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Old Feb 5, 2005, 4:00 PM   #1
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I am trying to figure out which I need for photographing bathroom accessories in an indoor environment using digital photography. There are reflective chrome items like faucets and shower rods.

Do I want to use softboxes, reflecting umbellas, or both?

I want to get a couple of lights so I can do my product shots for both Ebay and print .

Thanks,

Steve
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Old Feb 5, 2005, 4:21 PM   #2
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I used umbrellas for some recent camera tests shooting products. I also used hot-lights instead of strobes (products don't blink). With chrome fixtures it would depend on what shape you would want in the reflections (I would prefer round vs a square or rectangle softbox). Here's how I set up my lights:
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Old Feb 10, 2005, 1:15 AM   #3
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Kalypso wrote:
Quote:
I used umbrellas for some recent camera tests shooting products. I also used hot-lights instead of strobes (products don't blink). With chrome fixtures it would depend on what shape you would want in the reflections (I would prefer round vs a square or rectangle softbox). Here's how I set up my lights:
Hi Kalypso, I was thinking of something simalar to this with my initial and relatively cheap lighting setup. What wattage/type of halogen bulbs? Anything else i should know when i go to purchase halogen bulbs? Can i buy these at home depot or walmart? I will be ordering the umbrellas and stands online, i already have a couple reflectors. Thanx for posting pics of your set up, it helps alot.

Best regards,

Mag
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Old Feb 10, 2005, 10:37 AM   #4
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You can get the bulbs at Lowes or Home Depot. I've used both Philips & Sylvania in 100 & 150 Watt versions. I use a 150W in the main light & the 100W in the fill light. Also, don't touch the bulbs with your bare hands (the oils in your skin will cause hot spots on them & they will explode)!
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Old Feb 10, 2005, 12:42 PM   #5
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Great, thank you Kalypso.

Best regards,

Mag
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Old Feb 10, 2005, 2:45 PM   #6
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For shiney things maybe look at a photo booth like http://www.boothphoto.com/prod_detai...etail_data.cfm

There are several makers and it helps control reflections.

Peter.
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Old Feb 20, 2005, 10:49 PM   #7
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Here is another idea for hot lights.

http://www.parisdesignonline.com/dpc/
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Old Mar 14, 2005, 5:19 PM   #8
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Depending on how close you'll be to the subject would determine the reflective surface.I use soft-boxes when shooting reflective items. Umbrellas give you a harsh light. Look at all the images of liquor, glassware, including flatware (all soft-boxes and other tricks such as foam core boards, etc.
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Old Mar 16, 2005, 2:33 AM   #9
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I agree with Akisp. If you are shooting shiny objects you want to havea large diffused light source (sometimes double diffused).

With chrome or similar shiny object you are in essence photographing a mirror. So you, your tripod, dog, ceiling fan, etc. could show up. Then you'd have to reshoot or spend time in Photoshop retouching the item.

One secret is to have the last object your light moves through or bounces off very close to your items. One simple thing I've constructed is to connect 3 large pieces of white Foamcore together to make a large upside down "U". Place this over your items. In the background have whatever you want but leave a 2 or 3 foot gap. Then in this gap behind the jewelry I place very directional"hot light" aimed into the set, hitting the opposite wall. This light then bounces up off the top and opposite walls surrounding the items. From the front another piece of white Foamcore with a hole cut in it is placed in front of the lens. This accomplishes two things: it keeps a lot of light off the lens reducing flare and acts as a fill source. Then I place my 4x5 Toyo monorail viewcamera so it "looks" thru the hole, rack out my bellows to focus on the jewelry, adjust lens & film planes for sharpness, meter,stop down and shoot.

If you frequently shoot these small items go to your local hardware store and buy some PVC pipe, right angle elbows and "T"s. Cut the pipe to whatever length you need, build an upside down "U" frame and cover it with translucent fabric, rice paper, etc. Shine your lights thru the sides to illuminate your items. Remember if the fabric or paper has a color or texture so will your refletions. Last year for a dollar or two I purchased plans from some guy on E-Bay in which he descibes in detail how to build this kind of rig.

For lights, don't mix your sources or you will go nuts with color temperature differences. And I'm not talking about strobes and "hot lights". If you go with Halogen bulbs get all the same brand and (possibly) wattage. You can use a dimmer but the color temp will get even "warmer". Instead use diffusers,distanceor reflectors to diminish the light. A "white" umbrella and a silver one will not be the same color temperature. It'll be close but not the same. Given a choice I'd get several umbrellas with a soft white interior and a black exterior. Most pro photo suppliers have these. This will prevent you from lighting the room around you.

Paint the room either white or black. There are two trains of thought on this. White walls you can use as a reflector source. Problem is they just might be reflecting in the chrome items when you don't want a reflection. Black painted walls take care of this problem. Then you just add reflectors or other light sources where you want them - total control. Oh, if you go with white be sure it doesn't have optical brighteners in the pigment because some strobes, if uncorrected, put out UV light when they pop and this will make the walls momentarily glow blue. (Just like when you went into that night club and your white shirt glowed blue.)

There are some good basic & advanced lighting classes for free on http://www.photoflex.com

See some of my commercial work from the movie set of the forthcoming motion picture "Psychopathia Sexualis" at http://www.psychopathia.com

Experiment and have fun!

Terry Thomas
Atlanta, Georgia USA

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