Since starting my keyboard photography Instagram page, Oziii Obsessions, I am regularly asked by followers what camera and other photography gear I use to photograph my boards.
So today I thought I'd put together a shortlist of the photography gear that I use in the hope that it will help others interested in photographing their keyboards and other products/gear.
I primarily use a Sony A7iii camera for most of my photography.
The other camera that I use from time to time is a Sony A6600 which is a more affordable option if you don't need a full-frame camera.
My most used lens is the Sony 55mm f1.8 lens. I find this lens lets me get a tight enough framing in most shooting scenarios and also allows me to shoot in lower light situations and get a nice blurry bokeh background when I need to by shooting wide open at f1.8 aperture.
The other lens I currently have that is useful in some circumstances is the Sony f2 28mm lens. This allows me to frame for wider shots - although you do need to be a bit careful as it can distort your images.
On the Sony A6600, I also have a Sigma f1.4 16mm lens which I primarily use for video/streaming but has been useful for a few of my photoshoots too.
I have also recently added the Sony 90mm f2.8 Macro lens which will allows me to get closer in for detail shots of my keyboards.
One of the most important considerations in any kind of photography is light. While I do use a fair bit of natural light in many of my shots I have also got a couple of Godox VL150 continuous lights that have really lifted my photography to another level.
On them, I have mounted Godox P90L softboxes which are quite large and create a beautifully diffused soft light. The beauty of VL150 lights is that they are Bowens mount lights which means you can use a variety of other light modifiers on them.
Lately I've been trying a variety of modifiers including a couple of Neewer Softboxes and a fun little Neewer Snoot (a cheap way to shape light)
This snoot has been fun but I also recently picked up Godox SA-17 with Godox SA-P Projector which takes shaping light to a whole new level!
Also my experiments have led me to explore using a couple of other Godox lights including the SZ150R which is an amazing light that produces light similar to the Godox VL150 mentioned above but also a full spectrum of colors of light in RGB mode. Along with it I have a couple TL60 tube lights that are also full spectrum RGB lights.
Many times I only use one of the Godox lights for my images but having them both has been handy for some of my more complex lighting setups.
Godox lights are more affordable than some of the higher-end continuous lights on the market but if you're looking for something even more affordable I previously had a couple of Neewer Bi-Color 480 LED lights and Neewer's matching softbox diffusers.
These are much smaller but still create some great light. I sometimes still use these to create some accent lighting on my shots. The beauty of these is that they allow you to create daylight and a warmer yellow light also.
The Neewer lights mentioned above come with lighting stands which are quite light and easy to use but for the Godox lights I prefer a sturdier light stand and picked up these heavy-duty lights from Neewer.
I also have more recently acquired a C-stand which allows me to light directly over the products I'm photographing or alternatively to mount my camera directly above the set. This stand is very sturdy and has allowed a lot more flexibility in shooting and lighting angles.
A tripod is a must for most of the shots I take as it allows me to carefully set up a shot, then adust lighting without having to frame again. It also is very useful if you want to shoot at slower shutter speeds (which I do at times when shooting with lower light and/or small aperture and low ISO.
I have an older Manfrotto tripod (a forerunner to this model) but there are many out there that would do the job. Just try to get something sturdy and that allows you to shoot both from up high and right down low.
Many of my photos are shot at my desk, on our kitchen bench (which is a nice big white shiny surface) or on other surfaces around our home (coffee tables, side tables, on the laundry floor tiles, in the bathroom in front of some gorgeous tiling etc).
I got the largest size I could find (A1) and a range of colors.
The foam board (black and white) allows me to have a solid surface and sometimes is the background I shoot on but many times I select a colored sheet of poster board to put on it that complements the color of the board I'm shooting.
I find the single color backgrounds allows the subject of the photo to shine. Of course, there are other times where a more natural background is also effective but it is nice to have the option.
There are many purpose-made photography backgrounds around that simulate a large range of surfaces (wooden boards, concrete, marble etc). I've not used them yet but know a lot of food photographers and product photographers who love them.
There is really no limit to the number of things you can do to create a great background for your product photography. I've used wrapping paper, picnic rugs, kitchen chopping boards, old pieces of wood, tea towels, pieces of fabric, tiles and rugs. I'm always on the lookout for interesting surfaces!
There's nothing too surprising here. I use Lightroom and Photoshop in tandem and at times also shoot tethered to Lightroom using Sony's Imaging Edge software.
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