Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday Tip

One of the most important factors in creating pleasing and accurate photos of your work is good lighting. You don't need fancy (read: expensive) lights or a super-slick collapsible setup (though those things sure are nice if you can afford them) to create well lit photos. My setup, as you can see, is a set of six clamp lights that flank a large photo tent.

The 2x4s for the lights are held up by some heavy duty plumbing pipe - a floor phlange for stability and a straight piece that the wood post is crammed into. It's a very tight fit that involved a lot of whittling, banging, and yes, even a little cursing. But it was cheap and is very sturdy. The lamps are plugged into power strips so that I can leave their switches on and simply turn the whole apparatus on and off with a click on the strip. In the lamps I'm currently using Sylvania 100 watt daylight bulbs. DON'T leave these on for too long - just for the duration of your photo shoot. They will get very hot, and you don't want that around the photo tent fabric.

The tent was made from a PVC pipe frame and a thin white sheet of cotton. My tent is much larger than yours will likely need to be, so adjust the size to suit your needs. The background is something that needs some care in selecting as it will actually be in the photo. A neutral shade of blue or grey works very well though other colors can be used for more dramatic effect. Backdrop paper is available on large rolls at many photography supply shops. In small tents, tagboard can be a good substitute.

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