Here are some other tips (feel free to use them and the shots if you want, as long as I get credit
1 - Watch out for what
is being reflected off the case and hardware, especially if you have a window. Reflections of random stuff in the house usually ends up really ugly, and if the reflection is strong enough the camera can be tricked into focusing on it instead of on the case. The best solution I've found to this is to hang up a black bedsheet between the case and whatever you can see in the reflections, this way you don't get any junk in the shot.
Here are unedited/uncropped shots I took. Not all of these were my first picks to showcase the rigs, but they're good examples here.
Here you can see the reflection of the wall in the window, and where my backdrop ends.
Here someone went and stood by the wall and held up a black bedsheet:
2 - If you have good control over the lighting (blinds on a window, or an adjustable flash, for example), make sure the light isn't overpowering your LEDs. Your camera is going to adjust itself to expose the image properly, and if there's too much light hitting the case then your LEDs won't look like they're glowing.
Here's an example where the lighting was too strong. As you can see, the LEDs can't compete.
Here's one where the lighting was turned down a bit and where the exposure took a little longer.
3 - Using zoom to get in closer isn't the same as actually moving the camera closer, as it changes the entire perspective of the shot. Neither one is right or wrong, but it's good to try both with a specific shot and see which one you prefer.
This one is where I'm standing back and zooming in.
This one is where I put the camera closer to the rig and zoomed out. This shot makes the case look much larger than in the previous one.
4 - While large, diffuse light sources (e.g.: a window) are good for eliminating shadows, small and sharp ones are good for creating specular highlights (e.g.: LED flashlights). They make things look shiny and give them a bit more shape and depth.
This is a fully edited shot, with well balanced lighting for the LEDs, mostly controlled reflections, a perspective that gives it depth, and both diffuse and specular lighting to eliminate harsh shadows and create highlights.
Edited by Manyak - 2/4/11 at 7:05am