Sunglasses are made from many different shiny materials like metal, plastic, glass. When photographing, these materials tend to reflect everything in front, including your camera and tripod. Consequently, product photographers may face many challenges to deal with these unwanted reflections in sunglasses photography, especially for mirrored or flash sunglasses. Here is a guide to helping you save time to take professional quality photos in white background for e-commerce websites or Amazon.
Good preparation will give good results and save yourself a lot of time for shooting and post-production in eyewear photography, especially photographing a large number of items. Arrange sunglasses with large sizes in the same group, and so on for the smaller sizes. By sorting products by size to help your workflow run smoothly and you don’t have to change camera and tripod positions for every single shot. In other words, you should shoot the same category for each camera position.
Use a microfiber cloth to remove dust, smudges from sunglasses, especially on the lenses. Make sure your hand is free from dust, sweat that could transfer to the sunglass lenses. Debris dust and skin oils are hard to see by your eyes, but the camera is sensitive enough to capture them.
Make sure the glasses in perfect condition without crooking or tilting. Otherwise, you don’t get the best quality images. To verify whether or not sunglasses are crooked by placing them on the flat table, and notice there is no touchpoint is up in the air. You may adjust sunglasses to have them balanced.
Lighting & white background
Lighting plays a great role in producing high-quality sunglass pictures.
For the best result in shooting glasses, light sources come from both sides and the top, and they need to be diffused.
Lightbox is the best choice for photographing small products like sunglasses, eyeglasses. It helps you save money and time in setup.
Use seamless paper in white color as a background and make sure to have a smooth curve when it sits on the flat table.
Set up the camera’s white balance
In sunglasses product photography, setting up the white balance is very important since it helps the camera understand the color temperature of the light source. The correct white balance will give an image with a near-white background to make it easier for you in post-production. Each camera may have a different way to set up, referring to the user manual to learn how to set up the white balance.
As long as the white balance is correct, you don't have to spend much time editing your photos since your camera will capture the true colors of your shades, and the background will get closer to white color.
Setting the camera
For sunglasses photography, always set the camera in manual mode.
To capture sunglasses in detail as much as possible, set the aperture from F/11 to F/16.
Your light source is under control, so ISO needs setting as low as possible to minimize grain or noise.
Always use a quality tripod to avoid shaking.
To help the customers understand every detail of your sunglasses, you need to show a front view, angle view, side view, and back view. The more image details you provide on your shades, the better chance customer will make a purchase. The 45 degree and front views are more difficult to photograph than other shots since your surroundings will reflect on the glass lenses. Without or less reflection will help do the jobs faster in photo editing.
It depends on your angle shot, the objects in front of sunglasses like the camera and tripod may appear on the reflective lenses. Your jobs are to reduce these reflections as much as possible to save time for post-processing.
For 45 degree angled shots
For 45 degree shots, you may notice some reflections appear on the top part of the left lens. These reflections will theoretically show on the entire lenses. Why are they noticeable only on a portion of the left lens? Because the white balance setting is correct, the camera does not detect reflection from a white paper that sunglasses sit on. The unwanted area on the left lens is a reflection of something else, not from white paper. The goal is to achieve the white paper reflected on the entire sunglass lenses since this type of reflection is invisible.
Hold the left corner of the white paper on which sunglasses are sitting, lift slightly, and move it a bit towards the sunglasses while you notice these reflections gradually disappear.
Your job is to play around with white paper to find a position so that its reflection is in the desired area. Use a piece of seamless white paper placing near the left lenses where you found the reflection. You may play around with this reflector until these reflections disappear when viewing the image from the camera or computer.
For front shots
For the front shot, you may hold by one hand both left and right corners of seamless paper on which the sunglasses are sitting, then bring up a bit until the edge of white paper touch the camera lens. At this position, reflection is reduced to a great extent.
Another way is to cut a hole through a new seamless paper, then put the camera lens through this hole. This way will create a reflection from the camera lens only, not the entire surrounding from the front of the lightbox.
For some models with mono mirrored shield lens, it’s challenging to hide reflection and edit. Luckily, all sunglasses are symmetric. You may adjust your camera a bit to the right why trying to focus the left lenses. By doing this way, the reflection tends to move to the right lens. Then crop the left lenses and make a reversed image by using photoshop. Combine the reverse and left lens images giving you a final quality photo.
Sunglasses product photography- Front shot before and after removing background.
Photograph mono mirror lens sunglasses in white background.
Your images from the camera will have a near-white background.
Use photoshop to remove unwanted reflections and the background to all areas which have near-white color. You also need the cloning and healing tools to remove dust, fingerprints, and smudges to ensure your images are clean in pure white background.