How Does Apple Get Its Amazing Product Shots? [Video]


Apple's product shots come from real cameras, but that's not the whole story
Apple's product shots come from real cameras, but that's not the whole story

Have you ever wondered how Apple gets such beautifully clean, crisp product shots for its various devices? Are they real photos at all? Or are they just computer-generated images? The truth is somewhere in between, and shows that Apple’s obsessive attention to detail carries over to everything.

Pro photographer Dwight Eschliman spent two days on Apple’s Cupertino campus shooting real photographs of the iPod Touch. But because he was using big studio cameras to get huge image files, and was shooting super close-up to the iPod, depth-of-field was hard to come by (DOF shrinks appreciably the closer you get to your subject). So Eschliman took a bunch of photos, all focussed at slightly different distances, and stitched them together “in post.” The resulting composite image shows the iPod in amazing detail, and is sharp from front to back.

The technique is a little like HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography, only instead of merging photos with different exposures to get detail in both light and dark areas, it merges differently focussed shots. Here are the individual shots, combined into a video:

iPod Touch Focus Zones from Dwight Eschliman on Vimeo.

It’s ingenious and painstaking, but really not that surprising at all.

[Via @manide]

  • DrM47145

    Somebody has to develop an iOS App that does exactly that.

    BTW, I just Copyrighted the idea, so developers, please bring some cash in… ;-)

  • volodoscope

    Apple uses a lot of Cinema 4D. A lot of their product shots are being computer generated.

  • Rjfilter

    Please use a spelling checker – ‘focused’ NOT ‘focussed’

  • Ryan Hart

    Video has been removed. Please update.

  • paperbackjack

    ‘focused’ is more common but ‘focussed’ isn’t incorrect.

  • Paul Hennell

    This ‘Focus bracketing/Dof stacking’ can be done automaticly (similar to exposure bracketing) on a few high end cameras and many of the cannon point and shoots supported by CHDK.

    > CHDK Page of DOF Stacking >

  • Claudio Rodrigues

    Video’s been removed. Please re-up.