While taking pictures of your products, you may experience unwanted shadows, which is a common barrier in indoor photography especially. And, if the shadows of your products pop up, it will ultimately ruin your photography mood as it makes your product photo look unappealing and worse.
Therefore, you may want to know – How to eliminate a shadow in your product photography? So, you can take beautiful photographs of your products that will attract customers.
All right, to help you eliminate shadows in your product photograph, in this article, I have provided some strategies and tips with other related information that will help you remove shadows.
And thus, you don’t have to worry about a shadow situation at all when you are photographing your products. So, keep reading the article, and know the pro-tips to eliminate the shadows.
How to eliminate a shadow in your product photography?
Well, you can eliminate shadows in your product photography by following some tips and tricky strategies.
These tips include:
- Setting your camera correctly
- Creating a lightbox
- Understanding the soft light and hard light
- Controlling flash properly
- Using a reflector
- Using the daylight
- Using the light tent and pop-up light lent
- Bouncing the light back
- Avoiding the shadowed wall effect
- Using a translucent acrylic flexible surface
Usually, you will find so many ways to avoid shadows, but these are the most common tips to eliminate shadows in product photography.
Well, let’s discuss them in detail so you can better understand these strategies mentioned above.
1. Setting out the camera properly
The first thing you need to do to get rid of a shadow is to set your camera correctly. For this, you should set the camera settings to shutter mode with a shutter speed of about 1/60 – 1/200.
This shutter speed will prevent artificial shadows.
Besides, if you want to control DOF – the depth of field, you can also do it by setting the camera to manual mode.
2. Creating a lightbox
A lightbox works very well to remove the shadows of your product photography. So, if you want to eliminate the unwanted shadows at the beginning stage, you should create a lightbox.
So, the lightbox acts as a soft light source by delivering a white background.
3. Understanding the soft light and hard light
Understanding the soft and hard light is the most significant way to avoid shadow-related issues while taking pictures of your products.
Soft Light vs Hard Light
|Soft Light||Hard Light|
|Offers the brightest light reflection over a huge surface.||The spreading of hard light is comparatively narrower than your product size.|
|The spreading of this soft light helps to eliminate the shadows efficiently.||To get rid of the shadow situation and blurry effects of the products, the hard light works perfectly.|
4. Controlling flash properly
Most of the time, shadows of your products are formed due to the uncontrolled flash effect of your camera. Thus, it is essential to control the direct flash effect of your camera correctly.
As you know, the direct flash on your camera is the main source of hard light; thus, a harsh shadow will be formed just on the opposite side of your product.
Therefore, if you can control this flash effect properly, it will help to reduce the shadows in your product photography. However, controlling this is a little bit difficult task if you are not an expert in photography.
5. Using a light reflector tool
Another way to avoid shadow situations is using a light reflector while taking pictures. In other words, a reflector such as an umbrella is an essential tool for indoor photography as it creates a soft fill to reduce the shadows of your product significantly.
6. Use the daylight
When it comes to photography, using daylight or natural light will help you capture your product’s picture without experiencing shadow effects. This is because daylight that is coming from your window provides a source of soft light.
However, this natural soft light source offers a brighter light than the flash on your camera. Besides, it also provides a shallow DOF and an excellent and soft white balance that easily removes shadows in your product photography.
7. Using the light tent & pop-up light lent
If you are searching for an alternative to the lightbox, you can use a light tent and pop-up light tent as the source of soft light. You will find these tents available in different sizes and shapes.
While using these tents, you will see that the soft light is bouncing back from the light lent and the pop-up light tent to the center of your product while taking pictures of them.
8. Bouncing the light back
Using the light tents, you can also use some white card pieces to bounce the light back. For this, you have to place the card pieces just behind your product to reflect the light.
In this way, it will prevent shadow casting, and you can capture a nice shot of your products without worrying about shadow formation. Besides, this is one of the most effective and cheapest methods to reduce the shadow in product photography.
9. Avoiding the shadowed wall effect
You will experience unwanted shadows if there is a space limit and place your product close to the wall. If so, the shadow will be cast onto the wall due to the reflection of your products while photographing them.
To address the issue, first, you need to move the product away from the wall, and then you have to use a source of light as a reflector pointing from behind.
10. Using a sheet of translucent and acrylic-based flexible surface
Last but not least, a tricky strategy to eliminate the shadows in product photography is using a sheet of the translucent and acrylic-based flexible surface. To do so, you have to place your product onto a transparent glass table with lighting from below.
After that, surround your product with this translucent surface sheet. Then, while taking pictures, if you are capable of angling the source of the light accurately, you will find that the fine surface will bounce back the light of your product, thus reducing shadows.
How can you soften a shadow in product photography?
So, if you want to soften a shadow in your product photography, you need to follow some decent but brilliant strategies.
Well, here, I have provided some ways to soften a shadow in photography. So, check out the following tips:
- Move the light source closer to your product while taking pictures.
- Use soft as well as more diffused light sources.
- Bounce the light source over a large surface area.
- Bounce the light source into a reflective tool like an umbrella.
- Capture your product’s photograph using a diffuser panel.
- Use a soft lightbox or an octal box.
- Use Tone Curve to fix the harsh lighting situation in your lightroom.
Why is there a shadow in your product photograph?
There are so many reasons that cause a shadow in your product photograph. However, I will focus on the most common reasons among them.
- Uncontrolled flash on your camera is one of the most common culprits causing a harsh shadow on your product.
- Using a flash with a lens hood will cast a shadow.
- Using a large enough lens will cause a shadow of your product on its own, no matter if there is a lens hood or not.
- Placing the source of the light just in front of your product will cast a shadow from behind.
- Using a too-small light source will cause shadows on your products.
- The insufficient white balance of the camera causes a shadow in your product photography.
- Not paying attention to the indoor photography scene, such as architectural details, will cause shadowed and cluttered images.
- Not using a light reflector tool will form an artificial shadow as there is no catchlight in your product’s eye.
- Lacking natural or soft light sources forms a shadow of your product.
Well, if you want to avoid these problems causing a shadow in your product’s picture, follow these given options-
- Try not to use flash if you’re not professional.
- Use a larger on-camera or off-camera flash if required.
- Use a smaller size lens instead of using a larger one.
- Remove the lens hood before using the flash.
- Use a diffuser panel to soften the shadow.
- Use a bounce card to bounce back or reflect the light.
- Point the flash on your camera at a wall or the ceiling.
So, I’m done with the article, are you? In this article, I have mentioned and clearly explained some of the most common techniques – How to eliminate a shadow in your product photography? By providing tips with a lot of information.
Hopefully, after reading the whole article, you have already learned the possible methods how to removing shadows and capturing beautiful pictures of your products.
So, it’s time to shoot nice photos without worrying about a shadow in your product photograph!
Justin Parker is a professional photographer and has been in the industry since 2007. He attended the University of Georgia. Justin combines his passion for photography and his interest in writing to give life to this blog which talks about photography in order to help and inspire young photographers.