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Zen and the Art of Product Photography

A mentor once quipped, during a discussion on tabletop and product photography, that there is a certain Zen aspect to this type of photography. He was referring to the fact that the process, though it can be long and detailed, has a serenity and purposefulness to it that is calming and reflective. It is a totally different experience than dealing with people.

I needed some images for items that I was placing up for sale. I also wanted to experiment with gradient backgrounds (done with lighting and not in post production, though there is certainly nothing wrong with that approach). I spent a couple of hours setting up the shots and enjoying that Zen experience.

© Donald J. Fadel, Jr. |

Product photography is about revealing form and texture. This is achieved by lighting.

While I could certainly have placed these on an all-white background, I like the gradient as I feel it adds some movement in the frame. I also feel that it contributes to the 3-dimensional look that I am going for.

I also very much enjoyed the process. Alone, in the studio, music playing louder than it probably should, I was free to go through the evolutionary aspects of the shoot. I could proceed at my own pace. And when I was done, I was done. Except of course for post production.

A Zen moment to be sure.

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