Today’s high technology has created products for electronics and medical devices that are extremely small and packed with amazing capabilities. Using state of the art digital micro photography, we can create high impact photographs that help to illustrate these products for a wide variety of marketing tools, such as web sites, tradeshow posters and sell sheets.
Is your new product too small to photograph?
We recently completed a project for a tech startup company whose product is a microchip that is one millimeter wide by a millimeter tall by a millimeter and a half long. That should qualify as micro product photography! These images were created using a 4x microscope objective on a motorized rig.
How to do Micro Product Photography?
There are tons of how to sites and guides for the tools and software to make an image of an item at this scale, so I won’t go into too many details here. The most important secret to effective Micro Product Photography is to start with an idea of what you want to say.
Conceptually driven photographs will, invariably, be more successful than a straight up, square to the camera, mug shot of the product, so think about other objects for scale, think about color schemes. Think about the things that some engineering friends of mine might call frou-frou frills that don’t “add anything and might distract from the chip.”
These are the very things that could make the image more dynamic and interesting, while highlighting how cool the product actually is.
The Challenge of Micro Product Photography
The biggest challenge putting together an image like this is really the concept. Because everything that you are used to seeing looks very different when you get down to that level. That white piece of paper that you thought was going to be pure and easy is actually filled with flecks and color shifts and strands of fibers. It isn’t as smooth as we perceive it.
The second biggest challenge is time. During a shoot of a normal sized item, you can pop a couple of frames and quickly preview how the angle looks, the background looks and the lighting. For Micro Product Photography, one final image may be made up of 100 individual frames, sliced and composited together to get the end image. The picture with the raspberry took 91 frames. The ruler had over 210!
Which means that each image may take a half a day and a bunch of computer horsepower to get a sharp photograph. And, it may take another couple of hours to retouch that photo to get the final product.
Which is all the more reason that we need to develop a solid concept before we start shooting!
Is Micro Product Photography hard?
As compared to regular product photography, it certainly has more moving parts. It does require some special techniques and tools, which take time to master. But, the outcome is worth the wait when your product outshines the competitions’ press photos!