Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I have an opportunity to do product photography.  This gentleman will have virtually a thousand or more pieces of jewelry for me to shoot, so it could be potentially lucrative for me.  It's somebody I know (my dentist) who is going to have a sideline.  He will provide busts for the jewelry, but I need to come up with a light tent.

I've thought about going the cheap route and building my own...one guy got a cardboard box and spray painted it white, used a white foam board reflector. He had holes cut in the sides, and it sounds rather horrible to me.

I've decided against that.  I don't want to have to store a taped together box all put together.  No place for it.

I'm looking at the EZCube, 30" model, for items up to 24".  Cost: $90. I can get a smooth white backdrop for it for $19.

What I have read is it is best not to use strobes, even my SB800s, but use a continuous light source.  I saw some lights that looked like desk lamps with 50 watt bulbs provided, but that doesn't seem like nearly strong enough light that will be shot through thin sides of the tent, directed toward the back wall. So for sure I need two lights, one for each side of the tent, and I read that ideally it is nice to have a taller one suspended over the top and directed toward the back wall of the tent.

 

This is all new territory for me.  I do need at least the 30" box because the jewelry he is making is over the top, large, Liberache (sp) type ostentatious jewelry, for people and for animals. He is buying antique type jewelry to tear apart and make new designs. I will also be photographing dogs wearing the jewelry, but that's another thing to figure out. Right now, I need to get what I need for the light tent.

 

Do any of you use light tents for product photography?  Can you direct me in light setups that don't cost several hundreds of dollars? (or pounds). 

 

I need to figure this out in the next week and order what I need.

 

This tent can come in very handy for me to use to shoot items for stock, also, I can't wait!  Any recommendations?

 

Betty

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used a light tent for a while but was never satisfied with the results. Replaced it with a softbox and strobes. I get better results and no fiddling with items inside a box. I should note though that I do not shoot jewelry. Shiny sparkly things have their own issues for the photographer.

 

There are many YouTube videos and other tutorials availble for this. It seems lots of people get into making jewelry and discover they need to photograph it to sell it. I suggest you spend some time researching before spending money. Try `jewelry photography` or `product photography`.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Light tents are for ebay shooters. What you have to remember is that an all white surround will not give you differences in reflections which is the most important thing with highly reflective objects - you modulate what it's reflecting.

 

An example of the guy who shoots very reflective objects - ipads/iphones. http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/8/4311868/the-illusion-of-simplicity-photographer-peter-belanger-on-shooting

 

A little OTT for a lot of work but a typical setup for small object photography.

 

If you look at this Harry Winston ring you'll see how important the darker reflections are in giving form to the ring.

 

Harry%2BWinston%2BEmerald-Cut%2BSolitair

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I made my own set up last night from white plastic plumbing tube. I just clipped a large white piece of paper and let it curve naturally to the tabletop and sat a piece of glass over the top. Only having one flash and a reflector it frustrating to get lighting right but it was fun. I can tell I'm going to enjoy it so will keep going the DIY route lol 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know what the problem with studio flash might be- any colour cast from the material can be dialled out in camera.

I do agree though that if you can't have a permanent setup then a light tent might save time, but if you have to dismantle the lights each time anyway, you might as well try softboxes and brollies. If you don't have them yet, mock something up with tracing paper and card so you can see what might work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've also tried object photography on a tight budget. I started with a light tent some while ago but abandoned it almost immediately. I found that (a) not enough light got through the tent and (b ) it was impossible to get a smooth backdrop without wrinkles and folds. I bought an inexpensive light table with a smooth translucent plastic base and find that much better. I can't justify the expense of flash either so I use continuous lighting units, one of which is behind and slightly under the table to light the background (which at the moment is only satisfactory for small objects as it doesn't spread the light evenly over the whole surface - I probably need to fit a softbox to it).

 

Alan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Light tents are for ebay shooters. What you have to remember is that an all white surround will not give you differences in reflections which is the most important thing with highly reflective objects - you modulate what it's reflecting.

 

 

That's easily solved by placing two strips of black cardboard around the subject to give it a black edge.

 

waterford_paper100.jpg

Click on picture to view web page.

 

Cheers,

Philippe

 

 

Amateur hour again!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can't imagine why anyone might think there's something amateur about using a black reflector or two - one of the oldest and most useful tricks in studio lighting, not least in portraiture, and essential for glass etc

 

Alex

 

Nothing about the black reflectors, use them all the time - more about a couple of rolls of black paper chucked in either side of a small light tent......

 

And you don't need expensive set ups Philippe, foam board is inexpensive, black art card and clamps work very well at relatively little cost.

 

Thanks for the red mark, I shall truly treasure it...... ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To actually answer the question, these are ok

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/80CM-PHOTO-SOFT-BOX-LIGHT-TENT-CUBE-w-COLOUR-BACKDROP-/330827265404?pt=UK_Light_Controls_Softboxes_Diffusers&hash=item4d06d7757c

 

Other stuff.....

 

A thousand items, that will eat time if you light each shot individually.

 

How much time to you think that you can devote to each shot? it does not sound like you will have much time to get creative with each item, unless the deadline stretches a long way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi betty!

 

I use this outfit: 

Interfit Cool-lite 90cm Popup Light Tent Kit

 

Comes with a 90cm on edge cubic tent which folds away, and two light heads each with three bulbs. Works well and would be big enough to take a bust with jewellery attached! 

Generally does the job - my only complaint is that the tripods provided with the lamps are quite flimsy!

 

Complete set-up costs £300 in the UK

 

Cheers

 

Kumar

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your question makes me think you need to spend some time (for free) with the Strobist aka Dave Hobby - just google "Strobist".  Perhaps you already know this..  Dave has one post (and he has many) about making a lightbox with ordinary white printer paper.  My own experience with a light tent were very frustrating.  At the other end of the budget scale you might try an Orbiculight (no, I'm not kidding).

 

Regards

Lionel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your question makes me think you need to spend some time (for free) with the Strobist aka Dave Hobby - just google "Strobist". 

 

+1

 

I learned to light like this after one of the Strobist articles:

D0DER1.jpg

(no light tent, just a roll of white paper and a couple of cheap (£20 each on ebay) Centon FG105 flashguns velcro'd to wooden sticks which were velcro'd to table legs)

 

I do have a popup light tent but I too find it restrictive and besides, the cats are always jumping into it and I hate having to clone out them cat hairs.

 

Parm

Link to comment
Share on other sites

See the portfolio in the lastest edition of Master Photography, by Aaron Ang. The whole thing is shot in the spare bedroom of his flat, using a D800, IKEA table, white cards and LED lights. Not even studio flash. Weep!

 

http://content.yudu.com/Library/A2pohh/MasterPhotographyFeb/resources/index.htm?referrerUrl=http%3A%2F%2Ffree.yudu.com%2Fitem%2Fdetails%2F1697917%2FMaster-Photography-February-2014

Link to comment
Share on other sites

See the portfolio in the lastest edition of Master Photography, by Aaron Ang. The whole thing is shot in the spare bedroom of his flat, using a D800, IKEA table, white cards and LED lights. Not even studio flash. Weep!

 

http://content.yudu.com/Library/A2pohh/MasterPhotographyFeb/resources/index.htm?referrerUrl=http%3A%2F%2Ffree.yudu.com%2Fitem%2Fdetails%2F1697917%2FMaster-Photography-February-2014

 

Oh my Lord!  Amazing work using next to nothing.  Thanks for the link, DK.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use white paper background along with white foam board with studio strobes, for the image below used black foam board to stop the edges bleeding into the white on this image, I have tried light tents  but found it easier without... but IMHO it's all about what works for you and what you have got to work with ( a lot can be done with some window light, foam board and reflectors )

 

12370912004_3019546f90.jpg

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I use white paper background along with white foam board with studio strobes, for the image below used black foam board to stop the edges bleeding into the white on this image, I have tried light tents  but found it easier without... but IMHO it's all about what works for you and what you have got to work with ( a lot can be done with some window light, foam board and reflectors )

 

 

 

 

 

Steve, this is beautifully done.  I sold off my studio lights last summer, and have planned to learn the Nikon system.  I do think this would be difficult to use the 3 SB800s for product photography, it seems a continuous light source so I could see where to point the lights, closer up, further back, etc. would be easiest.  What you see is what you get, in other words. I think using strobes would be hit or miss, lots of taking images, looking at them, adjusting lights, strengths, and such.

 

I haven't had time to visit all the links you all have provided, but I will look at each and every one. Today and tomorrow I have a lot of other stuff going on. Like skating my car on icy streets to shop for my daughter's birthday bash tomorrow.

David, I went to the link you provided, but couldn't figure out how to get to the album!  DUH on my part, I'll get off my laptop and go try on the desktop.

I do have a table I can set up in my bedroom, and potentially could use my white paper backdrop and some white foam boards.  I still need the lights.

Betty

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a page turn magazine edition which needs Flash - so if you try with an iPad, hard luck. We are planning to move to an app, but that will cost us money so free access will not be possible. YUDU only costs me £99 a year for all my magazines, and if you have Flash installed, you can read - maybe 100, not sure - all our past editions. We do not charge.

 

Steve - an aeon ago, we did Pretty Polly tights (it was such a long aeon ago that this was the brief era in the 20th century when no woman wore stockings...). Two black panels left and right, big soft frontal light - great shadow modelling to define legs. I did the publicity for Peter Fletcher (the man who invented the cylinder tank print processor). He made a product called the Flectaback. It has two 'pop up' spring roller loaded screens, which rise to 5 x 4ft from a heavy wooden base. This was 31 years ago. The screens are white'silver and gold'black, Rosco type textured Mylar. Two black ones make the shadow tunnel.

 

I still have my samples, they have lasted 31 years, two of them, a bit dirty now and the poles a touch rusty, but the best and most useful studio products I ever acquired, in use every day. No company now makes anything similar. I guess Peter is either very old now or has departed. He was a genuine British eccentric inventor and changed photography in his time but hardly scraped a living from his ideas.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Philippe, you have provided some excellent links!  I've spent a couple of hours on them. Good stuff, there.  Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To actually answer the question, these are ok

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/80CM-PHOTO-SOFT-BOX-LIGHT-TENT-CUBE-w-COLOUR-BACKDROP-/330827265404?pt=UK_Light_Controls_Softboxes_Diffusers&hash=item4d06d7757c

 

Other stuff.....

 

A thousand items, that will eat time if you light each shot individually.

 

How much time to you think that you can devote to each shot? it does not sound like you will have much time to get creative with each item, unless the deadline stretches a long way.

 

 

That one looks larger than what I need.  The EZCube, though, fits the bill.  You are right, with that many items, I won't be able to devote a lot of time to each item.  Although I won't get them all at once.  I'll get batches. And I expect after doing a batch, I'll pick up speed and know how to set each item up. I'll be bumbling about in the beginning.

 

The guy setting up the business isn't demanding.  I will have to move along, though.  I explained to him that I still expect to do my stock and fine art work.  I also told him this would be on a trial basis, if it becomes to stressful, I'm gone.  If that happens, I'll still use the light tent for my own stock needs, so it is win-win.

Betty

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Your question makes me think you need to spend some time (for free) with the Strobist aka Dave Hobby - just google "Strobist". 

 

+1

 

I learned to light like this after one of the Strobist articles:

D0DER1.jpg

(no light tent, just a roll of white paper and a couple of cheap (£20 each on ebay) Centon FG105 flashguns velcro'd to wooden sticks which were velcro'd to table legs)

 

I do have a popup light tent but I too find it restrictive and besides, the cats are always jumping into it and I hate having to clone out them cat hairs.

 

Parm

 

 

Parm, you are a hoot!  Cat hairs, indeed! lol!  Looks like you're on the right track!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dulling spray is occasionally useful for especially stroppy reflective shiny objects, just thought I'd mention it as nobody else has.....

 

Paul

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.