Why use a scrim light to help with your lighting? What actually is a scrim light?
In all my lovely years as a product photographer, I hardly light directly onto the products surface. Mostly I use some kind of diffusion material to control, reshape and repurpose the light source to create something unique. Something focused on getting the most out of a products look and feel.
This light source is called a scrim light.
This tutorial was originally designed to help CG artists understand how in the physical real world of studio photography, we manipulate the light source to be right for the product. HDRLightStudio is working to help artists in the digital world to understand how we as photographers approach shooting products. What struck me when creating this video, was how important the use of a scrim light is for all photographers to know. We will all use diffusion techniques differently once we have mastered what we want from the technique. But what are the basic principles, underlying reasons for changing the light source?
In my course and workshops, you will see me lighting through trace rolls, using hand held diffusers and bouncing lights off walls and poly boards. Why do I go to this effort? In my experience not many products, especially technology, drink and beauty related goods look nice when we point a light straight at them. The highlights mostly look too bright, too harsh and there is very little light movement. Controlled light movement gives a product a feeling of luxury and quality. Something most brands will want to convey in their marketing images.
To understand how to use a scrim light, we need to understand the product. I have a nifty tutorial on this for you here.
Once we understand our product, we can then start our lighting approach. Another useful little tutorial on where to light from in a set can be found here.
As usual, my thoughts on what exactly we need to do has everything to do with the specific needs of the shot. No one solution can ever be given. This tutorial will help with the understanding of light manipulation. Of course, the subject can be drilled down into more and more with questions relating to different types of scrims and when to use them. I would love to field your questions on this subject. You can ask me through the forum. To use the forum you need to be a member. See options here.
Product photography can be as simple or as complex as we want it to be! My advice is to keep things as simple as possible to achieve the result we want to achieve. Know how things need to look in advance and then aim at that. Design a scrim light that suits your purpose. The most crucial thing of all…
Have fun and enjoy the process:)
This tutorial offers some core and simple methods for anyone wanting to raise their level of product photography. Check out Shoot Products Like A Pro for details on how you can learn to be a much better product Photographer
Enjoy the video!
Shoot Products Like A Pro – Product Photography Course and Tuition