Sunday, March 28, 2010

Photographing the Industrial Valve and Faking It

I have a client that makes valves for the industrial markets. When I visited the company plant they asked me to shoot among other things, a new valve they had just launched into the market.

I could have just set it on a table and shot it or on seamless but they wanted a photo that looked like a real installation. The problem was there was no installation here to photograph and they did not want to spend money sending me to a client location.

Instead we faked it and here is how.

The client had some pipe that matched the threading of the new valve and they attached it. We then wandered the plant for a suitable background and chose this spot. The idea was to make sure the background was out of focus so that it was not noticed that it might not be a correct type of plant. What I wanted was texture, industrial texture.

We found a spot that allowed me to use my 80-200 mm lens and frame the valve perfectly while insuring the background was out of focus.

We then set the pipe on sawhorses and clamped the pipe with an industrial size clamp to keep it from rolling. For lighting I used a shoot-through panel on the right of the camera so my highligfhts would be big across the valve and pipe. A lightbox on the left to add a highlight on the side of the valve.

An umbrella with blue gel hitting the background. The reason for the blue is to make the background darker visually and that makes the valve stand out more. Finally a light underneath the valve pointed straight up and with a yellow gel to act as an accent light, the opposite of the blue.

That's it!

Take My Class: Lighting on Location


dschiavone said...

Your photographs are awesome! What do you think about this
hotel photograph
taken in California?

Nigel Miles said...

Thanks for sharing valuable information. It is really helpful for me. I am into industrial photography. I will also start writing my experience. I found it interesting and knowledgeable.