What if you could take beautiful, studio-quality product shots at home with just a few simple items?
To recreate the colourful image in this post, all you need is a camera, a piece of cardboard or large sheet of paper, a HandyMagnet, a table, and a magnetic surface. And before you start to groan and say that you don't have a magnetic surface... you DO! A simple magnetic white board or a tin shed will work. Even better, go to your fridge, washer, dryer, or dishwasher.
Whatever surface you choose, you'll want it to be in a bright room with a window to one side that lets in plenty of light. Set up your small table against the magnetic surface. Usually you'll want the light hitting your setup at a 45 degree angle, but that will depend on the desired end result. If natural light is not available, you can use other light sources such as desk lamps, torches, and external flashes.
Now you'll want to create a lovely, seamless background for your photo. This is where our HandyMagnets become very, well, handy! To hold up your coloured cardboard, you could use clips, which require a frame to connect to and often slip and move. You could also fix it in place using tape, but that makes it difficult to reposition and may end up ruining it and the surface underneath when you tear the tape off. But with a HandyMagnet, you can firmly hold the card in place and reposition it countless times without making a mark on the cardboard or the furniture. No slipping, no moving, and no hassle.
I chose the clear HandyMagnet, being the most discreet (although it will be cropped out of the final image anyway).
For this shoot I simply fixed my SLR on a tripod with a 50mm lens. I set my camera in the manual exposure (M) mode with an aperture value (Av) of 10 to keep everything in focus. I set the ISO to 200 and the shutter speed at the maximum sync speed for my flash, which is 1/250. For lighting I have used an off camera flash with a shoot through umbrella.
Even if you don't have a fancy SLR camera, this setup can work just as well with a simple point-and-shoot or even a camera phone. Just be sure to keep the exposure bright. So go ahead, grab a background and a HandyMagnet and marvel at the simplicity of creating beautiful seamless backdrops for a close-up photo shoot!
And stay tuned for upcoming posts about other ways that HandyMagnets can help in creating professional-looking photography.