Folksy Ltd

Photography lightbox

I know my photography is not great, but I’m struggling to get any photos even half way decent in this dull winter light. I’ve tried all areas of my house, and only really works in the garden, but obviously that is limited by short days, and the inevitable rain.

I now have a backlog of craft that I can’t get into the shop yet :frowning:

I’ve been considering getting a tent with lights. Anyone use something similar and find it useful?

I have a small one of those - to be honest, any daylight lamp will work just as well for most photos. It’s a pain setting the tent up. I’d rather just pick a nice background and light it up with the daylight lamop I use for crafting.

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I bought a pop up fabric one from *bay but without the daylight bulb just using a normal bulb I still get a pink hue to my photos, so if you do get one it might be an idea to get one with the lights or as Sara @DandelionsGallery says a daylight bulb would be better and cheaper.

I haven’t got a light box but I did invest in a 100 watt LED natural daylight bulb for my workroom. It not only helps with the photo’s but stops you getting eye strain too :smile:
They’re quite expensive at about £15 each, but they do last about 25 years and cost even less to run than the energy saver bulbs
Donna x

I bought the tent and lamps for my jewellery but found the all round white light very deadening dulling somehow on my textured silver - so sold the tent on. The lights are useful though.

I then recently bought the Nimbus cloud dome set that claims to be brilliant for jewellery photography with the i-phone - wish I hadn’t bothered as it has the same effect as the tent at 4x the cost.

Daylight out doors is still the only success I get.

Thanks for the replies. Lots to think about. First stop daylight bulb! Then try a bit harder :wink:

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I use a tripod and cable release as it means I can massively over expose to get the photos bright enough without any camera shake creeping in. (I do also use a fairly high spec nikon inherited from my other half who’se hobby is photography and some reflectors (white bits of card and crumpled tin foil)) You can get gorilla pod (a small table top flexi tripod) fairly cheaply and they fit most cameras or a sand bag to rest the camera on is probably even cheaper you then just have to keep on tweaking the exposure until you get it right for that days light/ that piece of work.

When it comes to buying lights for photography brightness is important, but what makes the most difference is the kelvin (or colour temperature) of the light. You really want a white light, around 5500 kelvin, which is the equivalent light temperature of bright midday sunlight.

Most standard bulbs, no matter what their wattage, will be warmer toned because that’s generally the sort of colour temperature people like in their homes. Using those sort of lights will always distort the colour of your images, making them look too yellow/orange/red.

Photography bulbs aren’t cheap (around £15 each) but they do make things much easier! Especially on these dark winter days. :slight_smile:

I’ve just bought a basic set up for £30 which is a tent, two lights and a tripod. I can’t believe how much easier my photo session was and how much better my photos were. Really pleased I did it.

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Hmm, that sounds like the kind of thing I was looking at. Are the pics in your shop with or without tent?

Beautiful things by the way, I could’t stop myself faving a few while I was having a poke about :wink:

“Lastolite” do a range of quite good light tents of different sizes and prices. A lot of the cheaper Ebay and similar set-ups can’t easily cope with physically larger objects, so it depends what you are taking. With a medium sized enclosure you can take from small items to quite sizeable.

For actual lighting the tent, electronic flash is the way to go, for consistency. With flash, you can have total control over output, colour temperature and can use filters if you want. You can start with a single flashgun or a couple of flashguns, which is better. To save money you can look for secondhand flashguns in proper camera shops, or even auction sites.

Clearly, if you can afford it, the mini studio type flashlights are good.

Remember, with any type of bulb or photo bulb you get a deterioration of the light over time, and you may not be aware as it happens gradually, and changes the colour temperature. If you use bulbs, then change them periodically before they blow. Electronic flash is very consistent in comparison.

Thanks for the detailed response @Rkaimages

I just need to photograph small jewellery pieces, which is lucky as I don’t have a huge amount of space to work in, but also hard work as I’m struggling with the reflections off the metal and glass. I was hoping that a tent would be a miracle solution that would produce photos that were ‘good enough’ :smiley:

I don’t have much experience in photography and the time spent failing with photos is severely eating into my crafting time :wink:

Your photos are not bad @ShineOn! They could probably be improved by better, more even lighting, so that they have balanced backgrounds and better contrast between the background and the jewellery (so the items really pop). But there’s definitely nothing wrong with your staging.

I think you’d find that better lighting would make your photography faster and the results more consistent.

Good equipment helps, but it’s mostly practice. I’m still learning, but my photo’s have come a loooooong way since the early days of my shop. I already had a decent camera but the money I’ve invested in lighting and backdrops is probably only about £60. It might sound like a lot to some but it’s no less important than investing money in materials for crafting itself. After all, if you can’t show off your crafts through good photography then, even if you make the most splendiferous things in the world, they’re never going to sell as well as they could.

Thank you @Beledien you’re very kind.

I have just spent my lunch hour in the garden, and think I have some workable images which will do for now, but they could certainly do with improvement. Although, in comparison to the photos I took in September when I opened my shop they are perfection!

So I’ve learnt two things - an investment in a bit more equipment definitely seems worth it, and it’s hard to make a sandwich when you can’t feel your fingers :wink:

(And thanks for making me smile this morning with the word splendiferous :smiley: )

I looked at your shop and the jewellery is great, but you have lost a lot of details in the shadows in several pieces. Sometimes you can bring the shadows up a bit in software, and also use ‘levels’ carefully, but you should also try using white card or fabric reflectors around your pieces, to fill in the shadows.
You can even buy small and large folding reflectors, which zip into a bag.
A small white tent can make a difference too.
Bounced flash off a white reflector also works too, but ideally with an off -camera flash or one that tilts upwards. Many compact cameras can be with used this method, quite easily.

I took some small and medium- sized ceramic pieces for a mosaic crafter last year, and used a combination of solutions, and also a flashgun in the shape of a ring, called a ringflash, with virtually shadow-free lighting with that. Also, you can switch down the output on one side of the flash, to get the effect you want. Ideally, you should use an SLR camera for that type.

Sorry - not been on PC for a day or two! Some photos are and some aren’t - which doesn’t really help much does it! I think it’s fair to say that my better photos are the ones with the tent :smiley:

I know what you mean about the photos seriously eating up your time - I used to take mine in my white bath with the camera rested on the side. It took a lot to get it right, I can tell you! But it was so much quicker with my tent - once it was all set up I just whizzed on through in about half the time I would normally have taken - yippee!

And thanks for your kind comments - made my day x I’m particularly fond of your bobby pins :smiley: