Mini Studio Advice


RobE17

Link Posted 30/01/2014 - 12:25
I'm going to be taking some photos soon of jewellery that a friend of mine makes. I'm looking at buying a mini studio tent but can anyone give ideas please as to what lighting to use? Is it worth buying one of kits online? They include a tripod as well which I wouldn't use. Or shall I buy the tent & a couple of cheap desklamps?

Thanks

Rob
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gartmore

Link Posted 30/01/2014 - 12:35
I bought an 80cm one on eBay for £12.99 and it arrived in a couple of days. I see it's now £14.99 but it's well made and came with white, black, red and blue backgrounds. link

My picture of the cheese grater in this month's competition was taken using it and the blue cloth to try it out. Camera on tripod but I didn't need to use the front cloth to hide reflections and one flash on M directly above which suited the effect I wanted.

You could use any kind of light you like so long as you colour balance correctly. Don't you own a flashgun?

Go for it, you won't be disappointed I'm sure.
Ken
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -
Last Edited by gartmore on 30/01/2014 - 12:35

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RobE17

Link Posted 30/01/2014 - 13:36
Thanks for the link Ken, very useful. I don't own a flashgun anymore, over the past 18 months I've had to downsize my kit somewhat and that was one of the items I sold.
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Fletcher8

Link Posted 30/01/2014 - 14:30
Hi Rob

I hope the following is of some use to you.

A light tent might be a good starting point if all you intend to shoot is jewellery, but you may want to try different types of lighting or you may find your lighting tent becomes restrictive.

You can make a lot of your own lighting modifiers for very little cost and you can customise them as you learn new techniques. The kry to sooting jewellery and reflective surfaces is defusing the light, there are numerous ways to do this, but Tracing paper is the most versatile method i have found so far. You will need to experiment with lighting from numerous angles and learn when how and why to flag light. There are some great resources on line that will point you in the right direction such as youtube and lighting 101. I would seriously look at getting another at least two flashguns, you can make reflectors but you can achieve a lot with one light and this will really improve your technique if you push one light setups to the max. Reflective perspex works really well for jewellery and will really make your images pop. As a general rule of thumb lighting kits often appear to be a valuable option when starting out, but you often end up paying more for stuff that is either not very good or you will never use. Don't be tricked into thinking you need a kit to get good results, you can create some very good images with a bit of thought and keeping that money in your pocket for the things you will really need in the future when you know what you really need and can't improvise.
Fletcher8.

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gartmore

Link Posted 30/01/2014 - 18:46
I agree to a large extent with what Fletcher8 is saying but in the arts & crafts shop today a roll of tracing paper was £13.99 and doesn't fold up into a 20cm little bag like the light tent above.
Ken
“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” - Henri Cartier-Bresson -

Pentaxophile

Link Posted 30/01/2014 - 19:27
RobE17 wrote:
Thanks for the link Ken, very useful. I don't own a flashgun anymore, over the past 18 months I've had to downsize my kit somewhat and that was one of the items I sold.

You could buy cheap manual flashguns (any brand, even ones with just a low and high power setting would do, but manually adjustable ones are available) and trigger them with cheap chinese radio triggers.

Continuous lighting sounds like a good idea for close-up work though!
[link=https://500px.com/will_brealey/[/link]
Last Edited by Pentaxophile on 30/01/2014 - 19:30
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