A website that sells physical goods?

If you’re selling using images of your products, there’s an effective way to boost your sales, reducing your returns and making your site little unique – 360-degree product views!

The purpose of a photo of your product is to let your customers know what the product is like, doesn’t it? Therefore, if you’re happy with your product (and are looking to increase sales) this is the way to present more than just a boring image…

What You’ll Do You (Equipment)

A basic point-and-shoot digital camera could work, however, you’ll need an camera that has adjustments that can be made manually. Also, you will require an appropriate tripod or similar to help keep the camera steady during shooting.

The next step is a turntable that is of a certain type. It doesn’t have to be able to smoothly glide on oiled bearings. Simply marking your floor, and using a circular flat surface, which you can rotate in order to align with your marks, will be able to work. Be aware that it’s much more simple to rotate the object as opposed to the camera!

The last thing you’ll require is a software to create 360-degree product viewers built in Adobe Flash or Java technology or understanding of JavaScript to show them in a sequential manner on your site. Most likely the most efficient method to accomplish this is using a “slide show” arrangement, which displays your images sequentially. If your arrangement permits visitors to go back and forth within slideshow, even better.

Stay Focused

The main issue with 360-degree product photography is the poor focus.

Focusing on the object might not be the best option, since usually in close-ups only one portion of the object is visible and anything closer or further away looking soft or muggy.

You cannot be able to do that for 360-degree photography. So here’s how to get around it:

If you are able to change your camera’s settings to manual focus instead of auto. If you have the option of changing lenses, opt for an “standard” lens, somewhere between 40mm to 60mm. A zoom or wide angle can alter the perspective and, in turn, you cannot be able to avoid when rotating the product as your product is stretched and bent when it turns. The trick to get the entire item in focus in one shot, especially for smaller items, is changing your aperture’s size.

The Aperture as well as the Depth of Field

The greater the number, the smaller the aperture , and you must make your aperture as low as is possible. For instance, f22 is lower than f2.8. It is important to note that, depending on the lenses , if you exceed an f number you’ll begin to notice an increase in the quality of your photographs and you’ll have to play around with your settings.

Find a setting that has “f” in it, or change on the knob to “AP” (“aperture priority”).

The drawback of a smaller aperture is that you’ll require the shutter speed to be slow however when your camera is mounted on a tripod, that’s not an issue. But you’ll have to set up lighting that is bright. If you can limit the exposure time under one-half of one minute (0.5) generally, you’ll be fine.

Find the depth of field preview option on the camera, but take note that not all cameras don’t come with this feature. It could be labeled DP or DOF however be aware of some cameras that are consumer grade. DP means Direct Printing! As you press the DP button, focus manually until the entire image is sharp and clear.

Do not forget that your focus has to be spot on from every angle. Double ensure!

Lighting

Daylight is the most bright source, and it’s cheap, but you’ll require a setup that has at least two sources of light. Choose daylight bulbs that are 6500K and place the light sources so that the shades aren’t too high. There may be a need for some type of diffuser for light to avoid harsh shadows and bright reflections.

It is evident that in WebRotate 360 we use professional studio lighting, but you can achieve similar results by testing the lighting setup and the settings of your camera.

The Turntable

A round foam board or something similar can be used, possibly covered or coated with something appealing but not reflective. Ideally, it should be round and locked to the exact center like with bolts through it. Mark the area around it using the use of a marker pen or similar. Then you can draw lines that are straight across the middle, stretching out beyond the size of the turntable to the floor or the surface you’re working on. Be sure that your lines are equally separated. It is not necessary to have 360 lines that each represent one degree. In fact, you can achieve good results by using just 20 or so lines. Make sure to mark the turntable’s edge near the edges in line with the markings.

You just have to rotate the table an inch at a time, then take one shot, then repeat!

Your End-Result

If you’ve done it right, you will be left with a collection of 20 or more sharp photos, with a brilliantly lit , yet not reflective without shadows that are hard or any noticeable differences from one image to the next.

If yes, congratulations! If not, you can try with a fresh start. It may require a few tries, but it’s worth doing very well.

The benefit is that if you do it right, it gives your potential buyers an intimate and detailed experience. Your product will be seen from all angles that will leave no doubt about their desire to own it. This makes it simpler for them to make an informed purchase decision than you could do using a single static photograph!

I have mentioned before that this may reduce the number of goods returned. In WebRotate 360 we have found customers who have used our 360-degree images have reported lower returns of 30percent or more. This also decreases the workload by reducing the number of tire-kicking inquirers.

You’re Bottom Line

360-degree images require careful setup and experimentation, but if it is executed correctly, the results are well worth the effort.

If you’d like to see the final result without the hassle, call us at Armurerie Centrale.