother, brighter white, which a plain ol’ sheet of printer paper just can’t give me. But this’ll do for the moment, I suppose. What do you think? Does this magnet look phat?

This little beauty is from the Patrick Creek stop Lockwood and I made. Let me know if you’ve fallen in love with it, and must have it. My loyal readership definitely gets dibs on it before it ends up on Etsy! You can reach me at dhunterauthor at gmail. And if you have any special requests, please let me know – I can collect and design to order, as long as you don’t ask me to get you anything from places where collecting is verboten, like National Parks.

Do These Photos Make My Rock Magnet Look Phat?

3 thoughts on “Do These Photos Make My Rock Magnet Look Phat?

  1. rq

    Second and third photos are better, the first one has too little colour contrast on the rock itself. The second two as well, but not as badly.
    You need to figure out how to emphasize the colour of the stone. What kind of overhead light are you using? Because it’s either the background or my computer screen, but it’s making my eyes hurt. What may be the issue is that the magnet looks backlit, when you want most light coming from the front to decrease shadows from this side of the camera – right now shadows seem to be thrown towards the viewer or to the side. The last photo almost gets it, I’d say try getting the light to come right over your shoulder directly onto the plane of the rock being photographed. This will also help the colour issues, just play around with camera settings for a while.
    Have you tried taking pictures on a black / darker background? That way you can adjust camera settings to ones conducive to dark light and low contrast, which is what you need to get the colour to really pop out at the viewer. Alternatively, specifically for this serpentinite (which looks totally awesome, by the way), a rusty brown background might work. Remember, you’re doing product placement, not scientific photography!

    Also, someone with actual professional or more extensive photography experience might be able to help you out more. :)

  2. 2

    Having a scale object in every picture, or in at least one picture in the set for each item, is a good idea.

    The lighting is not good, I see the bottom of the object as vary shadowed, can’t see detail below its beltline. You need a light-box. I put “light box” into amazon and into, and both turned up a kit with a box, a tripod, and a couple of lights for $39. The tripod’s probably junk, but it’s still not a bad price.

    The reason the paper isn’t white is that the camera didn’t figure out the right white balance. Dunno if your camera supports it, but many do allow you to set a fixed white balance by taking an image of a white or neutral-gray object and telling its little pinhead brain, “THAT is WHITE until I say otherwise.” With the white balance set all the other colors will be accurate.

    A tripod is useful because you will need to take multiple shots of multiple objects. The tripod is a big help in being able to futz around for an hour getting the first shot just right, and then being able to “lock off” the camera position and settings and just bang off the rest one two three.

  3. 3

    Needs fill lighting to lighten the shadows. I would try it from both sides and see how it looks. It would also help if you had the paper flat but draped up a vertical surface behind the rock this would help scatter the diffuse light forward and up and and fill the bottom a bit.

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