DIY product photography using iPads for light painting (VIDEO)
Photographer Laya Gerlock has proven that you don't need a high-end lighting rig to take excellent product photos. In fact, he manages to take professional looking photos using just an iPad and an iPhone as light sources — by using them for light paintings.
As demoed in the video below (and furthered at DIY Photography), Gerlock sets up his rig with the camera on a tripod, and roughly a 20 second exposure at f/8, ISO 200. You can see his actual technique in the clip, but it involves him first using his iPhone or a flashlight to light the subject directly, and then the iPad is used to light paint a background.
In order to get those patterns on the iPad, Gerlock said he used "an app in my iPad which had some cool patterns to use as a catchlight, then I saw a pattern which I knew would look great if I used it for lightpainting." You can use apps like SoftBox Pro, or just make images like that yourself, and load them up for free.
It's a straightforward way to play with interesting looking product photography, and one that uses items there's a pretty good chance you already have.