Tutorial: How to Create the Perfect Gradient Reflection for Product Photography

When it comes to taking product shots of glossy items, one of the most difficult aspects is getting the correct amount of diffusion when using softboxes. When the incorrect amount of diffusion is applied (or the right amount is applied incorrectly) this can lead to harsh reflections and minimal gradients, which isn’t usually the look you’re trying to achieve.

In this short tutorial put together by Alex Koloskov of Photigy, he gives a great demonstration on how to overcome these problems and create the best looking gradients you possibly can when working on product shots.

Coinciding with the video, he has a full blog post up over on Photigy, which details specific shots and setups for those of you wanting a more in-depth explanation. Check out the video at the top, give the tips a try and let us know if it helps you step up your product photography game!

(via Photigy)

  • John Lanford

  • Bearr

    That was interesting. Lot of work for a mug, but cool to see the various stages involved.

  • Zak

    Have you ever heard of a circular polariser?

  • Carbon Based Hooligan

    I really like this guy. He has such a fine attention to detail. I also like his diy ethic.

  • Client

    Thank you so much! I’m a CEO of a huge company and I was about to pay a professional photographer to do this, but thanks to this tutorial I won’t have to!

    Sure the focus will be a bit off, and I don’t understand the differences between lenses (nor do I care), but thanks to these great free tutorials I can manage to take “good enough” photos of all my products!

    Still, I can’t help wonder why these professional photographers keep making online tutorials… I myself tell no one about how I run my business and thanks to that I’m a successful businessman and from what I hear, the photography industry is suffering.

    So yeah, keep on posting do-it-yourself tutorials, guys!


    The Client You Will Never Get.

  • Willy

    He sells a course for $450 with many more details and examples. Sheesh get off your high horse. Alex is awesome.

  • guest18

    Try it, it doesn’t work unless you use polarizing film in front of the strobe.

  • Gary

    Wow the client I don’t wish to have….

  • ThatGuy

    Great tutorial. Thanks for posting!

  • Alex Koloskov

    He-he:-) Must be something related to a circular saw? :-)

    But let me ask you this: How CPL will help you to create a gradient? Do not forget that this video is an example of creating a gradient on a reflective surface with stripbox. CPL has nothing to do with the technique.

  • Alex Koloskov

    Thank you all!

    To happy client who we never get:
    If you think that you can do a professional photography yourself, learning form tutorials like this – you are right. You can master enough skills working hours every day in your studio for a year or so. (do not forget to spend $10K for a studio equipment).
    You must have a lot of free time from your huge business then:-) Not sure how investors of your company will like the fact that CEO is working as a photographer instead of doing what he/she suppose to do: hiring professionals to do what they can do much better than him/her.
    But yeah, it is your choice. And we definitely do not want to have such companies in our client’s portfolio, it will be too funny to see how CEO will cook, clean, photograph and do everything in his/her company himself/herself.:-)

  • OtterMatt

    Troll harder, noob.

  • Soccermom

    Touché Alex. I think you blew the CEO’s cover. Maybe he or she should upgrade to a iPhone 5s for doing their product photography too. It is such a good camera for product photography (LOL)!

    Other online resources like Kelby, Lynda, and Creative Live are hugely successful. Every time you post something like this, your business BOOMS with new clients and new paying students. It’s a win-win.

    I am a product photographer and love your tutorials. I’ve been following your tutorials for a long time and am better at my craft because of you. Thanks for sharing.

  • Lukas Prochazka

    I feel just a little bit of sarcasm… :D

  • Arlene

    Great job. Long video yet instructive.

  • Zak Holman

    What is this lighting system is it a Broncolor ?