360 Product Photography using Adobe Lightroom

360 Product Photography using Adobe Lightroom™

adobe lightroom 360 product photography

Adobe Lightroom™ is a software trusted by professional photographers for image editing, processing and cataloging. Lightroom, when used in a studio environment, can be used as a camera tethering software when using Canon and Nikon cameras (see list of Lightroom compatible cameras here). When using Lightroom tethered to a compatible camera, the software helps automate studio photography workflows by transferring images to the computer after capture for review, organization and editing. A great feature of Lightroom is its ability for RAW conversion and non-destructive edits – easily allowing users to revert or adjust editing changes at a later date. Also, the ability to batch and auto apply edits further help professional photographers using Lightroom to streamline their studio workflows.

For professional photographers who are looking to photograph products in 360, Lightroom is a great option that can help automate processes. Iconasys, a leading provider of 360 Product Photography tools, has an integrated workflow that will automatically capture images into Lightroom – allowing users to take advantage of the powerful image editing functionality. Note, Capture One can also be used with an Iconasys Turntable for 360 product photography and supports additional cameras as well as Live View.

We understand many of our current customers are already heavily invested in their studios – this includes cameras, lenses, lighting and software . Although we develop our own tethered application – Shutter Stream 360 Product Photography Software, some customer prefer to continue with Lightroom. The good news, Iconasys provides seamless integration for 360 Product Photography when using Adobe Lightroom.

Iconasys 360 Product Photography Turntables are the most professional option available and out-compete all competitors in terms of accuracy (up to 0.03-degrees), resolution (>10X more accurate than all other turntable options), speed (capture 36 frames in ~60 seconds), and quality. We designed and deliver professional quality 360 photography turntables that use the highest quality components to ensure for stability and longevity.

360 Product Photography using Lightroom: Workflow Video

Lightroom + Iconasys Turntable for 360 Product Photography: 

(note, these are workflow steps for Canon. Workflows may slightly differ for different camera brands when using Lightroom)

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Step 1: Studio Set-up

Users will first want to set up their 360 product photography lighting – both continuous lighting and strobes will work great. For those well versed in studio photography, lighting for 360 product photography will be similiar to still product photography. If unsure about lighting, or require help, all purchases include free premium technical support, so we are available to provide lighting tips if required. After lighting has been set up:

  1. Install the included Iconasys Turntable Controller Software (Mac/Windows/Linux). This is the application that will be responsible for driving the turntable and automating the 360 image capture process (through Shutter Release commands).Connect turntable via USB to computer and power it on.
  2. Connect Turntable via USB to computer and power it on.
  3. Launch the Iconasys Turntable Controller Software.
  4. Set camera on tripod, positioned at the 360 photography turntable, and connect via USB to computer.
  5. Launch Adobe Lightroom Software

Step 2: Image Composition 

It in this step users will want to enable the ‘Live View’ mode in the Abode Lightroom software to compose the image prior to shooting the 360 product image set.

  1. Place the product on the turntable while trying to visually ensure the object is centered.
  2. Pre Rotate Turntable – Since Lightroom doesnt support Live View on the compture screen, users will watch through the cameras view finder while in Live View to. Open the Iconasys Turntable Controller Software and use the Rotation buttons to preview the rotation. While watching the Live View, ensure the object is spinning on axis (in the center of the table) and that is does not fall outside the frame as it rotates. Adjust the product as needed until its centered on the turntable.
  3. Adjust Camera Settings – We suggest to shoot with camera in manual mode to ensure settings will be fixed for consistent exposure from shot to shot. Optimize camera settings to ensure for a color accurate result. This step may require users to shoot a few test shots (which can be done directly through Adobe Lightroom if required).

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4. Set Focal Point – When shooting 360 Product Photography, we strongly suggest to shoot using a fixed focal point. Since Lightroom doesn’t support camera lens adjustments, users will do this step manually on the camera (switch into MF mode and set focal point by twisting focusing ring on the lens).


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Step 3: Pre-Define Edits & Processing

This is the last step before entering the 360 product photography process. We suggest users start a new Tethered Capture session – this will help with cataloging and organizing images. Then capture a single image using the Capture button from the Tether Bar in Adobe Lightroom. Using this image, users can define the image editing & processing to be auto applied. Including:

  1. Define Crop Markers (optional) – Users can pre-define a Crop that will be auto applied to all images in the capture sequence.
  2. Define RAW Processing/ Image Editing – Adobe Lightroom includes a variety of editing and processing tools designed to optimize image exposure, colors and quality.

To auto apply editing changes to images after capture, select ‘Same as previous’ under Develop Settings in the Tether Bar.

Step 4: 360 Shooting Parameters

After image editing has been defined, users are now ready to get started shooting their 360 product image set. Users will define the 360 shooting parameters in the Iconasys Turntable Controller Software:

  1. Turntable Type – Please select the correct Iconasys Turntable Model you are working with.
  2. Frame Count – Define the number of frames per 360 rotation – for example: 36 frames will be one capture every 10-degrees. Users can select from a defined list of frames or enter a custom value up to over 8,000 (if required). For professional grade 360 product photography, we suggest somewhere between 36 and 120 frames (pending the type of product being photographed in 360). Ex. for 360 Jewelry Photography, frame counts >72 are suggested.

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3. Turntable Movement – In this area users can define turntable rotation speed (10 different speed settings). They can also define a Pre or Post Capture delay – this is an important step especially when working with strobes in the case they need more time to recharge in between captures. This is defined in seconds and can be added Before capture (turntable will turn, stop then wait X seconds) or After capture (turntable will wait X seconds before moving to next position).
4. Lock Table when Idle: Enable this to ensure for turntable positioning accuracy.
5. Advanced Settings:
5. Define Turntable Direction (clockwise or counter clockwise)
6.Ensure ‘Trigger Shutter Release before Turntable Turns‘ is enabled

Step 5: 360 Product Photography

Now that all parameters for the 360 Product Photography have been defined, its time to get started with the 360 Product Photography.

  1. Close the Tether Bar in Adobe Lightroom (Shutter release trigger will not function while the camera is in Live View view mode).
  2. Connect camera via Shutter Release Cable to your Turntable – As the turntable will be responsible for triggering the camera at each turntable stop.
  3. Hit ‘Start’ in the Iconasys Turntable Controller Software – This will automate 360 product photography capture in a turn, stop, snap workflow. As images are captured, they will be uploaded into Adobe Lightroom where they will be instantly processed based on user defined processing and editing parameters set in Step 3.

Step 6: Output 360 Product Image Set

After the 360 product image set has been captured and uploaded into Adobe Lightroom, they can be further edited and processed (if required). Next, users will want to batch export the 360 image set to a local folder where they will have the ability to further process and compose into 360 product view. In the Lightroom image output step, users can rename (suggested to use FILENAME-001) and resize (suggested to <2000 px wide or tall) and adjust resolution (ex. 72 DPI for web).

For those looking for an application to compose their 360 product image set into a deliverable and/or web-ready 360 Product View, Iconasys offers the 360 Product View Creator Software. This software will convert the 360 product image set into a web-ready 360 product view in various interactive web formats.

Now you’re ready to shoot your next 360 product image set. Unplug the Shutter Release cord from your camera and repeat steps 1 through 6.

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