Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Taking digital pictures on a budget - lighting

Anyone who has taken or has tried to take pictures of pottery knows the challenges to taking a half decent shot. Good pictures can mean the difference between getting into a show, exhibition, or publication or not.

Anyhow a few people had asked me what I was using as my light set up. I have always preferred to use natural light (ie outside) for digital photos (and actually for slides as well) but that is not always possible or convenient. Last year I found these not so compact daylight compact florescent bulbs on ebay for $35 (for 4). They are 5500K/43 watt daylight bulbs. They make bright and true color, and don't get excessively hot. (I apologize, I just snapped this photo quickly so its not in focus enough to read the product details on the side of the bulb)

When I was hunting around for photography light fixtures, I found most were way out of my price range. Instead of making a major investment, I found these utility lights at my local hardware store which range in price from $5 to $10.

I usually use 3 of these lights: one on either side and one toward the top. It takes some experimentation with light placement. I jerry-rigged a light stand out of a folding display rack we take to shows, which allows me to move/clamp the lights strategically for best illumination.


tascha said...

That's a great idea! I will have to check the hardware store for some lights.

Anonymous said...

Do you use any sort of diffuser with those lights?


Anne Webb said...

No, no diffuser, but I do use a light tent which diffuses the light somewhat.

Anonymous said...

i used to work for a lighting company, "lights of america" in walnut calif. they invented the twister bulb everyone is catching on to...

anyway, the 65 watt flood light we made was accidently picked up by many photo people as being extremely good on light at a very afordable $35 price (fixture & light).

today's twister bulbs have internal chemistry yielding a very even broad light spectrum. and you don't melt while taking pictures all day light you do under incandesent lighting.

see ya

Mochaware said...

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