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Feb 17, 2020 11:46:08   #
Terrym9 Loc: Hillsboro, Oregon
 
I sell some woodworking products on an internet website. Pictures are the main way to showcase the products. I am selling both Pepper mills that I design and make, and also Wooden Nutcracker soldiers.

The pepper mills are fairly easy to showcase as the pictures represent them fairly well as far as size and color, I will include a few of these. My biggest concern are the Nutcrackers, while the pictures look good, they really don't convey the size and how substantial they are, people are always surprised when they have seen pictures and then see the actual nutcrackers. I will include a few pictures showing what I have tried to do to show the size.

What I am wondering is if you would have some ideas that I could use to give a better representation of size. The pictures do need to be approximately formatted in the size I am using to show the complete product.

I use almost exclusively the natural color of the wood so that needs to show well also. I have been very impressed with your knowledge shown in this category and will say it has helped my photography enormously already (not to the standards you use, but for what I need)

Any thoughts?

Terry

laminated 1 inch pepper mill
laminated 1 inch pepper mill...
(Download)

Warrior princess stands approx 21 inches tall
Warrior princess stands approx 21 inches tall...
(Download)

scarecrow stands about 16 inches
scarecrow stands about 16 inches...
(Download)

front view of scarecrow
front view of scarecrow...
(Download)

Soldier approx 21 inches tall
Soldier approx 21 inches tall...
(Download)

on the left 21 inches the right 20 inches
on the left 21 inches the right 20 inches...
(Download)

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Feb 17, 2020 11:47:38   #
DWU2 Loc: Phoenix Arizona area
 
Terrym9 wrote:
I sell some woodworking products on an internet website. Pictures are the main way to showcase the products. I am selling both Pepper mills that I design and make, and also Wooden Nutcracker soldiers.

The pepper mills are fairly easy to showcase as the pictures represent them fairly well as far as size and color, I will include a few of these. My biggest concern are the Nutcrackers, while the pictures look good, they really don't convey the size and how substantial they are, people are always surprised when they have seen pictures and then see the actual nutcrackers. I will include a few pictures showing what I have tried to do to show the size.

What I am wondering is if you would have some ideas that I could use to give a better representation of size. The pictures do need to be approximately formatted in the size I am using to show the complete product.

I use almost exclusively the natural color of the wood so that needs to show well also. I have been very impressed with your knowledge shown in this category and will say it has helped my photography enormously already (not to the standards you use, but for what I need)

Any thoughts?

Terry
I sell some woodworking products on an internet we... (show quote)

Put some in-the-shell walnuts in the shot to give a feel for scale.

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Feb 17, 2020 11:57:47   #
PixelStan77 Loc: Vermont/Chicago
 
Terrym9 wrote:
I sell some woodworking products on an internet website. Pictures are the main way to showcase the products. I am selling both Pepper mills that I design and make, and also Wooden Nutcracker soldiers.

The pepper mills are fairly easy to showcase as the pictures represent them fairly well as far as size and color, I will include a few of these. My biggest concern are the Nutcrackers, while the pictures look good, they really don't convey the size and how substantial they are, people are always surprised when they have seen pictures and then see the actual nutcrackers. I will include a few pictures showing what I have tried to do to show the size.

What I am wondering is if you would have some ideas that I could use to give a better representation of size. The pictures do need to be approximately formatted in the size I am using to show the complete product.

I use almost exclusively the natural color of the wood so that needs to show well also. I have been very impressed with your knowledge shown in this category and will say it has helped my photography enormously already (not to the standards you use, but for what I need)

Any thoughts?

Terry
I sell some woodworking products on an internet we... (show quote)


Terry,

You are talented. I would use a black background to make the wood pop.

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Feb 17, 2020 12:06:48   #
Terrym9 Loc: Hillsboro, Oregon
 
I have cracked almonds and Hazelnuts in most of the series

a cracked almond
a cracked almond...
(Download)

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Feb 17, 2020 13:08:40   #
Blenheim Orange Loc: Michigan
 
That is an interesting challenge. You are right, the photos don't represent the size of the nutcrackers well. The hand in the one picture gives the scale, but you probably don't want to stick your hand into every picture. How about a couple of walnuts next to them?

Beautiful work, by the way.

Mike

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Feb 17, 2020 19:09:19   #
Terrym9 Loc: Hillsboro, Oregon
 
Dan and Mike, the walnuts are not a bad idea, but the opening for the mouth is 1 1/8 inches wide and does not quite take a walnut, I wouldn't want to picture a nut it can't crack.

Mike thanks for the nice comment.

Terry

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Feb 17, 2020 19:11:21   #
Terrym9 Loc: Hillsboro, Oregon
 
by the way that is a ten inch pepper mill, not one inch

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Feb 18, 2020 08:01:29   #
Naptown Gaijin
 
I would put a beer can or soda can next to the item to show its relative size. BTW, that pepper mill is beautiful.... it reminds me of several pieces of Hakone Zaiku I purchased when I was at Lake Hakone in Japan. How much do your pepper mills sell for? Do you also make matching salt grinders?

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Feb 18, 2020 15:30:42   #
E.L.. Shapiro Loc: Ottawa, Ontario Canada
 
Scale- You are advertising theses items as decorative and unique (kitchen ot table) gadgets, along with descriptions, so potential customers will not expect them to be tall lifesize wooden sculptures or tiny ornaments. It is however a good idea to include objects that show relative scale but relate to the item's usage such as nuts or other foodstuffs that the items are intended for. Showing the item in hand or in use can also be helpful in providing scale and illustrative value.

The images you have posted do show sharp detail and can give any potential buyer a decent idea of waht they can expect, however, some improvements will add depth, texture and dimension which may be more appealing and increase your sales potential.

The trick is in the lightng. In the tutorial in this section and in this thread I have a basic suggested lighting setup for product work that will work well with wooden items and many other product surfaces. It's a simple system with one light source in an overhead softbox and a few reflectors and a clean background. In the attached image of a carved item, the light is coming in from the side, as in a portrait, but the setup is similar.

The system will bring out the detail in wood grain. Another method of improving the rendition of wood grain on highly polished or varnished surfaces is the use of a CPL (polarizing) filter to minimize glare and cut through to the grain. In certain carvings the specular highlights are desirable but if the are not wanted the filter will minimize them. You rotate the filter until the desired effect is achieved.

In your images, the background seems a bit drab and wrinkled. You can acquire seamless background paper in smaller rolls or use a plastic background material that is commercially available- like the one in the attached images. Google- the Denny Manufacturing Company- they sell all kinds of background materials at reasonable prices and their customer service is excellent.

The suggested lighing will create more dimension in your product shots and have the items seem to pop off the page or out of the screen online.







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Feb 18, 2020 18:24:17   #
Terrym9 Loc: Hillsboro, Oregon
 
E.L.. Shapiro wrote:
Scale- You are advertising theses items as decorative and unique (kitchen ot table) gadgets, along with descriptions, so potential customers will not expect them to be tall lifesize wooden sculptures or tiny ornaments. It is however a good idea to include objects that show relative scale but relate to the item's usage such as nuts or other foodstuffs that the items are intended for. Showing the item in hand or in use can also be helpful in providing scale and illustrative value.

The images you have posted do show sharp detail and can give any potential buyer a decent idea of waht they can expect, however, some improvements will add depth, texture and dimension which may be more appealing and increase your sales potential.

The trick is in the lightng. In the tutorial in this section and in this thread I have a basic suggested lighting setup for product work that will work well with wooden items and many other product surfaces. It's a simple system with one light source in an overhead softbox and a few reflectors and a clean background. In the attached image of a carved item, the light is coming in from the side, as in a portrait, but the setup is similar.

The system will bring out the detail in wood grain. Another method of improving the rendition of wood grain on highly polished or varnished surfaces is the use of a CPL (polarizing) filter to minimize glare and cut through to the grain. In certain carvings the specular highlights are desirable but if the are not wanted the filter will minimize them. You rotate the filter until the desired effect is achieved.

In your images, the background seems a bit drab and wrinkled. You can acquire seamless background paper in smaller rolls or use a plastic background material that is commercially available- like the one in the attached images. Google- the Denny Manufacturing Company- they sell all kinds of background materials at reasonable prices and their customer service is excellent.

The suggested lighing will create more dimension in your product shots and have the items seem to pop off the page or out of the screen online.
Scale- You are advertising theses items as decorat... (show quote)


Thanks Ed, that gives me a reasonable starting point for improvement. I am going to give the overhead lighting a try with reflectors, I willl need to modify some of my very cheap equipment. The polarizer is a good idea that will help also.

Thanks again for the helping hand!

Terry

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Feb 18, 2020 19:06:33   #
Blenheim Orange Loc: Michigan
 
Terrym9 wrote:
Thanks Ed, that gives me a reasonable starting point for improvement. I am going to give the overhead lighting a try with reflectors, I willl need to modify some of my very cheap equipment. The polarizer is a good idea that will help also.

Thanks again for the helping hand!

Terry


Cheap works for me! I use Duracell A LED lights with inexpensive reflectors along with thin white polystyrene sheets to make a set up as E.L. describes.

https://www.amazon.com/Simple-Deluxe-HIWKLTCLAMPLIGHTMX2-Aluminum-Reflector/dp/B06XD1PK37?psc=1&SubscriptionId=AKIAILSHYYTFIVPWUY6Q&tag=duckduckgo-ffab-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B06XD1PK37

https://www.homedepot.com/b/Lighting-Light-Bulbs-LED-Light-Bulbs/Duracell/EcoSmart/N-5yc1vZbm79Z3icZ4b8

Mike

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Feb 18, 2020 20:52:56   #
Terrym9 Loc: Hillsboro, Oregon
 
Thanks Mike, its going to be something like that, thanks for the links

Terry

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Feb 20, 2020 10:27:38   #
Tjohn Loc: Inverness, FL formerly Arivaca, AZ
 
When photographing geologic items, a recognizable item placed in the scene helps with perceiving the scale, a dime, a rock hammer, a 6 inch ruler,etc. Think about food pictures. How many have items are included in food pictures that contribute to the consumption of the food? For your nutcrackers, maybe some walnuts and pecans near the base would help and they would be compatible with the scene, a cheese wedge, sliced fruit,.........

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