Photo Critique: Products 1

In this members’ image critique, Karl focusses on the fundamentals of product photography, the importance of light, composition and colour. Pointing out the strengths and possible improvements for each image, he also demonstrates a number of useful post-production techniques that could be used to enhance an image.

To find out about upcoming critiques, check out Live Shows Coming Soon.


  1. I applaud these photos because they are certainly better than what I have done but I don’t get why so many black backgrounds. I understand that the photographer is trying to make the product look appealing but I feel like I’m having to look very hard to see the product. My eyes are working hard to see the complete product. Maybe more soft rim light would make my eyes work less to see the product. I usually will not buy anything that makes me work hard to see it. I just think that black backgrounds are being over used. In the everyday world I’ve seen the same thing on backgrounds. Too much black.

  2. I am loving these critiques. I feel like I’ve learned so much already but I also feel very overwhelmed by how good these photos are compared to mine. How is one supposed to get experience with these shots when they don’t have a place or the light to do a shoot at this level and it’s this level I want to create.

    1. Hi Gina, maybe take note of our food shoots in the ‘product photography’ section. This shows you what can be achieved with often a very simple setup but careful preparation.

  3. Karl – I must congratulate you on an excellent live show with the marathon critique. Although I did not submit an image I certainly found it had a lot of personal relevance to me in that your excellent criticism (blunt but fair and honest) as well as your well trained eye for detail caused me to look at myself and my photography afresh. As a retiree and getting on in years one gets into the trap of “it’s good enough” . Your constant reference to refinement and tiny detail and the examples of your own work you used as illustration, kicked my butt into promising myself that in future “it’s good enough” will just not be good enough.

    There were some excellent images submitted but I was also surprised at the amount of photoshopping some submitters had done to their images. My only criticism, which is purely personal is that I found the three hours rather long to be sat on an office chair watching it on my desktop. I do admire your stamina in talking for that length of time while keeping up your energy, good humour and giving the same focused attention to each image as it came up. As a man getting on in years I will say, i hope without offending you, that I did admire the capacity of your bladder as I was desperately waiting for Ben’s “We are taking a short break” message to appear,

    Great show – Thanks . Dai Bragg

    1. Ha Ha brilliant thank you David, I made sure I didn’t drink too much coffee! Glad you enjoyed the show. 🙂

  4. Hi Karl, I just had time to watch your critics on my photos and thank you so much! All points are make sense, thanks for pointing out. I know there is a lot to work, your feedback gave me indication how to improve it. Thank you and for your team! Cheers, Viktor

  5. Amazing show, Karl! It is extremely helpful as here you show our mistakes and you are firm but right on 100% . I believe that’s what we need sometimes – to learn on our mistakes rather than watching perfect pictures as when we watching them we start thinking that it’s easy to make this perfect image. I mean we need that kicks from time to time)) It would be great if you do such critique once a month since it is very difficult to assess your own work especially if you are not professional. Thank you and your team! Guys you are the best!

    1. Thank you for the feedback Anna, we will definitely look at increasing the frequency of critiques.

  6. a great two days truly enjoyed it all , lots of tips at seeing other people work
    very fine show
    thanks again Karl & your team

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