White background web images
We are often asked to shoot white background web images of our customer’s products to be used on e-commerce websites such as Amazon and EBay. One such e-commerce website was for Holland and Barratt, the health food store chain, for whom we shot 9000 different product images such as these….
We have developed a system to shoot these style photographs so that they have no shadow or pixel detail in the white background area. The images can be used immediately with no or little post production. The photographs are easy to create cut-out images from by making clipping paths around the product image using software such as Photoshop. These can be saved as .jpeg or .PNG files (portable network graphics) which are floating layer images with no background at all. This makes them easy to use when building websites.
The article to be captured is placed on glass, and then lit so that it is correctly exposed. We place a background behind or below the subject depending on the angle we want to shoot from. We then ensure that the background is one F-stop brighter in exposure than the subject itself. This is achieved either by using a softbox or by rear lighting a sheet of white Perspex. The exposure difference is enough to burn out the backgrounds to white or clear.
With some highly reflective items there may be a specular reflection of the background on the product which then loses it’s edge detail. With carefully placed black or white cards just out of shot between the subject and background, this reflection can be reduced, which then lessens the definition loss.
The white background web images are optimised by resizing them at the pixel dimensions designated by the site they are to be used on. If the zoom function is required then they are resized slightly larger. The images are then saved at an optimal resolution so that the speed necessary for loading doesn’t compromise the quality of the image once on the website.
The example below is a set up in the studio to shoot a glass decanter which was to be sold on Amazon. The product is set on a glass sheet in front of a white perspex sheet which is rear lit brighter than the product. Note how the surrounds are black so as not to reflect in the product.
The set-up for an e-commerce image
The final white background web image