How do you photograph light itself?
Vintage LED is a locally-owned company that builds modern-tech low-wattage LED lights in the much-loved vintage filament-style. They’ve solved the unattractive light colour problems early LED light bulbs faced, and have a massive range of bulb styles, glass tints, fittings and wattages.
Updates to their website meant a move away from the previous style of product photography (bulbs on a black background).
Bulbs were now to be photographed on a flat 15% grey background and in such a way that more detail of the bulb itself was visible. Pendants were to be shot with illuminated bulb on a similar but vignette-shaded background.
Reflections of extraneous elements in the bulb glass were to be minimised.
Earlier this year we’d built a purpose-designed product booth for a more controlled photography environment – this bulb shoot was the ideal opportunity to use it; bulbs varied in size from the Ø40mm Fancy G45 and similarly tiny Candle with E14 and B12 fittings through to the gorgeous (and, at 250mm tall, massive) A165s in both clear and gold glass with the larger E27 fitting.
We did a separate shoot for Pendant kits fitted with the two A165 bulbs, with a more shaded background.
Bulbs present an interesting photography challenge – they’re both a light source, and being glass, full of reflections and refractions whilst essentially being invisible themselves. Never mind the challenge of half the product essentially being inside the light fitting to have them working
The key to a successful shoot therefore is to manage the surrounding lighting conditions and elements that reflect in the bulb’s glass. Naturally, once we have those issues solved, product photography of similarly (or less) transparent or reflective items is that much easier, meaning better results for the client.