Dustin Dolby of Workphlo is back with another helpful product photography tutorial. Using only minimal gear, Dolby will show you how to create professional-grade 360° product photos—an increasingly sought-after skill for e-commerce photography.
Most of the setup is extremely minimal, as most of Dolby’s home-studio setups tend to be. He’s using an old Nikon D5100 with a kit lens and a Yongnuo YN560 III speedlight with the corresponding trigger. The flash is placed inside a strip box, which is suspended above a smartphone-controlled Miops Capsule—a motorized ‘pod’ that’s typically used for capturing time-lapse photography or panoramas.
To perfectly center the product in the shot—a crucial piece of the 360° photography puzzle—Dolby suggests turning on the gridlines in your camera’s live view or viewfinder and using those as a guide, as he does in the short GIF below:
Dolby’s style usually involves using one light and then combining multiple frames in post in order to properly light the product with out additional gear. However, since he’s capturing a full 360° rotation, this would be far too time-consuming. He’s already capturing 120 frames, he doesn’t need to double or triple that and then deal with blending them all together smoothly.
So, instead, he goes with a very simple setup, shooting through the stripbox and one additional layer of diffusion material to capture the lighting you see in the single shot below:
For the rotation, set your turn-table to whatever number of shots you or your client desires (more shots = smoother final result), and then either use the companion app on the turntable or sync your camera’s built-in intervalometer to shoot the resulting images as the motorized platform turns.
For post-production, he dials in some global edits, removes any negative space that will get in the way of a clean final image, and uses a Selective Color layer and some masking to ensure he has a perfectly white perimeter on his image. Then he records all of this into an action so that he can apply these same edits uniformly across the whole 120-image stack.
Finally, Dolby uses a free online program called Arqspin to create the 360° photo he’s been after:
Image credits: All photos by Dustin Dolby and used with permission.