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Bluetooth Headphones

No product is safe from being photographed here at Casa Kidona.

I recently purchased a pair of bluetooth headphones to help ease along the miles while I run. Cords always seem to end up wrapped around my neck and there are no controls with wired headphones.

I liked this unit so much that I decided it deserved to be photographed. Using a simple 2 light setup, I produced this:

© Donald J. Fadel, Jr. |

Ok, “simple” meant 6 light stands (only 2 lights), but who’s counting? There was 1 for the background, 1 to suspend the subject from, 2 for the lights, 1 for the triflector, and 1 for a flag to eliminate flare. Product photography is code for lots of stuff.

Being a fan of industrial design, I wanted to feature the interesting design of these headphones. The photographic challenge is that it is black.

Being black, it’s hard to see anything unless it is lit. In which case it generally becomes not black – it becomes grey (or white, depending on speculars). The light also needs to define its shape and texture – this is done by creating highlights next to shadows.

To do so, I chose to  backlight it, like most of my product shots. This helps to separate it from the background while adding  highlights to the top and sides. Light was then reflected back so as to fill and create additional highlights on the front of the object.

When you highlight black, it actually becomes grey as mentioned; it is the shadows that gives the visual clues that the object is in fact black. This defines shape. As the transitions between highlight and shadow are not abrupt (at least on a single surface plane), this is the clue that the object is matt and not shiny. Defining texture.

Wanting to spice it up a little I added a background graphic for the final image:

© Donald J. Fadel, Jr. |

In addition to being an interesting subject, these are great headphones. Inexpensive, they stay in the ear, have great controls, and connect reliably to my iPhone 6.

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