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photography

7 tips and tricks for eliminating shadows from product photos

There’s a time and place for a long moody shadow or a short harsh shadow in product photography.  but there are plenty of times when that shadow just clashes with your vision for your photo.  because of the nature of photography lighting it can be challenging to eliminate unwanted shadows during the shoot.  we’ll cover all the ways it can be done (and for every budget) in the studio or in post-production!  pro tip: considering your lighting options should be done during the prep step to avoid having to pause and readjust during your shoot.

what is causing shadows?

*jazz hands* science.  photography is all about manipulating and capturing light.  you want the side of the product you’re photographing to be well lit. but the other side of that product will now have a shadow. this isn’t avoidable!  but the art of photography involves manipulating your scene to capture it in the best way for your products. as a photographer — amateur or professional — you will be contending with shadows.  now that you’ve accepted this fact, it’s time to choose your favorite way to eliminate them.

tip #1: use a lightbox

A lightbox is exactly what it sounds like. it’s a five sided box with typically bright white on all five sides.  the sixth side is the opening from which you’ll shoot your photos.  the presence of the light and the brightness of the inside of the box create a diffusion of light and a clean white background for your images.

HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED: 

Lightboxes can be purchased online in a variety of budgets.  consider how much you’d like to spend and the size you’ll need for your product.  if you have small products (like jewelry for example) you can get away with a very compact lightbox.

tip #2: replicate soft light 

Soft light is the diffused light that pours through a window when it’s sunny but the sun isn’t directly shining in.  this is one of the best light sources if you have it: natural indirect light.  if you can’t time your photo shoot around natural light: you can still achieve it!  if the light is harsh — try putting up a sheer sheet or piece of paper to allow some light through but block the harshness.  conducting your photo shoot near a bright window and using curtains to diffuse the light as needed is one of the cheapest ways to achieve great lighting and eliminate the harshest shadows.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED: 

you’re in luck! you’ve probably got the materials needed for this already.  try a piece of butcher paper. wax paper. a thin sheet. or a sheer curtain.  after you get the timing down (what time of day does your window get the brightest light?) all you need to worry about is placing your product at the right angle and proximity to your light.

tip #3: avoid flash

Flash is NOT your friend. the flash from a camera is too concentrated. too bright. and too harsh. if you need bright light — use the other tips in this article to create that brightness and turn your flash off. while it saves time and money to use flash and not purchase lighting equipment — it will not save you time later when you’re editing the shadows and glare. and it certainly won’t save you money in the long run to have undesirable product photos.

tip #4: bounce light back toward light source

Reflectors are a common photography tool for bouncing back light.  but here’s a secret: a white poster board can work just as well on a budget!  there isn’t a hard and fast technique for bouncing back light: you’ll need to play with the angle.  you want your reflector or poster board to bounce light from the light source directly back onto the spot where the shadow was cast.  test shots will help you visualize this!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

You can purchase anything from a cheap piece of poster board to a professional reflector online.  start with the lower budget option to make sure this method is helpful to you and then advance your equipment from there!

tip #5: utilize two light sources

Two light sources will work similar to the technique above.  you will also need to play with the positioning and intensity of the lights to find what works best for your shot.  however — the risk with two light sources rather than a reflector is that two lights can cause the image to appear too blown out.  they can also result in — not one — but TWO shadows to contend with.

tip #6: digitally eliminate with editing apps

If you’re tech savvy and don’t want to spend the time/budget on the equipment above: this option might be best for you!  if you’re going to edit shadows from your image after the shoot — try to make the shadows as simple as possible in your product photos.  for example: editing out shadows from a bunch of props and dynamic backgrounds will be a lot more time-consuming in post-production than if you had a white background.  pssst— there are tons of excellent photo editing apps out there for every budget.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

However — Lightroom can be used to edit color and light in order to reduce shadows, not remove them completely.  for eliminating shadows from the shot entirely: you’ll need to use an app that allows more photo manipulation like Photoshop.

tip #7: play with manual settings on your camera

There’s no setting on your camera that will magically eliminate shadows.  but working in manual mode can assist you in capturing sharp photos with the right white balance so that less work is required in post-production.

SETTINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:

  • shutter speed between 1/60 and 1/200
  • reduce depth of field
  • play with white balance
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fashion

10 Current Fashion Trends You’ll Be Wearing in 2022

The most current fashion trends are those that feel easy to wear but still look as though you made just enough effort to do whatever it is you do during these strange, strange days and nights. Whether that’s daily Zoom meetings and a few essential errands, the occasional (safe!) outdoor dinner, weekend park outings, or in-person work, we all could use clothing that makes us feel a distinct sense of ease and comfort.

While forecasting fashion trends that originate on the runway isn’t a total exercise in futility—it will always hold influence—it seems designers and retailers are more frequently looking to social media, youth culture, nostalgia, street style, and celebrities for inspiration about what’s cool and what’s current.

As we start to wrap up a year that’s been less than ideal for every single one of us, take solace in the fact that the current fashion trends you might have bought into in 2021 will only be more prevalent in 2022. Small victories!

Sweet Cropped Cardigans

This vintage-inspired trend was kicked off among higher-end brands like Alessandra Rich and LoveShackFancy, and it has inevitably trickled down to the Zaras and Forever 21s of the world. Don’t be fooled by the way the women above styled theirs—this trend looks just as cute with lounge-y sweatpants as it does with jeans or a midi skirt. Plus, whether buttoned up on its own or with a matching cami underneath, it’ll impress over Zoom even if you pair it with the flannel PJ bottoms you wore to bed.

Tractor-Inspired Boots

Seemingly every designer and retailer from Balenciaga to Zara is taking cues from the humble tractor boot, which had a massive surge in fall 2021 and will only become more widespread next year. Characterized by an almost comically rounded toe and a thick, rugged sole, it’s among the current fashion trends that look as at home under a long dress or with a super-short skirt as it does paired with slouchy sweatpants or leggings. Consider this one of the current fashion trends worth the investment.

Candy-Colored Sweatpants

Few items can replace your favorite pair of worn-in heather gray sweats, but this year—one that was defined by couch clothing—the demand for sweatpants in a variety of colors, including  pastels and juicy bolds, was strong. Blame it on the idea that, once we felt comfortable to go outside again, our commitment to comfort didn’t waver but we still wanted to shop for and wear pieces that felt a little more fun than what typically colored sweatpants telegraph.

Shackets

Brushed plaid “shackets”—a hybrid of shirt and jacket—are among the current fashion trends that can be worn anywhere, any time. Heavier than a flannel shirt but not quite as bulky as a full-on coat, they’re perfect if you need to run out. They also look great with most things you’re already wearing, from sweatpants to turtlenecks.

Puff Sleeves

Among current fashion trends, this one is made to be noticed and therefore might have been a little more fun when you were actually going out and living life, but it’s also one that looks fresh on a grocery store run, the occasional (again, safe!) outdoor dinner, or yes, over Zoom.

Boiler Suits

This one-and-done hero piece has cropped up everywhere this year, from the runway to your favorite affordable stores. It’s easy, it’s cool, and it takes the stress out of picking pants and a shirt—because we all have enough to think about right now. Pro tip: Layer a turtleneck underneath to make it extra seasonal.

Bucket Hats

Swap the baseball cap for a very 2021 bucket hat, one of many current fashion trends beloved by some of the most stylish women on Planet Earth including Rihanna and Bella Hadid.

That Bag Shape We All Had in the Early 2000s

You know the one: kind of like a half-circle, short strap. Perfect for carrying only what you need, which never felt more relevant. Fendi christened the shape the “baguette” and its had a massive resurgence, while Prada recently reissued its iconic 2000 and 2005 nylon version. You don’t have to have a designer budget, though:  Almost every affordable retailer has its own version right now. If you really want to take it back to the early aughts, go for the ones made from shiny hard pleather.

Tiger Print

Consider this update on last year’s pervasive leopard print. This year, tiger stripes are showing up on everything  from cozy knit sweaters and boxy overcoats to prim blouses and dresses in case you need a break from your sweatshirts and elastic waists.

Hoodies Under Blazers

Take the “cozy” quarantine piece we’re all sick a little of wearing and layer it under a blazer, and you’ve got a legitimately perfect, just-polished-enough outside—or inside—look. Whether you favor boxy oversized blazers or more tailored styles, you can’t mess up this trend.

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fashion

Tensed About Entering The Fashion Industry? Remember These Tips

The fashion industry can be a pretty intimidating place especially if you are just starting out. But all is not lost! Read on to know more.
Aside from being skilled and having a characteristic flair for the activity, a couple of tips that can help anybody in the business are:

  1. Build Up Your Abilities- It all comes down to practice and more practice. Regardless of whether it is marathon watching recordings, or looking over pictures, it is significant you require some investment to consummate your craft in the design business.
  2. Work Towards An Exceptional Portfolio- Invest in ordering a profile that exhibits your work in the style business. Take little assignments that enable you to explore and incorporate something new in your portfolio. Have a go at being a piece of activities that need you to leave your usual range of familiarity and get the hang of something you have not done previously.
  3. Work Towards Continually Improving Yourself- The fashion biz is everlastingly developing and developing, and having the option to always learn and improve oneself is a significant ability everybody in this industry ought to have.
  4. Gracefully Accept Rejections- At conditions such as this it is critical to acknowledge the dismissal smoothly and keep up a deferential association with the organization as well as a customer so they may consider for future ventures that you may meet all requirements for.
  5. Be Proficient- Every task in the design business depends on crafted by various individuals. It is essential to be proficient and brief in the design business, as everybody can be supplanted with another craftsman or another face.
  6. Assemble Your Social- After Sometimes, offices and customers in the style business think it is increasingly helpful for them to enlist somebody who has a solid online life following as it will get their items and administrations a bigger crowd and more consideration.

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Health

Are you a frequent traveller? Here are 6 ways to stay healthy during your trip

Expert shares tips to stay healthy while travelling. For a frequent traveller, to avoid exhausting and preventing illness, stay hydrated and munch on nuts in between your meetings or conferences.

Getting ready for a trip? Then this is just the right time for you to read this article. As much as the thrill of taking a vacation or backpacking or simply attending a conference in another city can envelop you, the fear of falling ill due to frequent travel could also cause concerns.

Nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar took to Instagram recently and shared six tips for a frequent traveller so that they don’t end up falling ill due to exhaustion and make sure they keep themselves active and eat a balanced diet during their stays.

“Nothing expands your mind and warms your heart like travel does. Here are some quick and easy tips for the frequent traveler,” she wrote in the caption.

  • Stay hydrated. Carry a water bottle and keep sipping it throughout the journey.
  • Avoid tea and coffee on the flight and 60 minutes prior to boarding and post landing. For road journeys, don’t have tea or coffee in a moving vehicle.
  • Pick hotels that offer gym access and ask for a yoga mat. If you travel to smaller places, carry your own mat. Don’t forget to do 5 suryanamaskars (a yoga asana).
  • Lie in suptabadhakonasana (a form or body stretch in yoga) for 5 minutes at bedtime.
  • Before you step out of your hotel, order khichdi, dal chawal, paster or risotto for dinner and tell them what time they should send it to your room.
  • Carry peanuts, cashews, pistas and other nuts. Chew on them in between meetings and conferences.

“Safe travels, everyone,” she ended her post.

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