Lighting still life..

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by meg27, Jan 27, 2006.

  1. meg27

    meg27 TPF Noob!

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    Hi,
    I don't know if any of you know much about lighting?

    We are setting up a website selling cosmetics, and we have identified that good photography is key to it looking good.

    Basically we need to light objects such as pots of nail varnish quickly and effectively. I have learnt about three point lighting, but wonder if trying to reproduce this on a minature scale is really effective?

    We will be shooting hundreds of products, so i need to be able to set up quickly, and stick to the same lighting for every object (when possible).
    We also do not have very much room.

    So can any one advise me on any products that may help me, and also any techniques? Buying a huge lighting kit for this seems a bit rediculous, but we will be spending up to £500.

    I have already looked at a few solutions on the net, the one i have been most interested in is the Photogenic Professional Lighting FL3WK kit. However i am having trouble finding this available in the UK.

    Any ideas and pointers are much appreciated, thanks guys.
     
  2. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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  3. meg27

    meg27 TPF Noob!

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    thanks.
    I've been thinking about those, and my only concern is that i'm not sure you would be able get down so you are level with the object, because of the lip. You would always be angled from above, i like to get that worms eye perspective on things!
    Correct me if i'm wrong?
     
  4. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    The normal thing to do is to get a plinth or table in the same colour and shoot from a tripod at the same kind of height - bring the item up to your level, don't be crawling on the floor.

    Here's an interesting shot which is most likely done with a light tent:
    http://www.edencrestdayspa.com/assets/images/lipstick.gif

    Rob
     
  5. meg27

    meg27 TPF Noob!

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    sure, i would probably use it on a table. What i was meaning is that around the edge of the light tent, there is a lip, which would obstruct the object if you were down at eye level or lower... i think.

    i think your right though, a light tent seems to be a good option. I've found a couple that might work quite well for what you we want to do.

    What kind of lighting arrangement would you have around it?
     
  6. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    It shouldn't, you'll be nearly inside the tent with your lens and the shot should be quite narrow, to only include your subject. You only really need a hole big enough to get the lens through.

    I'd stick about three high power floods around it. Possibly three of something like these:
    http://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Products/TLTHF1500.html

    You may want to choose something more in the daylight spectrum as even with the tent there may be a colour cast to the lights. I'd just correct it digitally after the shot though.

    Rob
     
  7. Lumix

    Lumix TPF Noob!

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    A couple of wire coat hangers and some butchers muslin and you can make your own. That's how I used to do it. Also a sheet of glass 12" off the bottom to put your subject on and you have little or no shadows under the subject. Well worth a try.
     
  8. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    The formula for good photographic lighting:
    1) Do a 3 year degree in Photography.
    2) Work as an assistant to several top Advertising photographers for two or three years.
    3) Become a professional, practice what you have learned and refine it.
    4) When someone eventually asks you how they can learn all this in five minutes, give them this same advice (when you have stopped laughing).

    Or the quick way:
    Hire a professional who knows how to do it.
     
  9. Rob

    Rob TPF Noob!

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    Did someone get out of bed on the wrong side today?? :greenpbl:
     
  10. meg27

    meg27 TPF Noob!

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    Unfortunately, for you it seems, digital cameras and the internet have lead to a new bread of business, where to keep over heads low, we do it all ourselves.

    I would just like to point out that I’m not a complete novice, and a first class three year degree in video production (lighting still objects I am presuming is a different discipline, but not completely unrelated) , and quite a lot of experience in varying fields of media and advertising are things I already have under my belt, but point 3 I’m afraid is something I must work on.

    Don't fret, I’m not trying to steal your job, I’m just trying to make a living! Don't shoot me down for that!

    If I needed to shoot anything larger than a 75dpi jpg, rest assured I would employ a professional!

    Out of interest, how much would you charge to shoot 300 individual bottles of nail varnish?
     
  11. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    With catalogue work it's possible to do them all inside a day. You should be able to find a professional to do it who's day rate is less than your budget.
    How long has it already taken you to get this far with the work?
    How much longer is it going to take you to get what you want?
    How much is your time worth?
    If you had hired a professional to do it you would have the images by now.
    You should be able to deduct the cost from your pre-tax profits as an allowable expense so it will cost you nothing - and you would have helped a photographer earn a living.
     
  12. meg27

    meg27 TPF Noob!

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    i hear what your saying,
    however, the stock will be changing regulary and then the costs will start to mount up. Better to have virtually no overheads than small ones.
    I enjoy photography, and i already know i can produce better images than most of the competitors use.
    Thanks for your comments.
     

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