Photography PX is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site we earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Thanks for supporting us Learn more 

One Light Product Photography – Full Behind The Scenes

Last Updated on November 1, 2020 by Devaun Lennox

In today’s video I’m gonna walk you guys a full behind-the-scenes product photography photoshoot


Alright so here we are a different section in my living room this time than the last behind-the-scenes product photography photo shoot slightly different very very much a different setup than last one but definitely a different scenery then you guys may have seen previously but ultimately I’m gonna show you guys the full lighting setup I’m gonna walk you guys through all the critical components on on how to replicate this it looks a lot more complicated than it is but everything that you guys are gonna be seeing here as I walk you guys through and as I

guess I show you guys the individual images on how they add up to ultimately give the end result that we were able to capture how they actually play a pivotal role in actually blocking and flagging in and removing light so that we can focus the light that we’re actually pushing out from our strobe over here which I’ll talk about shortly how we can push out that light to then really X accentuate just our product and then add a little bit of a glow and then have no light go to the words the background so first things first let’s actually talk about the light so I’m gonna move over here a little bit so right here we’re using a pulse II buff Einstein strobe and this is the 640 watt Einstein strobe and right now it is set to a hundred and hundred Watts approximately which is a little bit over 1/8 of its total power at 640 watts in total so and we’re dropping one

eighth of that power at a little bit over a hundred watts I think it’s maybe one I would imagine 105 yeah it’s 105 point 6 watts is exactly what it is it’s set to so it’s a little bit over an eighth of its power we have on right here this is a 4 by 1 foot strip box and in the strip box there’s two different layers of diffusion we’ve got a middle middle layer diffusion here an external layer diffusion here and then we also have an eggshell grid right here and I will show you guys here shortly the full lighting diagram but ultimately know that there’s an eggshell grid here which is

gonna control the spill of the light so that it doesn’t spill it doesn’t blast out this way it blasts out more like this way it’s very much more concentrated so that’s why I’m putting that on there right right there on set you guys will see a couple of other things as well you guys will see this janky little setup when it comes to basically a I’m basically made an impromptu scrim is what this is so these are actually see through their curtains basically they’re just kind of curtains there’s two layers of these actually there’s two different layers each one I would probably say it’s a tenth of an inch they’re very they’re just kind of silk curtains as you guys can see they’re very much translucent you can see through them but there’s two layers of that and basically what’s happening is the light is coming through here it’s coming through the two layers of diffusion

that we have here Plus this eggshell crate that I mentioned before and it’s now coming through these two layers of the curtains the blinds curtains and then it’s gonna be spilling onto our subject which is way back over here guys may be able to see our colognes way back over there so essentially what this is happening this is focusing the light so that it doesn’t spill onto the background which is black and then right here this is spreading out the light so that it’s it’s softer and then it’s also a bigger like a light or diffusion of light it’s just making it larger because this is not very big this is only one foot but this right here is approximately three and a half four feet so it’s making the light much larger outside of that will I’ll kind of walk you guys through these individual they’re basically just sheeting essentially sheathing is like kind of similar to

poster board it’s it’s just like the insulation version of poster board you can get them from Home Depot Lowe’s and any other kind of crafty craftsman store you can get these at art stores as well you can definitely get them at Michael’s or blick art store here in Las Vegas but basically these shadings they’re they’re acting as they’re acting as Flags and a flag is something that blocks light from hitting a source is what it does so essentially what I’m doing with this one right here some of the light would spill and and unfortunately when I was doing this setup originally some of that light was actually hitting the background the background wasn’t completely black which was a no-go for me so I put that one right there so that it doesn’t reflect in the light on the background and we have another one over here and that one is also combining with this

one right here to basically eliminate all the background light from hitting the background of our black seamless savage paper over there what you guys may not be able to see is that have my tripod right here my tripod is about maybe three or four feet away from our cologne subject and then the cologne is basically on my living room table it’s like a two feet high and then the Cologne I would say is maybe roughly maybe seven feet away from the backdrop again I will show you guys here shortly the full lighting diagram so you guys will be able to see the exact

measurements I will make sure I measure out all this stuff so that you guys have an accurate representation of this whole lighting setup but suffice to say it’s probably about six seven feet if I can if I were just eyeball it and then there’s a silver another piece of insulation seeding which is on this side and that’s a reflector which is going to give us a highlight on the side so let me sit down right now and I kind of start taking some photos here just to make sure that I can kind of walk you guys through the whole lighting setup I’m gonna I’m gonna selectively start

removing these items so that you guys can see exactly what each one of these things is doing and explain a little bit more of the decision making process I just want to explain kind of like what the lighting setup is why it looks so complicated what it’s what’s it kind of doing but now I’ll show you guys the demonstration of what it actually is doing to the image so let me I’m gonna sit down right now connect my computer to capture one and we’ll get sort us started now would be a good time to I’m gonna show you guys on screen right now the full lighting demonstration and diagram through satellite so on screen you guys are going to be seeing the full measurements you guys will see the height of the light you guys are now seeing where I actually position some of these flags and reflectors indicated by a black kind of poster board

look item in the program you guys will see where my tripod is you’ll see where the subject is and then how far it is from the background and then my shooting position and my camera settings as well so that will give you guys a little bit more insight on how this was actually set up but now let me take a seat and we’ll actually kind of get started shooting here mount my tripod and we’ll we’ll get started all right so I do want to say as a preface I’m gonna be shooting tethered to capture one Pro and that is my tether shooting software of choice you guys are welcome to use Lightroom if you’d like but I personally use capture one I just like the interface a little bit better I find that it works better when it comes to tethering in my personal experience when it comes to using so many cameras Sony does have their own remote shooting application but

my camera doesn’t support that one so I have no comment on that one I would imagine it works just as well as capture one but I just used to capture one personally ok so you guys will see here I am in capture one and I’m just going to take the first image so I want to do want to say I’m a manually focusing here I’m kind of sitting in an awkward position so I’m literally just gonna eyeball this but otherwise I would like lie down on the chair and I would get my to the viewfinder and then I would critically manually focus I do want to also say is that I’m using a tripod

and my my my camera is directly in the same exact plane both from a height standpoint but then also directly forward onto the Tom Ford cologne that we’re shooting it’s not turned or tilted in any way it’s directly forward I do have a level on my camera which is making sure that it’s completely level both vertically and horizontally I did the wrong planes there but so there’s no tilting or anything like that happening with the camera and then I’m also I also set the camera to a two-second self timer so that if I whenever I press the shutter there’s no vibration which would cause the images to be sharp so I’m using a self-timer as well so we get the absolute best image quality my camera’s absolutely possible of shooting you guys will see as well camera settings I’ll talk about that real quick 1/100 of a second ISO 250 aperture 6.3 I’m using 100 millimeter macro EF Canon lens Sony a7 mark 1 is the camera that we’re shooting with so I’m gonna just take a photo you’ll hear the self timer go off okay alright and then on screen you guys will be seeing that image so one thing my camera settings change okay mmm alright so I’m

gonna add this guy I’m sorry it’s gonna block your view guys but essentially when you’re shooting reflective objects it picks up all of the the reflections that you’re seeing in the scene so the reason why I’m putting this this is actually from a microphone but I’m putting this here because it’s actually gonna basically absorb all the light so there’s there’s no reflections so let me just put that on there and just take the photo now okay so now we have that completely dark image there and one thing I’m gonna do I’m gonna change my camera settings a little bit I’m actually gonna go to ISO 400 retake the shot it’s a little bit dark I might like didn’t go off hold on hold on boys okay there it is all right perfect that that’ll work it’s not the exact same lighting setup that is the original golden image but it it’s quite good so what I’m gonna do now I’m

going to remove this first reflector that we have on this side and then I’m gonna show you guys what this reflector was doing you guys notice on the screen left-hand side you will see this bright rim highlight on the left side of the Cologne this reflector right here was actually the reason why that that reflection was occurring so now I’m gonna take a picture without that reflector on the side and you’ll see the difference in the light that occurs because that reflector is not there so you’ll notice now with this particular shot the there’s no reflection on that left

side of the Cologne it’s just missing that little bit of a defining edge it’s just missing that so that was the reason why I added the reflector you could do this by maybe adding another light and kind of adding a snoot or something like that I don’t have those kind of equipment so I was like okay I need to get a light over there so we don’t lose the Cologne to the background so now I want to show you guys one one other thing right so I’m gonna move remove this particular insulation seething from this side and I want you guys look at how it changes the background

like I had mentioned before I put this over here because I didn’t want there to be spill onto the background I wanted to be it to be completely dark but I’m gonna go over here right now and just kind of remove this and put this down and once you guys look at the image top right and

see what that’s that’s causing is a difference in the image okay okay well it’s not spilling as much as I thought but that’s fine it’s still pretty black on the background but that actually did quite a little bit different thing than expected but originally when I was doing this lighting setup the background was a lot brighter than what it is right now that you guys are seeing on screen but ultimately that that was there originally because there was there’s a lot of spill that was occurring from the light onto the background and the background was starting to turn into a like

kind of a light gray for whatever reason now it seems to have been changed in some way so you know that’s fun the next thing I want to showcase though is removing this this main reflector that I have here though and I want you guys to see the difference that that makes so I’m actually gonna completely take this down it is silver on that other side so if I if I don’t leave that as is it’s gonna actually reflect light back into our scene so let me take a shot now and we’ll we’ll see what that does okay that is completely different that’s completely different so I want

you guys to compare this shot right here double-oh-seven versus double o6 and you guys can see I mean I actually kind of like double-oh-seven it’s kind of an interesting look but that that’s what that particular reflector was doing it was making sure that none of the light from this even though it has a grid hole eggshell kind of thing on it making sure that it doesn’t actually spill in the background because if anything spills on the background it’s not gonna be completely pitch black and that’s the the main thing when you’re shooting on a black background and you’re doing this kind of product photography you want it to be actually black you could fix this in a photoshop and make it black but ultimately if you can do this in one shot in camera it’s just making your life a lot easier so that’s what that particular reflector is doing now I want to

show you guys what it what happens if you actually get rid of this this softening this ghetto curtain situation we have going on here the ghetto curtain situation was here for a reason but again let me take a photo here and show you guys what that’s doing and you guys can see now the difference that makes its way contrast here I mean the the light I’ll go back from so let’s compare double o8 or triple o 8 vs triple o seven you guys can see the difference in the light that that happened or that caused because of that I took off this this get a little curtain situation

this apparatus that I created it makes a gigantic difference the light is incredibly hard because of how far this is from the subject it’s just gonna be a hard light but ultimately that those those key components right there were the components that were were positioning the light where I wanted to go you guys will see the final image granted I don’t know what happened with the whole background I did change lights before the shoot so maybe that had something to do with it but ultimately you know that those those two like flags and those insulation panels were

there because they were they were positioning the light to make sure it only hit the front of the Cologne and then that reflector was on this side to make sure we got that that that’s nice defining edge light on the left-hand side of the Cologne those were all there for a reason absolutely I’ve tried I tried a lot of different things to set this up so I can get a really good shot in camera it took a lot of effort was about a two hour experience but you know ultimately that’s what happened so but again and I also want to show you guys if I take a take away this as well you guys will see the reflections I’m talking about I’ll show that as well oh it’s not as Bette well yeah I guess it’s not as bad it’s not quite as bad but yeah you can compare image double oh nine that’s not quite as bad when the light was coming through here it had some kind of

red glare from from one of these insulation panels it’s not as bad as it was before but yeah it does make a huge difference when you’re shooting reflective black surfaces they reflect literally everything this is glass so yes but I hope that behind the scenes was insightful you guys will be seeing the full the full breakdown of that and the specific positioning again the view if you guys need more insight and stuff like that via the rendering that I showcase earlier in the video from satellite so you can see the individual measurements and if you wanted to use more professional gear then you can replicate it in that way but that I hope that gave you guys a lot of insight on how to do something like this with one light you don’t necessarily need to use the Einstein if you guys don’t want to use the Einsteins I prefer to use Einsteins because I just think there are incredible lights but ultimately if you guys wanted to use something cheaper than that and use something of lesser quality you probably still get the same exact result light is light the end of today so outs yeah outside of that I mean if you guys have any comments

questions concern let me know in the description below I hope this kind of impromptu home-home product photography shoot was insightful for you guys and added some value thank you for watching today’s video I hope you found the contents of today’s video insightful and added value to you if you’re new here please consider subscribing if you haven’t done so already also leave us a like and a comment in the description down below let us know if I overlooked something or I miss something covered in today’s video is Devon Linux you know where to find us

Photo of author

Devaun Lennox

I'm a fashion, beauty, and commercial photographer turned impromptu photojournalist. Based in Las Vegas, my images are graphic, bold, and full-on contrast.