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Jonathan Beer's top tips for product photography

Here are European Advertising photographer of the year 2008/2009 Jonathan Beer's top 5 tips for using background paper....



1. Spray Mount white Background Paper onto foam board for a colour accurate and perfectly flat reflector. Mounting something to both sides of the board will prevent it from warping as the glue dries, so why not try black or silver paper too. As the edges of your new reflector get knocked over time just use a scalpel and metal rule to cut a new, clean edge.


2. Put a piece of glass over a scoop of Background Paper to simulate any colour Perspex you like. Glass can be polished unlike Perspex, is much cheaper and one piece will give you endless colour options.


jonathan_beer_002.jpg3. When trying to achieve a very dark background try angling the Background Paper away from the set. Set an angle that will help deflect any stray light away from the lens and increase your subject/background contrast. The same technique can be applied in reverse to help achieve bright and evenly lit backgrounds

4. Throw away your still life tables and cut your Background Paper just big enough to fill the frame. This will give you maximum flexibility when positioning lights and help to reduce that horrible ‘wash-off' at the edges of your subject.


5. Remember to re-cycle any Background Paper waste and when you finish a roll, the cardboard tube is dead useful for rolling fabrics and diffusion paper around to keep them in good condition.


See more of Jonathan's images in the Creativity Backgrounds Gallery

Jonathan FBIPP QEP, European Advertising Photographer of the Year 2008/2009

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