Developing Skills

In this case product photography. A few days ago I posted about my great grand father’s watch Here. The pictures are nothing to write home about as I screwed up the lighting.

I thought that I would share the little studio I built for taking pictures of small stuff and some of my previous efforts.

Here’s how I set up originally.

This was built using 1/2 in PVC pipe that I picked up at Home depot, pre cut, along with some fittings.  I didn’t even need to cut the pipe. None of it is glued together so the whole thing can be torn down and put in a bucket.  The reflecting background is a piece of roofing tin from work done on the house that happened to be white, but a piece of cardstock or heavy paper would do as well. The lights are just standard socket reflector lamps that I inherited from my grandmother, but you can pick those up just about anywhere.

When I set it up, originally, I played around with lighting using some anime figures and other small objects to see how it worked. Here are some of the figure pics.

I was trying to avoid using flash, because flash can wipe away detail and shadow.  One thing I really need to try is stronger light bulbs and working with white balance to see if I can kill some of the yellow.  Also finding gels for the lamps will help. Here’s some more stuff.

The ceramic clown was something I picked up to sell on ebay that didn’t sell that my mother liked and held onto.  Because it’s so reflective it’s useful as a challenging lighting subject if you are trying to kill glare.  The metal bottle is an old refillable soda bottle again bought for ebay and not sold.  It’s useful as a subject because metal can be hard to photograph, especially if it’s curved.

Here’s the setup I used to shoot the watch and some other stuff that’s coming.

One thing that’s clear is that there is a LOT of room for improvement and creativity here.  which is part of why you try new things.  I’m not a photography pro, but by trial and error, mostly error I’m getting better. Most importantly, I’m learning new skills and having fun doing it.








One comment

  1. JP Kalishek · May 1, 2016

    Try LED lighting, or there are special light bulbs that are made for lighting stills and close shot ambient, but I think some ultra white LEDs do the same, and are now cheaper.
    Just avoid the “Warm White” as they add some yellow to the color to get the look you are already getting.
    Try these from Super Bright. I’ve used these guys for lighting on my motorcycles, and been happy with the products, there.


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