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How we do what we do

Getting each product on to the site is a lot of work. Here’s how it’s done.

Step 1: Acquire

The first step is the hardest – finding good quality products. eBay is the best place, but not the only one. Regardless, any source is going to be expensive! Our number one priority is to find a complete product – in the box, with original manuals, foam packaging, etc. This is really hard to do, and obviously the older the product, the harder that goal becomes. You’ll see that with some of our products, the quality of the outer box isn’t great. We’ve touched them up in the photographs as best we could, but for the video there isn’t much we can do (at least not without spending A LOT of time in Final Cut Pro). Naturally we plan to re-shoot those products if and when we find better versions.

Step 2: Cleaning

When you’re taking high definition photos and video, everything shows up in the end result. We learnt this the hard way with some of the products, and you’ll see it if you look close enough. Tiny specks of dust, dirt and hair are troublesome to remove because you don’t realize they are there until you’re in post production, and by then there often isn’t the time to come back to it. So it’s important that we clean up the product as best we can before we start shooting, and then we literally have to stand there with a can of compressed air to remove the continuous pieces of dust and crap that get into the shot. It’s tricky but we really do our best.

Step 3: Photograph

Now it’s time to start taking photos (and thanks to Professor Forest McMullin – (see his work here) – for helping get our setup working). We are using a Canon EOS Rebel Xsi with an X lens, and all products are shot on a Manfrotto 220PSL Still Life Table. This awesome table allows us to place a light source underneath to get the full white lit background that helps us get our shots looking so great. All photos are imported on to a Mac and post processed (touch up, meta data, etc) using Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom 3, both great products whose capabilities we haven’t even scratched.

Update: We think our photos are awesome, but we know that we are nowhere near the quality and sophistication of the images you see at Apple.com (we’re not even sure if these are photos that are touched up, or super high res composite images). Indeed, you can find some photos on Flickr that top ours, both in quality, color correction, white balancing and overall warmth and setting. We’re learning quickly what people prefer and we’re trying to adapt, so please contact us with any feedback about our work and where we can improve.

Step 4: Video

We shoot all our video on a Canon VIXIA HFS10. It’s a great little camera and lets us capture the high definition footage we need, and we think the quality speaks for itself. All video editing is of course done in Final Cut Pro, which is truly an amazing piece of software. We rely on blogs like Matts Macintosh to help us fine tune our work.

Step 5: Research

This is the hardest part. We made an early decision to source all information about the products directly from Apple – their marketing materials, brochures, pamphlets, etc or their website. There are some awesome websites out there that track a lot of this type of information, some in much more detail than us, and we link off to those sites where relevant. We try hard to keep the information that we add as accurate as possible, though occasionally we might make a mistake. If you find one we’d love to hear from you – click here to find out how to do this.

Step 6: Publish

Now we’re ready to publish. We’re using WordPress and this is a perfect tool for us – we’re really happy with WordPress and couldn’t recommend it more. We’re also hosting with WPEngine – they are awesome!

That’s it! We’ve tried to give you some background on how we build The Shrine, but if you have some more questions please shoot us a note and we’ll be happy to answer your questions!

The Shrine Of Apple Team.

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