In the 21st Century, we have seen the world take huge strides forward with the advancements of technology, and one of the most noticeable ways of seeing this is with our mobile phones. In the past 45 years, we have gone from the creation of the first mobile phone, to them now being a phone, computer, clock, MP3, diary, and camera. Most people now have an incredibly powerful and high-quality camera built-in into their phones, and use it for anything from capturing the wonderful views on their travels to making sure to get the best selfie possible. In this Blog, we look into Smartphone photography, and help to offer advice on how to achieve the best photography with the correct lighting.
Product Smartphone Photography
For many small companies, advertising your products properly is very important, because most of these companies survive day by day. In this case, sometimes you can’t afford an incredibly expensive and professional camera, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t possible to create high-quality photography with your smartphone. Some smartphones have built-in cameras that’s quality can rival some DSLR cameras. With the savings you can make from not spending this money on unnecessary cameras, you can put some of this money into making sure that the product photography is still of the highest quality.
For Product photography, you aren’t required to have a full-blown studio lighting set-up in order to achieve the perfect shot. You can still get impressive lighting without breaking the bank. To achieve the best shots though, we would still recommend using multiple lights (minimum of two), as this will help to remove any unwanted shadows and to make sure that there is an adequate amount of light coverage.
RICO240B MKII LED Bi-Colour Ring Light: This ring offers a high-quality lighting whilst still being a reasonable cost. It offers a maximum output of 48W whilst giving you the ability to dim the power of the light from 100% - 10%, allowing you to adjust the light to suit whatever product is being shot. It has the ability to offer lighting in both Daylight and Tungsten, and with its CRI of 95%, it creates impeccable colour accuracy and vibrancy, allowing your products to stand out during any shoot. Not only can it be used with mains power, but it also has the capabilities to be used with Sony NP-F Series batteries, allowing for more freedom and movement than standard lights would offer. Included with the Ring Light is a Smartphone Bracket, so you would simply need to place the Smartphone in the correct place, and never have to worry about moving it again to achieve the perfect lighting.
MOBI LED Table-Top Led Panel: One of the newest products available, the MOBI LED Panel is a portable, daylight-balanced light panel that offers up to 22W of light at any given time. It comes with a CRI Rating on 95+, helping to ensure that colours are accurately reproduced in your shoots to make your products more vibrant. With its built-in diffusion panel, if also helps to create soft and diffused lighting, which can be useful to reduce any chance of harsh glare that could be caused by shiny products such as jewellery. It is 360° rotatable, allowing it to be placed in virtually any direction your product may require.
Now that you have the proper lighting, it is important to help make sure that the whole photography set-up is professional and appealing. One way of making this happen is to use the correct background. Sometimes you may require a more vibrant and noticeable background for your product, whilst other times you may require a more simple and plain background. Making sure that you have the correct background can help between someone noticing a product and someone purchasing the product, as it will help to make it look more appealing.
Table-Top Background Stand with Black PVC Background: This Stand and Background set it a wonderful and simple addition for Product Photography. With its compact size and lightweight frame, the Background Stand can be moved and adjusted with ease, and take up much less space than a standard background, meaning it also makes storage much easier. The PVC Background has a professional Matte finish and is 60x130cm, allowing you to give any small to medium sized product optimal background coverage. The PVC is also made from a durable, scratch resistant material, meaning that this background can be used multiple times without the need to replace. And as it is waterproof, it means that it is wipe clean, so any dirt or mess can be removed with ease.
1.5x2m Oldbury Series Collapsible Background: This background is a useful piece of equipment, due to the fact that it is possible to collapsible down to approximately 1/3rd of its size for storage, so it won’t always been taking up a lot of room. It is available in three different colours and designs (Grey, Brown, Blue/Green) to help to give your product photography a different appeal compared to other products.
As everyone who is trying to sell a product knows, making your product stand out and be different to others in the same field is a huge benefit, as it will draw more attention from potential customers. One way of doing this is to make any promotional imagery more noticeable and offer a different look compared to others. To create these kinds of positive differences, there are different modifiers and extra pieces of equipment available that will help your product stand out just that little bit more and hopefully places it further ahead of competitors in the market.
ORBIT600 Turntable: Giving your products a smooth 360° rotation to show off all angles and sides, this turntable has the ability to turn at 3 different speeds, allowing you to capture every part of a product, no matter the size. It has a diameter of 60cm and can hold loads of up to 150KG, showing that it is a sturdy and durable piece of equipment that can be used with a wide range of products. The clean and smooth white finish helps to make products stand out when partnered with a nice white background.
100x200cm Shooting Table: This shooting table is designed in mind for use with medium-to-large products, but is still perfect for shooting smaller items. The Plexiglass surface is dual sided, with one side offering a shiny glossy finish, and the other offering a smooth matte surface. The top section of the table can be angled between 90° & 180°, allowing you to light up your products from above, below and behind, offering you the ability to eliminate any shadows from your shoot.
You may find that after reading all of this information, that you require multiple products to achieve the perfect set-up, but may not have the budget to obtain all of these items individually. That is why we here at PiXAPRO have come up with a few products and Kits, which will contain everything you need in order to achieve perfect product photography, without having to spend money you do not have.
70x70x70cm LED Light Tent: This Tent comes with everything you would need to achieve wonderful product photography. As it comes with LED Lighting already built-in, there is no need to have any additional lighting and with its reflective silver interior, it creates a clean lighting that covers the entire tent and helps to remove any unwanted shadows. The LED lights themselves are very energy-efficient and have an estimate life expectancy of 50,000 hours, cutting out the need to replace the bulbs at a critical moment. It also features four interchangeable backgrounds, (White, Black, Grey and Warm Apricot), giving you a wide variety of possibilities for your shoots.
RICO120 Ring Light with Table-Top Background Stand and Black PVC Background: For people intending to take quick and easy photos of small products, this kit is ideal for you. The RICO120 Ring Light is a Bi-Colour light, giving you the option to choose between Daylight and Tungsten lighting, and gives you the ability to control the power with a dimming capability between 100% - 10%. The Table-Top Background Stand is quick and easy to set up, and is lightweight enough to allow you to move it around with ease. The Black PVC Background has a Matte finish, allowing for a smooth background, and has a maximum length of 130cm, to help give optimal coverage to slightly larger products.
RICO240 Ring Light 360° Product Photography Kit: For people who have that little bit more to spend on giving your product photography a little bit more finesse, this kit is the perfect addition. The Orbit turntable offers the user the ability to rotate an object 360° at three different speeds, allowing you to shoot different shots from multiple angles without moving, which we help show off the product being shot. Using the RICO240 Ring Light as the main light, it helps to remove any shadows created by your product, which will make it stand out from the background and catch the viewers eye. Its dimmable capability helps to adjust the lighting to match any product, from jewellery to footwear. The addition of 2 GLOWPAD 350S helps to create better overall light coverage of the product, helping to improve the quality of the shoot, which is further helped by the built-in diffusion of the lights to make the lighting softer. The Table-Top background stand helps you to create any atmosphere for your shoot that you would like by simply changing the backgrounds, but the supplied 60x130cm White Vinyl background offers a slick and professional look for your product photography.
Social Media Smartphone Photography
With the age of Reality Television and Social Media upon us, the surge in taking pictures of anything and everything is incredible. With the creation of apps such as Instagram and Snapchat, many people need to make sure that they are taking the best Selfies possible. And some people are making viable and successful careers from using these apps, so making sure that the images you are posting are of the highest quality and help to make the subject appear that best it can, is top priority. So, whilst most of the time, just taking a simply picture is enough to post and show the world, sometimes people feel the need to use any possible enhancements to improve the quality of the photo.
A simple way of improving and obtaining the best image possible for Social Media is to use an effective lighting source, to help highlight the subject better. And as this will be mainly done from the comfort of your own home, it is usually unnecessary to have huge and expensive lighting set-ups for this kind of photography. But there are some affordable yet high-quality lighting options available, just to give your Selfies that little bit more.
RICO240B MKII LED Bi-Colour Ring Light: The RICO240 offers a maximum power output of 48W whilst also allowing the user to dim the light power being used between 100% - 10%, giving you the freedom to have the lighting best suit your requirements. With a diffusion cover on the lights themselves, it helps to make the lights softer on the subject, offering a smoother image. It comes with a Smartphone Bracket included, allowing you to placing your smartphone into the centre of the light hands-free, and take wonderful and high-quality images. With the Smartphone placed in the centre of the light, the Ring Light can create pleasing and interesting ring-shaped catchlights in the user’s eyes.
Glowpad112CB: This compact Glowpad comes with 112 Bi-Colour LEDS, which helps to create a powerful lighting source whilst still maintaining its slim profile and low power consumption. The LED panel itself gives you a soft-diffused quality of light without needing to add a diffusion filter to the front of it, giving you great looking results with the greatest of ease. As it features a ¼ screw thread, it can be mounted onto any regular light stand or tripod, to help create a hands-free lighting. Whilst it does come with an AC adapter included, it is possible to attach Sony NP-F Series batteries to the lights, allowing you the ability to move the light around freely when required.
Evenly though Social Media photography is usually a random act without planning, there are occasions when people find the need to set the scene for their photo to stand out. One way of doing this such thing is to use background to give your photo a different feel and make it look more professional made rather than a home-made photo.
Black/Gold Creative Sequin Background: If your aim for your photography is to stand out and be vibrant, then this background is ideal for you. This beautiful sequin backdrop will add colour to any occasion, creating your own design with the new revolutionary dual colour sequins allowing you to quickly change the look of your background.
1.5x2m Black/White Collapsible Background: This background comes with different coloured sides, one side a clean white and the other a dark deep black, giving you a freedom of choice for your background. It also has the ability to be folded down to 1/3 of its size for easy storage and transportation, allowing you the ability to put it away once it has been used, so it isn’t taking up unnecessary space.
Portable Smartphone Photography
When we are out living our usual lives, sometimes we come across things that we find unique and beautiful, and decide to document these in order to keep the memory forever. Whilst we understand in this situation, we do not expect you to keep a full lighting set-up on your person at all times, but it is possible to still have some compact and convenient lighting on hand to capture these moments perfectly. There are a range of small lighting products that take only a few seconds to set-up, can be used instantly and are smaller enough to keep on your person at all times.
Smartphone LED Ring Light: This ring light is the perfect accompaniment to any smartphone photography. It offers 3w of Daylight Balanced LED Light, creating a bright fill-light on three different levels of brightness, and can be mounted onto any smartphone up to 11mm in thickness. It can be run at full power off its built-in rechargeable 250mAh battery, which can be charged back up using the supplied USB charging cable. This little LED Light is perfect for selfies, portraits and even Video-Blogging on the go.
Smartphone LED Constant Light: This constant light has an ingenious attachment to your smartphone, as it simply clamps onto your smartphone and offer a 3w Daylight Balanced LED Light. The battery life of this light is incredible, as this little light can last up to 3 hours of use at a time, which is down to its built-in 2200mAh battery. Another benefit of this LED light is that it actually comes with a ¼ inch thread built-in, which enables you to mount this to many different pieces of equipment such selfie-stick or even a tripod, giving you are more stable shot.
So, whilst Smartphone photography is on the rise, the lighting and photography equipment side of things is slowly but surely catching up. With many different lighting possibilities already available and with many more planned for the long-term future, it’s safe to say that Smartphone Photography will be a viable industry for many years to come.
For further information and recommendations for Smartphone Photography, please click here.