You know, I’ve never really been into product photography but for some reason or another I keep finding myself shooting product lately. Following the advice to Joe McNally who says, “Shoot what you love,” I always look for subjects that I’m interested in. I really love the game of golf and I’ve played it since I was a little kid. So for this little tutorial I thought I’d go with a familiar subject.
When thinking out my lighting scheme, I wanted a light that would sculpt the ball and not just totally blow it out and lose the details. I also wanted to quickly draw the viewers eye to the subject so I used another light with a red gel, raking the light up the black seamless background. Now for the gritty setup details.
For the main light, I used an SB800 through a shoot-through umbrella directly above the golf ball. It was set to 1/8th power. The soft light coming directly above the golf ball would help to carve out the dimples and provide some detail to the shot. It also plays very interestingly with the text as well. For the background I used a black seamless paper background. I put an SB80DX on the floor with an 8″ homemade snoot and a red gel. It was also fired at 1/8th power. The red light raked up the background to draw the viewer’s attention to the ball. I triggered the lights with my CyberSyncs. My D90 was set up in Manual mode at f5.6, 1/125th, ISO 200, with my Nikon 16-85mm lens. I shot on a tripod to ensure the shot was tack sharp.
Check out the setup shot: