Photography Studio and Lighting Forum

Hosted by fabulous Florida-based professional fashion photographer, Asylum Steve, this forum is for discussing studio photography and anything related to lighting.
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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2008
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    Budget Lighting and Setup for Home Macro?

    I need some help trying to figure out how to take pictures of small objects when there's no outdoor light available. We've been using sunlight for a long time, but the long New England winters with short days make this an undependable light source at best.

    We've tried halogen lights, "daylight" incandescent bulbs and they both stink - halogen's too yellow and the daylight bulbs are too blue. Not to mention the hard shadows they throw.

    We also have a cheap fabric photography tent to use as well.

    What kind of inexpensive lighting can we use to take a good quality pic without having to fuss with the color in (GiMP, Photoshop, Lightroom, whatever...) and try to make a guess approximating the object's real color on the screen? What other accessory might we need to get that good lighting? BTW, we use no flash for taking these pictures.

  2. #2
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Mundelein, IL USA
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    Re: Budget Lighting and Setup for Home Macro?

    Here is what I use. Cardboard box with trash bags over the cut-outs and three (two sides & top) 100W daylight fluorescents. Do you have a camera with adjustable White Balance? TF

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    I am no better than you. I critique to teach myself to see.
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  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    Re: Budget Lighting and Setup for Home Macro?

    No, unfortunately it doesn't. It's a simple point-and-shoot.

  4. #4
    Member Don Kondra's Avatar
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    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
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    Re: Budget Lighting and Setup for Home Macro?

    A minimum is inexpensive clamp on work light reflectors and these bulbs.

    Cheers, Don

  5. #5
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    Re: Budget Lighting and Setup for Home Macro?

    Don,

    Do you mean the 5500K lights or one of the others on the page?

  6. #6
    Member Don Kondra's Avatar
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    Re: Budget Lighting and Setup for Home Macro?

    I mean the 5500k Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs, the first three on the page, you decide what wattage suits your needs.

    At a minimum I would go for 45w side lights and a 27w top light using the clamp on reflectors, with or without the light tent but with a paper backdrop.

    If you are handy you could make barn doors or a softbox for the reflectors and go for the 85w bulbs, that should give you plenty of light.

    This is a shot in a light tent, gray paper backdrop and two 65w CF bulbs in 10" reflectors from the sides. The bulbs are 4100k but I can adjust for WB in raw... basically this is just to show you what can be done.

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    Budget Lighting and Setup for Home Macro?-50mm-f-1.4.jpg

    The next step up would be purchase multiple head reflectors, I have two that hold four bulbs, I've seen a model that holds five bulbs.

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    HTH, Cheers, Don

  7. #7
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2008
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    Re: Budget Lighting and Setup for Home Macro?

    Thanks for the tips everyone, when I get around to ordering some of those bulbs I post some pics of a subject. It might be a bit though.

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