DIY product photography hack with $10 IKEA lamp

Feb 22, 2018

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

DIY product photography hack with $10 IKEA lamp

Feb 22, 2018

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Dustin Dolby from Workphlo is known for his product photography tutorials that give professional results without too much fancy gear. In his latest video, he shows you how to shoot small products using a $10 IKEA Melodi lamp. This time, you won’t need an IKEA lamp as a light source. Instead, it serves as a sort of a light tent for creating soft and even light. Dustin guides you through his setup for this shoot, but also through the post-production process.The entire setup is pretty affordable and gives great results, so take a look.

YouTube video

Dustin uses this IKEA lamp to photograph a watch. The trick is to use only the lamp shade. Place it on a white table, with your product inside of it. Put your camera on a tripod above the hole of the lampshade, and place one light on each side. Dustin shoots with a cheap 18-55mm kit lens and uses two Yongnuo speedlights with stripboxes. But, bare speedlights or LED panels are perfectly good as well.

Here’s how Dustin’s setup looks like, so you get the better idea:

When you turn on the lights on both sides of the lamp, here’s what you get:

The lighting is symmetrical and soft, and it’s ideal for product photography. After shooting, Dustin takes you to Photoshop and shows you his editing workflow. He improves the shot by adding some contrast and cleaning all the dust specs and imperfections. He adds some light to the clock face and makes other adjustments to the product.

When the watch looks as nice as he wants, Dustin creates different color variants in Photoshop. With a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and some masking, he creates different colors of the same watch and matches them to their colors in real life. This technique saves you some time in both shooting and editing. You can shoot only one watch and invest some time to retouch it perfectly. From here on, it shouldn’t take long to just apply color changes and get many different variants. Also, it makes the final catalog look more consistent and uniform.

Here are Dustin’s final results after editing. The golden one is the watch he photographed, and he created the silver variant in Photoshop:

This idea reminded me of the garbage can light box (don’t laugh, it’s awesome). Dustin’s idea is affordable and works well. It’s also versatile since you can use it to shoot plenty of small products. I believe it’s one of many creative ways to use an IKEA product for photography. So, if you plan to visit IKEA to buy those rechargeable batteries, you can pick up one of these lamps too if you are into product photography and need an affordable setup.

[Using IKEA’s Melodi for Quick Product Photos | Colour Variants | workphlo]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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4 responses to “DIY product photography hack with $10 IKEA lamp”

  1. Mike Randall Avatar
    Mike Randall

    I use the textured silicone drawer liner roll as a flash diffuser. $4 bought me the same results as a $50 Gary Fong gizmo, and I had enough left over in the roll to make enough for 50 of my friends.
    http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Gary-Fong-Lightsphere/?amp_page=true

  2. eastman Avatar
    eastman

    Tracing paper does the same thing

  3. Bill Avatar
    Bill

    Is just me, or do those picture look terrible?

  4. AndreaM Avatar
    AndreaM

    I appreciate the effort of this article, but this is the worst way to shoot watches and in general items with reflective surfaces.
    The hack do its job, it kills essentially all the reflections. And this is the problem.
    The result is a totally flat, boring and uninspired images.
    To achieve a professional result you should use tracing paper or diffusion film and use a small sized light source to have a nice gradient.