First try with a lightbox

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by limecat, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. limecat

    limecat TPF Noob!

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    I have a Nikon D50 with the 18-55 kit lens, and I haven't done much with it. I've felt like I was caught in a Catch-22 since buying it: I don't want to use it because none of my photos are great. But none of my photos will get great until I start using it! :lmao:

    The other week, though, I found instructions on making a cheap lightbox. I made a trip to home Depot and got a pair of cheap lights with 75 watt natural light bulbs. Once the wife and kids were asleep, I played with my new toy.

    This is a shot of how I set things up. I had lights on both the left and right (in this picture, only the left light is on.) I could've put a light above it, but I had nothing it could clamp on at the time.

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    My first attempts were with a mango but the fruit was so shiny that the photos were pretty unusable. I thought about something interesting that I might have and remembered that I bought a block of Stilton cheese yesterday. So I put that in my lightbox and began to photograph it.

    I actually like this shot but it seems kinda yellowish to me. It might be because above it I had the incandescent kitchen lights on (later on I would turn them off and just use the natural light bulbs.)

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    The cheese alone quickly seemed awfully lonely. I took an apple out of the fridge and put it behind the Stilton and tried some Depth of Field shots. I'm not sure if the composition on this one if good or not.

    [​IMG]

    I wanted to try something a little more attractive. The cheese and the apple were about the same height. I wanted to break things up a bit and add some color so I got a bottle of aged balsamic and some sage leaves. I had a hard time with these because the lights were on the side, and didn't capture the writing on the bottle well. Again, I'm not 100% sure on the composition of this one. The cheese probably could've been angled a bit more broadly, I think.

    [​IMG]

    Same items, different angle. I think I'm going to invest in a small tripod to reduce shake.

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    Finally, one last shot. This is my favorite of the bunch, although I wish I could've gotten the rough front edge of the cheese to be a bit more apparent. I would've liked to have had the writing on the bottle be a bit more...golden?

    [​IMG]

    Anyways, I welcome everyone's feedback. (And the files are hosted on my persona site. FYI.)
     
  2. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

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    They seem slightly under-exposed and the white balance appears off. I am now however going to go feast upon the Stilton in our fridge.
     
  3. limecat

    limecat TPF Noob!

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    I have a feeling that the paper I put in the sides of the box wasn't as translucent as I hoped, because the lights themselves were pretty bright. I'll get some thinner paper or brighter lights and try again this weekend.

    Aside from the exposure, how did they look?
     
  4. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

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    You can probably properly expose by adjusting your exposure bias. You'll need a tripod, though if you're having blur problems like it appears you are.

    The second one's pretty good. The one with the cheese really close up -- the entire foreground needs to be in focus.
     
  5. limecat

    limecat TPF Noob!

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    Ah, I totally didn't pick that up but I can see it now. Only the front edge of the cheese is in focus. I'll use a smaller aperture next time. :)
     
  6. christm

    christm TPF Noob!

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    Can you boost the flash ?

    Or is that to do with white balance. It seems as tough the paper is too visible. It needs to be 'whiter'. But a great start. Well done.
     
  7. SHWELL

    SHWELL TPF Noob!

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    Can you take a pic of your lighting sources for me.. Just to give an overall view of your setup? Thanx..
     

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