What is cut-out photography?

Cut-out photography, in it’s simplest form, it is your product, perfectly lit, photographed and then outputted as a high resolution image. In most cases, you will find cut out images on a white coloured background. This allows your customers to view your product ‘as is’ in a clear and descriptive way.

Cut out images are everywhere!

Although many people will think of E-commerce applications, such as your Company Website, Amazon & Ebay when they think of cut out images – they are still widely used for other applications such as Packaging, Product Brochures and printed Installation Guides, etc. Some of our clients choose to have a Clipping Path included with their cut out images. This is a post processing procedure that isolates your product from the white background. This allows your images to be placed onto different coloured backgrounds, or incorporated onto existing artwork for numerous web or print applications. The key thing to remember is that regardless of where you intend to show your product cut out images, you have to get the basics correct from the start:

1. Clear, descriptive lighting

2. Highlight the key areas of interest

Do you require an overall product image AND additional detail images?

3. File format

Have a clear understanding of the image file types that are required for your chosen use of the images; your web designer will probably require a different file format than your printer manager would.

4. Consider adding a clipping path

If you feel that you might want to use the images with anything other than a white background.

5. Timing is essential

Consider the required lead time to book in and ship your products to our studio, your required timeframe for the images to appear on your online applications and your printer’s deadline for any required printed sales and marketing collateral.   At 2020 we have a dedicated team who can help you maximise your investment in all aspects of your photography and art-working endeavours.


Please feel free to call us on 0113 272 0277 or drop us an email at info@2020pv.co.uk You can find examples of the wide range of photographic services that we provide here. We look forward to hearing from you!

Trade secrets of a cosmetics photographer

We have a wide range of experience in product photography, recently we have been focusing on cosmetics. Simon, one of our inhouse photographers is quite an expert in this area having previously worked with clients such as Avon. He explains in detail the steps he has taken to achieve these stunning product shots.

 “Miss Dior” by Dior

The first product  “Miss Dior”  is a playful and elegant fragrance, we wanted to reflect this in the imagery. The starting point is an simple plain background shot.

Dior Product shot

The Miss Dior on a plain white perspex background.

 

The shot for the background was a long and intricate process which involved dropping ink into water. We think you’ll agree it was worth it! First Simon dug out his old fish tank and after a good clean, filled it to the brim with water. He then experimented with inks, mixing subtle pastel colours that complimented the baby pink fragrance.

Dior Ink in water

 

The consistency of the ink had to be just right; thick enough that it didn’t dissolve immediately and not so thick that it just formed a solid shape in the water. Once the consistency was perfected it was a case of pouring both inks into the tank simultaneously. Using a fast shutter speed, combined with high speed flash, he captured the exact moment that the inks hit the water. The inks bubbled, swirled and mixed to create the intriguing colours and abstract forms you see in the the final shot.

 

 

 

Simon continued to empty and refill the tank until he achieved a bank of images to select elements from. Using Photoshop he merged them together to create the alluring textures that make up the backdrop.

 

  The finished article!

                                         A beatiful bottle floating in a sea of fragent clouds.

 

Ted Baker “Tour de Ted

For this Ted Baker “Tour de Ted” Body maintenance kit Simon took a different approach. The product features a very bold, crisp & clean design which he wanted to mirror in the final image. Unlike the “Miss Dior” shot this was captured in one shot.

 

Ted Baker

 

After artworking the bottles, the next step is to produce the background. As the product branding is based on cycling it was fitting to explore bike influenced brush sets for Photoshop. Using various blending modes graphics were added to the image to generate interest and set it apart from a simple plain background shot. The finishing touch was to tweek the background colour to the the vibrant orange of the product. We think the end result is worthy of a yellow jersey!

 

Marc Jacobs “Daisy”

Our third illustrates just how much post production work goes into high quality shots. We have outlined below the steps taken to achieve the final shot for this Marc Jacobs “Daisy” fragrance.

2020pv: Specialists in Cosmetics & Product photography

The bottle is polished and photographed on white perspex background. As the lighting needs to be different to capture the details of the top and the bottle two shots are taken and combined together.

2020pv: Specialists in Cosmetics & Product photography

Care and attention to detail were fundamental in achieving the finished to achieve the finished image of the bottle top.

2020 creative photography and print 0113 272 0277

The petals were brightened, the shadows highlighted and a smooth finish applied resulting in the following effect.

2020pv: Specialists in Cosmetics & Product photography

The chrome was polished and given a gradient, reflections are removed and flower centres checked for consistency.

 

2020p: Specilaists in cosmetics photographyStarting to look pretty impressive!

 

The finishing touches were to bring out the pink in the liquid and then contrast that by having a pure white background and redue the reflection to give the shot a subtle finish.

 

2020pv: Specialists in Cosmetics & Product photography

Here is the finished version with an added graphic background that lends itself perfectly to promote the product.

 

Jean Paul Gaultier “Classique”

Our final product is the quintessential Jean Paul Gaultier fragrance “Classique” tattoo special edition. Simon produced two shots here – one which drew on the colour tones of the product and the other which took its influence from the hand drawn style of the art on the bottle.

2020pv: Specialists in Cosmetics & Product photography2020pv: Specialists in Cosmetics & Product photography

We hope you’ve enjoyed this insight into the creation of our recent cosmetic photography. Hopefully we’ve inspired you to try out some new techniques or perhaps experiment with a new style. If you would like to know more about our process or have a product you would like us to photograph, retouch or apply a unique background to please contact us on 0113 272 0277.

How to make your light drawings sparkle

2020 Sparkler

We’ve created this dazzling image for Bonfire night. Its created using a technique called light writing or light drawing. By using a long exposure a trail of light is captured giving the effect you see here. We’ve used a sparkler to give it that Bonfire night feel.

 

 

 

What’s it all about?

Pablo Picasso’s experiments in light drawing in 1949 were fairly revolutionary and helped bring the medium to the attention of the art world and in turn the greater public.  The work came about as a result of a collaboration with Gjon Mili of LIFE magazine who later published the photos.picasso light drawing

 

Another interesting innovation came when French designer Alissa Logerot came up with the LED spray can. As an alternative to spray paint graffiti the bulb is charged by the kinetic energy generated when you shake the can. This coupled with the option of different caps for different effects gives the concept an authentic feel. Here are some of the results.

How do you create your own?

Firstly you’ll need a dark environment, if you want just the light trail to be visible then the darker the better. If its not completely dark you’ll get a blurred image of whoever is doing the light writing. This isn’t always a bad thing and having a figure can give the image context and create a striking ghost like effect. Next you need to have a play with your settings. The longer you set your exposure the more light you’ll be able to fit in. We used a 8 second exposure at F16, but half the fun is in experimenting so give it a go yourself.

light drawing photography blog by 2020 photography. 0113 272 0277

After we were happy with the form we added smoke in photoshop to give the image a little more interest.

5 Top Tips for light drawings:

  • The brighter and more defined the light you use the better – LEDs work well as they throw out a bright and concentrated light.
  • Make sure you keep the end of the light in the same field of focus for a clean, crisp image.
  • It can help if you use a visual marker for the edges of the frame so that you fill it to its entirety.
  • If you’ve set your exposure to 8 seconds then you can count to 8 in your head whilst drawing your image to make sure you fit it all in.
  • Try not to move too quickly as the image can blur or distort and to create thicker lines try going back over the same areas.

 

An example of light drawing graffiti using the surrounds to its advantage.

light drawing photography blog by 2020 photography. 0113 272 0277

An exciting Batman inspired image, don’t worry if you can’t achive these kind of results, a lot of work will have gone into the post preduction on a shot like this!

 

If you would like more information on our photography service then please give us a call on 0113 272 0277 or drop into our Leeds based studio.

Artworking and Retouching explained

 

What is Artworking?

Artworking is the process of making a photo look as good as it possibly can. Although we go to great lengths to prepare shots before they are taken, there are always aspects of any image that will need cleaning up or correcting. Room set and furniture photography is where artworking is most prevalent. Small marks on the walls or floors are removed, along with folds or awkward creases in furniture. Anything that unintentionally draws the viewers eye to one point is resolved. Maybe a product has a slight scuff or crack in it which can be rectified in Photoshop. Then the lighting is tweaked to the optimum level to give a it crisp and clear image. White background shots can be clipped to give a perfect white which shows of the product to its maximum potential. It also enables us to ensure the product can drop into a catolouge  or web with no tone. We include a certain amount of artworking  as part of the price of a days photography to make sure that we give our clients the best possible final product.

How is retouching different to artworking?

Retouching although similar to artworking is a slightly different process. It involves manipulation rather than perfection. Common examples would be changing the colour of a product, or the adding or removing of a person or object. One process that our clients make use of a lot is changing the fabric colour on large pieces of furniture sure as beds or sofas. If a product comes in twelve different colour it makes much more sense financially and logistically to change one image rather than ship in lots of large cumbersome products. Sometimes you might want a shot with and without a model in it, shifting the emphasis from the use of the product to the product itself. You could even show a product in lots of different locations to help a potential buyer relate to the surroundings. One of our clients are producers of industrial drill bits and as we can’t create a quarry in our studio we instead manipulate the surrounding to give the desired effect.

At 2020, we have colour-calibrated monitors for careful colour matching. This is especially important when we are undertaking work for clients whose product photography has to match the product closely, such as tile photography, carpet photography, furniture photography, industrial or household paint photography and many others. By getting your colours right, we will help keep your customers happy and avoid costly returns.

 Here we have an example of a multiple colour change.

The colours can be matched to any swatch and give just one shot endless possibilities.

Here we see a slightly more complex example.

The model has been removed and the colour changed. This gives a second option to the shot and doubles its possibilities. 

Notice how to no detail is lost with the colour change, shadows and reflections remain unaffected.

If you would like to discuss our photography or post preduction service please call us on 0113 272 0277

2020: Seasoned professionals in food photography.

2020 Food Photography Leeds

At 2020 we are passionate about food photography. We also run a Promotional merchandice department meaning we are always on top of whats hot in the world of PM. So when we saw these brandable herb grinders we had to have them!

 

 

 

Have you ever spent a frustrating amount of time chopping up herbs for a garnish only to find you’ve got it all over the kitchen? This herb grinder is the perfect soloution. It’s stainless steel blades are great at producing a fine even garnish. You can even try mixing fresh herbs in it to produce a more exciting garnish or rub.

It took some thyme but we ground out the shot and we think that it looks mint!

2020 Food Photography Leeds

 

Using our creative side, a bit of patience and a lot of parsley, corriender, dill, chives, thyme and rosemary we came up with these fun photos to promote the grinder. Not only did it look and smell fantastic but it would make a great rub for a nice leg of lamb!

If you would be interested in making use of our food photography service then why not pop in and we can give you one of our new grinders and have a chat about your requirements. Give us a call on 0113 272 0277 for more information. 

5 Top Tips on Food Photography

 

The aim of food photography is to show food that looks good enough to eat.

Because creating excellent promotional images of food requires experience and expertise, you should always use a professional commercial photographer. Skimping on costs by looking for cheap food photography is a false economy: it’s much better to invest in high-quality photography that will show your food products to their best advantage.

 

 

  1. Use a kitchen setting

Any commercial photographers who take a professional approach to food photography will have a kitchen on site. Having installed a fully functioning, permanent kitchen at the 2020 studios, we can prepare your food on the premises so that it looks as fresh as possible on the final image.

It also means that there’s a ready-made setting for the shot, so if you’re looking for lifestyle photography this can be accommodated and we can also source models when required. Along with the room sets that we often build to showcase our clients’ furniture, flooring and décor, it means we can recreate any room in a house.

  1. Hire a good food technician

Using a food technician or food stylist will vastly improve your food photography. Whatever the product, they have the expertise to make it look as good as it possibly can – or even better than it is!

Using fresh food for your shoot will result in a better quality image and a food technician can help to keep the food looking fresh for the duration of the session. At 2020, we have a food technician who works with us to achieve the best images of your food.

  1. Get the setting right

In food photography, the food is the star but the background and setting are also important. At 2020, we believe that preparation is key for any shoot.

Food photography may require clean, bright close-up shots with a soft focus background, or images that show the product in a particular setting. Whatever the product, a good photographer will spend time preparing the setting before starting the shoot.

 

This warming winter soup is perfectly complimented by the rustic loaf and appropriate crockery. The use of the garnish surrounding the bowl helps to continue the comforting feel and give the food a setting and situation.

 

  1. Add garnishes and props

With a little thought and care, additional items such as garnishes and props can dramatically improve your food photography. Table dressings and crockery, along with food and drink items associated with the product being shot, can make a big difference to the feel of the image and can be chosen to complement the food.

Depending on the product, the props and garnishes may fit into several categories, such as rustic, classic, contemporary or ultra-modern. A rustic loaf of bread, for example, could be shown on a solid oak table next to a carafe of wine, rather than a bottle. A new dessert being launched in contemporary packaging could be shown on a slate plate with a simple stylish table setting.

This more contemporary shot makes use of soft focus in the background to highlight the Salmon roll, which is the focus of the piece. It’s well lit and clean, which mirrors the style and presentation of the food.

 

5. Lighting the shot

Whenever possible, natural daylight is usually the best option for photographing food. Otherwise, you will need to work with a commercial studio that has the expertise to create a close representation of daylight.

A good commercial photographer will also know how to create a mood using light and how to ensure there are no unwanted shadows or reflections on the final image.

Fast food is a perfect example of the difference using a food technician and a professional photography team can make to your regular food photography. This video made by the kings of fast food McDonalds shows exactly how they get what you see on the menu display looking so different from what you end up eating in the box.

                               

 If you’d like to find out more about the food photography services we provide at 2020, call us today on 0113 272 0277 or email us. You might also like to look at our Food Photography pages.

 

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