One of the many challenges I face in setting up this web site and preparing to sell my artwork online is the need for photographs that can really convey the details of each piece. My work ranges from small earrings and beads to 18″ tall vases, so I needed a setup that would be flexible. It also needed to be easy to store and inexpensive. First stop – Google!
With just a bit of surfing I learned that the pros use some type of box system where the object would be wrapped in white with some type of diffusion material on the sides. The lights go outside the box. The result is a well-lighted object without any harsh shadows.
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I found a tutorial from Bill Huber at Pbase.com showing how to build a photo frame from pvc pipe. It seemed to be a good solution and was a clear winner compared to the light tents available for sale for $75+. The frame was easy and quick to build and I got all of the materials at Lowe’s.
The light sources are two $10 gooseneck desk lamps from Staples outfitted with 26 watt compact fluorescent bulbs. Based on some advice I found (where else) online, I was careful to purchase bulbs marked as “day white” with a color temperature of 6500k. This is important, because the typical compact fluorescent bulbs are soft white warm light and will give your photos a yellowish cast.
My old camera had seen better days and refused to go into macro mode, so this was a good time to find a new digital camera. I chose the Sony H3 because it packs a 10x zoom lens into a fairly compact package and has some manual controls to allow for exposure and white balance control among others. Love, love, love the new camera!
My photo geek husband had several tabletop tripods for me to try out, and the clear winner was the Slik Mini Pro. It was far more stable, flexible and easy to use than the others.
You can see the results of the studio throughout this site and soon on my etsy store. Enjoy!
January 27, 2008
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January 19, 2008
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