Using the Snapper is simple! Follow these steps to take great rod photos, anywhere.
1. Choose a location
You can take photos on your workbench, on a table, outside, or wherever is most convenient. You don’t need much space. The biggest consideration is the availability of reasonably bright light.
Here the Snapper is being set up on a fairly cluttered work table.
2. Select a backdrop
Choose one from the kit supplied, or source your own. Consider using plain colors, scenic or abstract backgrounds, or text and logos of your own creation.
Some example backdrops (not all are provided in the kit).
3. Load the Snapper
Start with clean hands to avoid smudge marks on the backdrops.
Take the snapper in one hand, backdrop in the other, and carefully insert the bottom edge of the backdrop into the slot in the snapper until the length of the snapper holds the backdrop.
Then support both while you grab the other snapper and load the other side of the backdrop.
Place the loaded snapper onto your work surface, place a rod in the V-block, press down on the rod to prevent the snappers from moving, then adjust the position of the backdrop by pulling it up or pushing it down.
Each kit is provided with 3 snapper stands. The 3rd stand can be used to support the rest of the rod if needed.
4. Review the lighting
Ideal lighting is bright, even and diffused, resulting in no stark shadows or excessive glare. Shadows falling away from your rod are fine as these can be cropped out later. If there is insufficient light in your chosen location, consider using some portable lighting. Portable LED workshop lights or floodlights are super-bright and relatively inexpensive. They can be positioned easily and pointed in any direction. Experiment with pointing the lights directly at the snapper, and then bouncing the light off the ceiling or a nearby wall so that the snapper is illuminated with diffuse, reflected light.
Portable LED floodlights.
Using the light-diffusing sheet is an easy way to evenly diffuse your light. Simply pull the sheet over the Snapper so that any direct light must pass through the sheet before it reaches your rod. You can drape the sheet over your head and arm, or use something handy to support it to create a light-tent effect.
When using the snapper it sometimes pays to use your head!
Why use the light-diffusing sheet?
Here is a typical set-up for a photo:
Compare the following two photos:
5. Position your camera
You can hold the camera in your hand, rest it on the surface you are working on, or use a tripod.
Here the camera is shown supported by a tripod.
6. Snap your pictures
Take several shots and review them. Things to look out for:
- Focus – ensure you focus on the rod itself. (On the iPhone you can touch the screen where you want the focus to be).
- Exposure – how bright is your shot? (On the iPhone you can touch the screen then drag up or down to adjust exposure).
- White balance – do the colors look true? Your camera may let you adjust white balance. It can make a big difference to the final look of the shot.
- Blur – avoid hand-wobble by resting the camera on the surface you are working on, or using a tripod.
- Flash – avoid using the flash when photographing your rod, otherwise you may introduce glare and harsh shadows in the photo. Instead, rely on diffused, reflected light.
Ideally the only edit required to be done is to crop (trim) the photo so that only the necessary imagery is included. Shadows are easily cropped out so long as they fall on the backdrop, under and away from the rod. Other adjustments, such as rotation and color adjustments, may also be possible depending on your camera. You may also export your photos for formatting and processing using external software.
Use cropping to delete everything except the image you want.
A hungry social media audience is eagerly waiting to see your latest work!
Example shots taken using the Snapper.
Check out these additional resources for some good reference information:
- The importance of lighting
- Lighting tips for macro photography
- How To Shoot Better Small Product Photography With Your iPhone
- Color Calculator
Copyright 2019 David Boyle