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Joined Dec 2011
Location: Brooklyn NY
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Joined May 2011
Location: La Jolla
You will obtain the best results without a box, but in the spirit of the thread.
Joined Jan 2013
Jan 20, 2013 22:11 as a reply to @ post 14893430 |
I've known about DIY light tents and light boxes for awhile. It wasn't until after I built a couple and asked for advice on another forum that someone referred me to this thread. I've read about 80 pages so far and plan to at least skim the rest. I thought I'd share my experiences so far and ask for general advice and feedback.
My next project was a light tent. I used a $15 laundry bag holder from IKEA as the frame. I covered it with a white sheet and used 100 w incandescent bulbs for the lights. The sweep is poster board. (Ignore the light inside the box. That was a failed experiment)
I had some problems with this setup. I felt I wasn't getting enough light on the subject, and I was concerned about the heat of the bulbs.
I've been using a Canon Powershot D10 for these test pictures. I set the custom white balance and shoot handheld, propping my elbows on the table. Here's one of the pictures using the sheet as the covering for the tent and the 100 w incandescent bulbs.
(Canon Powershot D10, 1/20 sec, F4.5, ISO 400, handheld, 100 w incandescent bulbs, sheet as diffuser)
I think this picture is too "soft" and shows the problems I was having.
Just tonight I made some changes. I changed the diffuser material to Nylon "Wedding Dress" Crinolin from Joann Fabrics. I also bought three cheap clamp-on lamps and 100 w "daylight" CFL bulbs. I'm getting much more light now, in fact I was actually having a problem with too much light and added a couple sheets of tracing paper for extra diffusion. (Later I'll try moving the lights away from the tent or going to lower watt bulbs).
Here's the new setup:
Here's a shot a took a couple hours ago.
(Canon Powershot D10, custom white balance, 1/15, F/2.8, 6mm focal length, ISO 100, handheld, 100 w CFL bulbs, nylon and tracing paper (1 on the side, 2 on the top) diffusers.)
I've also been playing with a cardboard and foam board light box as I wanted to see what would work better for me, the light tent or a light box. My box is made up of a couple of "science fair" tri-fold white cardboard panels with a white foarm board base and "roof." The sweep is red posterboard. So far I've only tried it with the incandescent bulbs. (I'll be trying it with the CFL's soon).
Here's the basic setup, but the lights may not be in the actual position for the picture I took posted below. (I experimented quite a bit with light placement).
Here's the best picture so far with that setup. (I actually really kind of like this picture).
Canon Powershot D10, 1/15 sec, F/2.8, 6mm focal length, ISO 400, handheld, 100 w incandescent bulbs, white board and foam lightbox.
What I'm going to try next:
Build a second lightbox out of foam board with the "windows" for the diffusers, as posted in this thread. (I never would have thought of that).
Experiment with moving the lights and/or using lower wattage CFL's with the light tent.
Add a black granite tile for a reflective base.
Using the "science fair" white cardboard tri-fold panels as reflectors for more of a still life type of setup. I'd like to shoot a handgun, with accessories, on an old army jacket, for instance. (Instead of the "product shot" style with the sweep).
Repeat the most successful experiments using my Nikon D40 (my only other camera) to get more control of aperature and shutter speed.
Any feedback or tips are appreciated.