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Photography Question 
vinod wadhawan

how to photograph medicine bottles

I want to photograph drug bottles(small) with their covering cases on at home as I donot have any studio.Is it better to work with window daylight or should I use flash.whether the tube light should be on or off?how to place the bottles and how to use reflectors? please guide me as Iam new to this kind of photography. whethet autofocus compact camera would do the job?

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3/7/2001 1:44:23 PM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/27/2001
  Macro of Nikon SP Rangefinder Illuminator
Macro of Nikon SP Rangefinder Illuminator
Done using an extension tube on a telephoto. Setup was near a large window providing indirect (diffused) daylight. It is resting on a flannel sheet.
© John A. Lind
I have used window daylight for objects of this type in the past with good success. I suggest starting first with indirect daylight and doing it at a time of day when direct sun is not shining through the window. Direct sun is often too harsh, but it depends on what you want for your images of the bottles. Indirect daylight is very diffused with much softer and indistinct shadows.

I set up a small stage on a table with a panel behind it and covered both with a neutral colored cloth, often a pale blue or an off-white. Then I set the object on the stage. The panel behind it needs to be big enough that it provides a complete background.

There are other methods using multiple flash strobes and setting up a "tent" around the object to diffuse the light from the strobes. This can get a little complex. I don't do these types of photographs that often, so an elaborate setup hasn't been justifiable. If you start relatively simple and go from there, you can build up a method that works for you . . . and hope what I've provided can give you a starting point.

To give you an idea of what my method produces I've uploaded a macro done some time ago of a Nikon SP Rangefinder Illuminator. A single "AA" cell fits inside the bakelite tube. You can see the mounting on the back which fits an accessory shoe. This will help scale the object's actual size for you.

-- John

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3/14/2001 12:19:26 AM

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