How To Take a Shadowless Object/Product Photograph

posted on 4th of june, 2012


I loved this blog writing thing...one of my recent blogs is in the Google’s first page and it made me feel really proud. So I think I will keep writing :)


Altough I’m not a professor or expert on studio lighting, I want to write about “shadow-less object / product photography”. You know we generally put our objects on a white seamless paper or anything like that and whenever we click the shutter, there is a shadow on the ground. Then we struggle to delete that shadow to make the object totally isolated. Using this very technique, we can get shadowless images, which means we will save a lot of time during the post-process (almost no isolation needed).

Here are 2D jpegs of this lighting diagram. I upload from various angles to let you see the scene perfectly.

If you want, you can click on the link below to download Google SkechtUp viewer (free) and take a look at the much more detailed 3D version of the lighting diagram. I will be gladful if you spend sometime to take a look and share your ideas if it is more useful and easier to understand then the oldschool 2D diagrams? I will appreciate it...since I created the basic objects, I can draw more examples using those 3d objects, if you like it :)

Click here to download Google SketchUp Viewer (10,5 Mb)
Click here to download the 3D diagram (2Mb) Official Google 3D Warehouse Link

2D Light Diagrams in .jpeg format

Here is a perfect example of this technique...

These individual letters are shot using this technique and spend very short time for the post-process. I didn’t use any pen tool, It would be really hard to isolate every letter one by one. So I used this lighting technique and some subtle levels adjustment.

I will not write every step, because it is already easily in the drawings. But I want to add some tips about the lighting, which I can’t mention in the diagrams.

-Use a clean glass. It will save you lots of time in the post process.
-Make your background light +1 EV then the main light, so that you can have a bright background and no contrast loss in the object.
-Obviously, never let the background light spill on the subject. Barn doors are vital here. If possible, use a honeycomb to direct the light to the background (home made barn doors can create wonders)
-We place a black reflector, because we don’t want the light to reflect off room walls and effect the lighting. Place the black reflector carefully and lean it downwards if possible. It is black but it will still reflect some little light.
-You don’t want that powerful light reflect from the white and jump in your lens. So, place the background light as low as possible, because we want it to reflect from the white background and get lost in the black reflector. If you have issues about the contrast, look for possible reflections.
-Keep the object as high as possible, so that you can prevent unwanted reflections and contrast loss.
-We know that light lose power according to the distance it traveled. So if you place the BG light too close, you will get a gradient on your background. Placing the BG light as far as possible will let you have an equal “white” on every part of the frame.
-If you are going to take a series of objects (like letters, watch, jewelry etc) you better fix your camera on a tripod and mark your frame on the glass. This will help you creating frames without having to use the camera. I did so :))
-If you don’t own 2 light sources, still use the glass to take the object away from the background, it will still help you with the shadow.

Thanks for reading, I hope you find it helpful. I’ll appreciate if you share your opinions about the 3d diagram, if you can take a look at it.

Parkinson Sniper

Comments (21)

Posted by Suyerry on July 12, 2013
Thanks for sharing!
Posted by Mturhanlar on March 24, 2013
thanks for sharing and useful links :)
Posted by Mturhanlar on March 24, 2013
thanks for sharing and useful links :)
Posted by Parkinsonsniper on August 28, 2012
Thanks for your nice words Andreclark :) I don't have such a table so I tried to mimic it at home. This is kinda simple DIY project...
Posted by Andreclark on June 14, 2012
Tips are so good. I like the way you represent it. I use many time the photo shooting tables to achieve seamless background and for some translucent acrylic flexible surface. west marine
Posted by Parkinsonsniper on June 08, 2012
Thanks for the comments...I appreciate them :)
Posted by Panayiotisdemou on June 07, 2012
Thank you for sharing with us!
Posted by Thevegetable on June 07, 2012
Thanks for sharing...:)
Posted by Zenonk on June 07, 2012
Thanks for sharing
Posted by Parkinsonsniper on June 07, 2012
Thanks for the comments :)
Posted by Onime on June 07, 2012
Great blog, thanks for sharing. :))
Posted by Laurasinelle on June 06, 2012
Thanks for sharing!
Posted by Parkinsonsniper on June 06, 2012
Thanks for the compliments Mary. I appreciate it and I'm glad you liked the drawing too :)
Posted by Mary981 on June 05, 2012
Thanks for sharing. The drawing is helpful. I thought for sure the picture was an illustration until I read your article. Amazing
Posted by Mary981 on June 05, 2012
Thanks for sharing. The drawing is helpful. I thought for sure the picture was an illustration until I read your article. Amazing
Posted by Parkinsonsniper on June 05, 2012
Thanks for comments :) I will try to create other diagrams using the same technique and share them here...
Posted by Teabum on June 05, 2012
Interesting :) and 3D diagram is just awesome ;)
Posted by Grafvision on June 05, 2012
Thanks for sharing...:)
Posted by Egomezta on June 04, 2012
Great, thanks for sharing.
Posted by Merterster on June 04, 2012
Lots of investment lies in the 3D diagram, I hope you will use it on your future blogs.
Posted by Peanutroaster on June 04, 2012
Thanks for sharing! Diagram is great!

Comments (21)

This article has been read 5781 times. 10 readers have found this article useful.
Photo credits: Parkinsonsniper.

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I\'ve always been obsessed about the pixel level perfection of my pictures. That\'s why I prefer stock photography, perfection is valuable here and this is what I like to create. I have photographs used on many websites including MSN.com Turkey mainpage.

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