Andrew Griswold is an Indianapolis-based photographer and designer. With a passion for creativity, he founded a community of photographers through Instagram. The community networks professionals with various brands to work with and provide iPhone photography tips.
In a curious test, Griswold shared lovely product photographs with an iPhone 4S and a desk lamp. The pictures stunned photography enthusiasts into wonder on the combination of lightning and the superb visual capacity of the iPhone.
Griswold, no doubt, puts his heart and soul into this to achieve the most moving results:
“As I start to get more campaign work via Instagram for product photography, I’ve found that I need to use every bit of my creative mindset to get the shot I want.”
Not that the iPhone was perfect for his intentions, with a genius mind, he hopes to “play to some of the iPhone’s limitations” in achieving what’s on his mind as per product iPhone photography.
iPhone Photography Tips
Though not the latest (in fact it’s stale), the iPhone 4S has a 60% increase in megapixels from the iPhone 4 edition and perfect for iPhone photography. Like other iPhone accessories its camera also comes with the sharp and fast lens. The smartphone’s great illumination sensor makes it a reliable substitute for primary photography and video coverage, when necessary. The iPhone 4S’ great auto white balance performance beats the previous edition as well. Therefore, it produces precise color, consistently, under a variety of low and artificial light sources.
iPhone 4S also boasts of a wonderful 22.9 megabytes, similar to midrange point-and-shoot camera files. The phone’s lens shoots is at f/2.4 which refocuses the shutter speed and ISO to the current light conditions. Its optics produce a sharper image with impressive tonal range. Another impressive feature is the shadow detail and highlight definition that the iPhone 4S comes with.
The iPhone 4S’ camera optimized camera functions all came to the fore as we shall see in Tilo Gockel’s lightning tutorial.
iPhone photography tips from a professional photographer and lighting expert, Tilo Gockel, created an illustrative guide for some excellent product photography with merely an iPhone and a number of simple lights around your house.
Tilo Gockel, with an iPhone 4s, desk lamp, and few light sources, he composed and lit the Smith & Wesson hunting knife (in the above picture) to a perfect image. As the initial idea of the shoot, Gockel attempted to illustrate the undertaking of deploying excellent product shots to use in the sales of items online to promote a new stuff one might have crafted. It would be perfect for an e-commerce item display or social media promotion for a piece one just made.
An essential segment of the tutorial is the before-shot which was taken with a straight flash and little work on the composition. This exemplifies how most product photos look like for e-commerce startups owners. The owners know they have to get it right. Product visuals have to be appealing because, in e-commerce marketing, pictures shape perception and it, in turn, drive sales. The blending of lights and other elements are as important as the product’s use.
iPhone Photography Tips and Tricks
In a behind-the-scenes photo, Tilo Gockel does well in analyzing the various lights used and how papers can help to reflect and diffuse the light, in simple terms. Here is a further analysis of each light source Tilo Gockel used:
Light Source No. 1 (Coming from the left): He began by explaining that at the upper edge, the blade required a rim-light. The light should be inclined in a type of that will make each of the three different planes of the blade’s cut reflect in another brightness.
Light Source No. 2 (Coming from the backside): To brighten the upper edge of the Smith & Wesson hunting knife’s grip and the curved little pattern in the grip plate, the second came into play.
Light Source No. 3 (Coming from the right): This is the third and last light which is used as a grazing light to display the insignia on the Smith & Wesson hunting knife. With this, there is a good shade along the grip.
In explaining his task further, Tilo Gockel described: “I tested different angles and also used translum foil (from Modulor) to get a nice gradation across the knife’s surfaces. For the warm-cold contrast I used a halogen light from the back and two cool white LED torchlights from the sides. Lamps and foil are fixated using little clamps from the hardware store.”
The Lighting Setup:
- Halogen lamp (IKEA)
- LED torchlights (LED Lenser P7)
- Translumfoil from Modulor.de
- Smartphone on a tripod (remote triggered using the earphone cable)
Below is another wonderful shot with a setup that bears huge semblance with the above; however it is a different product. By altering the lighting angles along with the textured background, you get all that is required.