Thorsten Ott Delivers a great Still-Life and Product Lighting Video!!!

The Prince of Cheap here again! This time with a review of a new lighting video!

In the second, (technically third if you count his updated to his last video “Fashion and Glamour Lighting Techniques Revisited 2.0”) video from Seattle Washington based photographer Thorsten Ott comes “Product and Still-Life Lighting”

Okay people, I’ve seen the video and all I have to say is:

1.)    WOW!

2.)    Strap in and get ready to have your pencil and paper because your going to get schooled!

3.)    More than enough information for two sittings!

About the video. From the onset Ott goes right into a breakdown of the tools used (which doubles as a legend for his ultra simple diagrams). Once done which only takes 5-10 minutes Ott brings you right into the middle of the race! His first example is that the ever difficult to light “piece of glass”. The most amazing part is that he lights it with one light… (aside from his strobes basic 7” parabolic reflector – unmodified and nets catalog results on top of it!

Moves from piece to piece like an absolute confident master, finely inching through every detail about why and how he lights everything from a flower, to jewelry, food, ice, Dr. Pepper, purses, washing machines, rooms, energy drinks and even how to increase the megapixels of your digital camera! (That’s a small bit of an exaggeration on my part. Ott explains panoramic stitching – which actually combines photographs for higher megapixel resolution images.)

After watching the video I’ve come away with two conclusions. First I can see that to truly become a lighting master all photographers could benefit from understanding the techniques exhausted in the video like using multiple panels to achieve flattering and directional lighting with only one strobe!

The Bottom Line:

This video is almost the missing link as to what makes a professional photographer and an amateur still looking for “his light”. Some of the of techniques in this video are absolutely usually take 4 years of schooling to get to! What Ott has put together here is an amazing piece of fundamentalist meat!

The only drawback is that with all the complex and advanced demonstrations more video footage of the preparation and setup would be a bit more helpful. For example, the use of a 47inch octobox upside down pointing upward through a plexiglass sheet with panels nearby would probably scare a newcomer half to death! This is where an examination of different lighting options could come into play (ala strobist). Here it is, I recommend this video a bit more than the fashion and glamor video.

Why? Its easier to become a photographer if you have CONTROL/MASTERY over your light… and that’s just what you must be to photograph still life and products! What’s presented is detailed, simple, effective and outright dramatic lighting to products and stills that could very well be turned around and used on people for unheard of results! The best part is that the it could all be done with a single strobe and a panel or two! Think of all that ebay and product packaging money you’ve been missing? Check it out… one of the best photographic tutorial buys out there!

Here are more details from Otts site about the video:

Duration: 60 Minutes

Video Specifications:

720 x 400 for download version = $90.00 US
700 MB Download – 20 – 40 minute Download Time for Broadband connection.

Plays with Windows Media Player, Quicktime Player, VLC Player, DIVX Player , game boxes, and many other free media players.

Explore your creative side and learn the lighting building blocks for advertising, catalog, and editorial images. Additional techniques using 360 degree product spins and panorama stitching for high- resolution images.

Complete commentary and lighting diagrams for each of the images created. 30 plus images, 15 lighting techniques and methods, 24 lighting diagrams, 13 panorama images.

Use inexpensive lighting modifiers:

1) Satin Panels

2) Simple reflectors

3) Inexpensive lighting modifiers

4) All setups use only 1 or 2 lights

Lighting Techniques covered:

1) Specular Lighting

2) Diffused Lighting

3) Combined Specular & Diffused

4) Above & Behind Lighting

5) Lighting Liquids

6) Black Glass Lighting

7) Working with Color Temperatures

8) Working with Multiple Exposures

9) Single & Multi-Row Panoramas

10) 360 Degree Product Spins

11) Long Exposure Panoramas

12) Harnessing Daylight

For more information visit Thorsten Otts site for more video details

Get excited people! I have some more great news. In an email response to a question I had about the video this is what good old Thorsten said,

I will be starting a video blog very soon and this will have me shooting with models. It will be completely behind-the-scene of me shooting on the set and how I work with models and the crew…a fly-on-the wall perspective. So the retail videos give the tools and lighting explanations, the blog will handle the “how I work” part. Its tough to balance it all and not loose the attention span of the audience.” – Thorsten Ott

Get ready for some awesome knowledge bombs! NO MORE EXCUSES… NOW GET TA SHOOTIN!

Published by David Griffin

The Prince of Cheap I am a "Jesus Freak" and a DIY photography junkie! I'm also the *second* cheapest man alive... but only 'cause my Dad is the first!