Product Photography Lighting Question

Started Feb 5, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP HGrant New Member • Posts: 10
Re: Product Photography Lighting Question

Sailor Blue wrote:

People like Hugowolf are the experts in this field, not me, but I did notice a couple of things that bother me.

You have to get rid of the sides on your photo setup. You simply can't work in that cramped a space.

Light reflects at the same angle as it strikes, i.e. if the light is positioned 45° to the right of a flat object it will be reflected at 45° to the left of the object.

The Ego Lights have a strongly convex curved surface which will complicate the angle of incidence = angle of reflectance problem enormously.

My suggestion is to go to the local home improvement store (Home Depot or Lowe's) and buy a pair of clamp on shop lights with those metal bowel reflectors that are about 15" in diameter. Stick one of your CFLs from the Ego Lights in each of them and position them about 4-6 feet from the cover and at 45° to each side. Clamp them on any available thing like a chair but get them at a height equal to the center of the album cover. At that distance the light will be very flat, i.e. the brightness from a single light won't vary significantly from one side of the album cover to the other side. This means you will get a very even brightness all across the album cover.

Shoot with your camera on a tripod to eliminate shake at the long exposure times that will be needed. Even a cheap tripod will work if you use the self timer to allow shake from pressing the shutter button to go away.

Watch out for point reflections from warps in the covers. If you can't get rid of the reflections by moving the album cover slightly then you need to get polarizers for your camera and lights.

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Living and loving it in Bangkok, Thailand. Canon 7D - See the gear list for the rest.

Thanks for your reply, Sailor Blue. I am thinking about how to build something more permanent without sides. I could lug out the table saw (groan) and cut some plywood and use angle brackets to reinforce it at a 90 degree angle,

I did look at the clamp lights but decided to go to the extra trouble and expense of buying the Ego lights. It seemed to me at the time that they would be better. Maybe I just bought off on the Lowel marketing hype, eh?

I'll try backing them away and see how that goes.

I use optical image stabilization to compensate for shake. I know it's probably at some cost in resolution or noise, etc. But it sure is convenient.

I do have a big heavy pro tripod but was happy to box it back up when I got a camera with optical image stabilization.

So, I need to 1) build a new shooting table, can't be cardboard because it won't have sides to hold up the back. Or, experiment with cutting some of the cardboard off of the one I have. And, 2) find some way to mount the Ego lights to the racks on the back wall with a clamp (any suggestions for cheap pipe clamps with an arm long enough that have the 1/4"-20 stud on the end would be great). That solution (if anything exists that would work) would keep the floor area clear which would help.

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