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11-17-2009, 08:17 AM   #1
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lighting (indoors)

Taking some photos of small objects indoors, using several lights and a solid-color background.

Sadly, even with lights surrounding the subject there is still shadow. If I use the flash (K10D) to fill the shadow it "changes the color" of the background: i.e. a blue background goes from gray to blue, white from brown/yellow to white. Add to that, examining/editing the photos using something like GIMP, it is not possible to modify the background color, or create a transparency, because the poor lighting causes the background to not be the same color consistantly across. I hope that made sense.

I am wondering if the solution is to:

1) buy a "light box" (I tried building one using some instructions I found online but the results were not what I had hoped)

2) a slave strobe in addition, or instead of, the flash and other lights

3) take the photos outside in natural light

Any advices will be greatly appreciated.


Last edited by Green_Manelishi; 11-17-2009 at 09:14 AM.
11-17-2009, 03:47 PM   #2
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If you want to avoid shadows you need multiple light sources, or a strong one (such as a window) and some reflectors. Try white A4 paper, they might do the trick.
11-17-2009, 04:17 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by kevinschoenmakers Quote
If you want to avoid shadows you need multiple light sources, or a strong one (such as a window) and some reflectors. Try white A4 paper, they might do the trick.
I have been using three light sources, not including the room lights. One source to the left of the object being photographed, one to the right, one overhead. Perhaps the bulbs are not bright enough? I think they are only about 50W. Is there a particular "type" I should use to simulate sunlight?
11-17-2009, 05:25 PM   #4
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My set up likes yours but with 100w "Daylight 6500K" compact fluorescent bulbs with no flash, Auto WB, and the pictures look good to me .

11-17-2009, 05:39 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ken T Quote
My set up likes yours but with 100w "Daylight 6500K" compact fluorescent bulbs with no flash, Auto WB, and the pictures look good to me .
I'll give that a whirl. Need to buy a few 100W bulbs.
11-17-2009, 08:45 PM   #6
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I happen to use 5500K CFL's that are suposedly equiv. to 200w incandescent bulbs.

Diffusing and/or bouncing the light will help reduce harsh shadows.



This might help:

YouTube - Episode 2 , DIY Photo Studio Product Lighting
11-18-2009, 05:09 PM   #7
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Light difuser ...

Interesting and informative. Too bad the narrator did not state how many watts is the bulb. Now to find a difuser.

QuoteOriginally posted by Sew-Classic Quote
I happen to use 5500K CFL's that are suposedly equiv. to 200w incandescent bulbs.

Diffusing and/or bouncing the light will help reduce harsh shadows.



This might help:

YouTube - Episode 2 , DIY Photo Studio Product Lighting
11-22-2009, 04:13 AM   #8
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It's not about how many watts - it's about the apparent size of the light source(s).

You (and any other photographers, who uses more than natural light), need to read Amazon.com: Light: Science and Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting (9780240808192): Fil Hunter, Steven Biver, Paul Fuqua: Books

This book will make you understand everything you need to know about light and how to make it behave like you want...

11-22-2009, 09:08 AM   #9
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To avoid weird color casts, don't mix lights.

Pick one - flash, tungsten (possibly mixed with halogen) or daylight balanced fluorescent. Don't use regular florescent (use good daylight balanced or good full spectrum.)

To get more even lighting, use a simple light box, but make sure you have plenty of light on the front of your subject.

Generally brighter light is better. If you are not using flash (very bright), use a tripod. If your lights aren't bright enough, get them as close as possible to the subject. This might require a smaller light box.

Don't use AWB, use the appropriate WB preset or use a custom WB.
11-22-2009, 01:43 PM   #10
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Here are some instructions for making your own light box out of PVC. It's super cheap and works well. You can build one to any size you want. I use craft paper (you can use any color you like) for the back, and cover the top/sides with a white sheet. One light on top and one on each side, and you're set. Here's a sample of some motorcycle gloves I was selling (this was using a cheap point and shoot camera):
11-24-2009, 07:41 AM   #11
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Lighting (indoors)

Thanks for the continued, varied and informative input. Much appreciated.
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