04: CONSUMER ELECTRONICS
Watches, kitchen apparatus, computers, phones, personal music devices… all of it has been put together into what we call the Consumer Electronics arena. The biggest convention they have in Vegas every year is the Consumer Electronics Show. Huge.
That means there is an interest in photography to help the marketers make their stuff more appealing to consumers. That’s what we do, right?
A stack of phones.
Well lit and nicely composed, notice how the standing up phone casually leans upon the stacked ones with one of them sticking out the other side. Nice touch to add dimension. The lighting is even and soft, and the shadows very softly rendered – just enough to give the dimension to the products. All of the light is gradient, and the small sheen on the front of the standing phone gives it context and dimension as well.
THE “SWISS ARMY KNIFE” OF PHONES
Brought to life with a clever collage of photoshopped elements. Also notice the reflection of the light in the glass cover of the phone. It’s small, but it adds to the context of the phone, as well as reminding us that there is indeed a clear cover over the device. The light on the swill army knife tools could be a bit more interesting I believe. Perhaps the AD felt it would pull eyes from the contrasty product, but I think it is too flat (dull?) to be interesting at all.
A slider phone / GPS unit that has wonderful lighting on it to show the extreme glossy surface. The product is very well lit with highlights adding to the dimensionality of it as well as keeping the logo and type elements well defined. Notice the nice highlight that runs all the way around the product on the rim. Subtle, but ultimately important.
HIGH END HEADPHONES
The major design influence for these headphones is minimalism. The photographer chose a single bright color to offset the headphones and then lit the phones with lots of contrast. Bright highlights define the leather on the top and sides, while the shape of the headphones is maintained by not showing any shadow to compete with the lines. Whether in camera, masked out, or post-processed in, the flat background brings a very strong clarity to the subject matter. Note that the cable has been removed in this image.
HEADPHONES AND DETAIL SHOTS
Well executed, and supremely well lit, these headphone/microphones show every nuance and detail of the craftsmanship put into the device. Multiple light sources, large, liquid highlights, and a variety of angles show how these headphones are made with craftsmanship. Using a multiple light setup can be very tricky, so I advise you to start with one main and add either lights or reflector boards as needed. Remember that on devices such as this one, seeing every edge can be imperative. Mixing reflections into the lighting overall can help, but it can also be overdone and remove all the mystery and romance of light and shadow.
The use of the red special lighting also keeps the product in the forefront and helps give the edges from receding into the background.
A consumer electronics product shot to show detail, context, and design. Remember your BTS shot for lighting.