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Old Jul 31, 2007, 5:27 PM   #1
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Hello friends and neighbors!

My company provides launch services for sub-orbital rockets and manufactures various associated hardware, which we regularly take pictures of. We are trying to create a more professional looke to the photos of this hardware.

In our new office building we are taking a windowless 9' by 11' room and designating it our "photo room" for imaging our products. This new room has 10 foot high drop-ceilings of the type you generally find in an office building, and two fluorescent light fixtures with the standard translucent pannel under them.

The trouble I have had in the past is that most of our hardware is bare aluminum or steel and so quite reflective. This creates a distracting flare due to the flash reflection. When not using the flash, the ambient light from overhead fluorescent lighting gives questionable results.

Now, I have grown somewhat proficient with my D80, but I know nothing of studio lighting. First, I'd like to address the flurescent's. Should I be softening or filtering them somehow to avoid glare of the metal subject? If so what type of equipment should I use to effect this?

As far as off-camera lighting goes, it is a very small room so is one monolight with an umbrella acceptable or will I need two lights to adequately light the subject? I'm not sure if using only a single light will cast a shadow or not when used with the ambient lighting.

The background is a frustrating story. The powers that be are ok with buying an expensive light, but not an $80 backdrop. So I have to try and create an acceptable background using paint from Home Depot. The idea is to be able to easily mask the background in Photoshop so I'm thinking a solid blue color is the way to go. Does anyone have any paint recomendations? I'm assuming a flat color is what I want to reduce any glare from the flash.

Thanks in advance for any help!


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Old Jul 31, 2007, 7:30 PM   #2
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Unless your products are very small IE: table top work that room will be very tight.

As for lighting,
If you are in the US or Canada you can rent the Dean Collins lighting DVD set, it is old and dated but the mechanics are still the same. Dean Collins was a master of lighting control.

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