Canon EOS Utility and Digital Photo Professional Software
Skill Level: Medium Level
This how-to is for Product or Stock Photography in Canon RAW format (CR2) using Canon´s Digital Photo Professional Software. This software is an all in one package, incorporating camera to computer image transfer and Remote Shooting from your computer. This is a useful feature when doing product photography and you have a fixed lighting and lightbox setup. This software is designed for Canon EOS user´s, other camera maker´s RAW format, i.e Nikon, Olympus Etc. may not work with this software, however TIFF and JPEG formats work perfectly well. The software normally comes with a newly bought Canon EOS camera but can be downloaded from Canon´s website in the support section. This how-to is in response to many of my amateur jewellery and craft worker friends who ask me for tips on photographing their works to upload to their Etsy pages.
EOS Utility: used to transfer images to your computer and remote shooting.
I find this a very useful feature for product photography, I have a Canon 50D so don´t have a wireless function so i´ve connected 4 USB cables together for remote shooting from my computer.
Digital Photo Professional.
Open Digital Photography Professional and click on the file where your images are located.In this case the folder is located in desktop>tutorial and the image is: Black Croc Big (4)CR2.
Double click on the image and select picture style and then select Neutral on the dropdown.
The next step is to select white balance adjustment, the dropdown has several alternatives,Shot settings,Auto,daylight,shade and cloudy, these 4 are probably all you need ,colour temp is useful if your using standard household (pink) lighting.
Next adjust the sharpness before adjusting contrast, I find that if you adjust the sharpness last you´ll have to go back and re-adjust the contrast.
Now adjust brightness and Saturation.
Finally adjust the contrast.
You can now save the image as a TIFF or JPEG. If the image requires any tweaking you can open the saved TIFF or JPEG file to add some finer adjustments.
If you´re going to be doing this type of photography on a regular basis, you can access the shooting information which is handy for reference purposes by clicking : file>info.
These settings Sharpness,contrast,saturation and Colour Tone correspond directly to your EOS camera´s Picture Style settings. So if you´re doing this type of photography regularly it may be worthwhile applying the settings that you are happy with in the Picture Style>User Defined settings on your EOS camera. The images below have been produced exactly as described in this how-to.
I have found this software an excellent alternative to Photoshop for product and especially Stock Photography as most stock image websites don´t like images produced with lots of layers. This tutorial applies to this type of photography but general photography i.e landscapes, might require a slightly different approach, at the end of the day it´s about practice and experimentation to find what produces best results.
At the risk of stating the obvious, here are some things to consider with this type of product photography:
If using a DSLR, use manual mode. If using a Digital camera, use closeup mode. Use a remote release or timer. Always use a tripod. Use a light box (photography tent), they are inexpensive, or can be made at home quite simply. Use white lighting where possible, LED bulbs work very well and though more expensive than conventional bulbs last years longer. Generally flash or direct sunlight create more problems than they solve. If you are planning to use your image for stock photography, use a white background as it makes the image easier to work with for whoever is going to download your image. This how-to is how i use this software, others may approach it a little differently.
After a little practice with this software you´ll find it quick and simple to use and has more features that might be of use to you. If the software came with your camera but you have´nt installed it yet, it may be worth your while checking it out as it has many more features, that i have´nt touched on here. Please feel free to make any comments,suggestions or queries you may have about this tutorial.