Lightbox tips?

Discussion in 'Commercial/Product photography' started by nuevomejico, Oct 10, 2016.

  1. nuevomejico

    nuevomejico TPF Noob!

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    Hello all!
    New person on the forums here so I apologize in advance if this is on the wrong thread. I recently started a business selling safety razors and I am trying to get some nice pictures of them to put online. I built a light box out of tissue paper and poster board and started shooting. The pictures just aren't quite what I wanted yet and I wanted to get some advice from some pros. Here is what I have so far;

    These are all taken with my only DSLR, a Canon EOS Rebel T5 with the kit lense, an EFS 18-55mm.
    • Camera on tripod, lens image stabilization turned off
    • Aperture priority setting
    • f36 (put it at the highest setting so I could keep the whole razor in focus, not sure if this is necessary or perhaps detrimental)
    • iso 100
    • exposure ~1.3 s (determined by camera, not me)
    • Exposure compensation 1.6
    • Shooting in RAW (.CR2)
    • manual focus on part of razor nearest to camera
    • 2 second timer delay to ensure steadiness
    • WB = Tungsten (3200k)

    My light box consists of tissue paper and poster board and three 100 watt bulbs place on the sides and top.
    [​IMG]

    These are the photos I have been getting. This is straight from the camera, no post except converting to JPEG for hosting.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    These are the pictures I took. I think my White Balance is off but the Tungsten setting looked best on the camera LCD. As soon as I get the pictures on my computer they look red/orange/yellow.

    Is my light box too ghetto? Is my white balance off? Is my camera/lens too cheap?

    Any feedback or tips are welcome. Perhaps things to do in post?


     
  2. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I'm not a big fan of your light color. I think if you invested in some electronic flash units you might have better luck.

    Here's my attempt at working it over a bit:

    stock-photo-176965281 - Version 2.jpg
     
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  3. nuevomejico

    nuevomejico TPF Noob!

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    I understand that light is a problem. Are there any settings I can change to make my whites actually white?
     
  4. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Set your white balance to "tungsten".
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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  6. table1349

    table1349 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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  7. nuevomejico

    nuevomejico TPF Noob!

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    Thank you! I have some reading and experimentation to do.
     
  8. nuevomejico

    nuevomejico TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for your help and pardon my ignorance here. I was messing with the calculator and if I am 20 inches away from the razor with a my 55mm lens and f32 I get a total DoF of 3.8 inches. That is about the distance from the nearest point of the razor facing my camera to the furthest point. So I need the f stop of 32 or higher to keep all of those 3.8 inches in focus right? Am I thinking of DoF wrong?
     
  9. table1349

    table1349 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Read the first link. It explains DOF.
     
  10. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Your thinking is correct, but the terminology might throw you off when you say f32 "or higher". Always think of the aperture as a ratio, and the number is the denominator. So f/32 is pretty small, and I'm wondering how much smaller that lens aperture can go.

    Read up on DOF and you will see that you can make the DOF "thicker" by merely backing away from your subject. 20 inches is very close, and way closer than I would try it. You could easily be 5 or 6 feet away, and even farther wouldn't hurt a thing.
     
  11. MidnightUK

    MidnightUK TPF Noob!

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    Congratulations on having a go at building your own light tent. I dont think your images are bad for a first ever go, good try.

    Shoot all images in RAW format it gives a better final result and makes correcting issues easier.

    Get your camera manuals out or download a copy from the manufacturers site.

    Use them to turn off all custom profiles for colour/contrast etc or make them as neutral as possible.
    Turn on RAW images
    Look up how to set custom white balance

    You may want to consider a macro lens at some point, to get finer, closer details. Canon do 100, 60 and 50 mm versions. If you go down this route, be aware that the have different magnification levels, some fit only on crop cameras and one of the 100mm has image stabilization (I wish I had that on mine but I bought before the option existed on the macros).

    Most of all, have fun and explore your artistic side.


    To get a correct white balance either custom set it in camera (see manual) or do it in the software (see below). To help with this you can get a grey/white balance card from a shop or the internet, cheap is fine. Lastolite brand do folding ones.

    Alternatively you can set it in the software when processing your RAW files

    Your camera should have come with RAW conversion software, if not, then download that from the same place for free or alternatively subscribe to Adobe Lightroom. Other processors such as Capture One are available, but I am not familiar with it.

    You will need to read the manual for your software and perhaps look on the internet (YouTube can be good) for advice. B and H photo do excellent videos on all aspects of image making and put them up on YouTube.

    Using RAW processing software will enhance contrast, white balance, saturation, sharpness and help you control camera noise if you get any. It is a lot of fun to process images as you can customise the final image a great deal to be what you wish it to be.

    Remember that we all started somewhere and made a lot of mistakes, ALL of us. I think you are off to a good start. It may all seem a lot to learn to start with and a bit intimidating at times, but again, we all went through that and that phase does not last long, you soon start to pick up more knowledge than you even realised you have learned.

    Also a good photographer never stops learning and never thinks they know all the ways to do things. As they say, photography is about problem solving so expect to get a bit stuck sometimes. It will pass.

    'Light, Science and Magic' is usually recommended as the best starter book for product photographers and for studio work in general.
     
  12. Advanced Photo

    Advanced Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'd use ISO 3664 (D50) bulbs, but be careful with 5000 kelvin bulbs, there are big variances in them. For pure white use the D50 and there is no guesswork.

    T8/GL50 - GTI T8 D50 Replacement Bulbs
     

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