Testing my new light tent.

Discussion in 'Commercial/Product photography' started by fmw, Jan 16, 2007.

  1. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,598
    Likes Received:
    137
    I got a new light tent with more working room inside so I can use reflectors and gobos. It seems to work pretty well. This test shot used a gobo to define the line at the top of the blade. I'll get it perfected in no time and be making pretty good images with it, I think.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    May 19, 2003
    Messages:
    6,190
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    Hollywood, FLA USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    IMO this one seem pretty good
     
  3. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,598
    Likes Received:
    137
    Thanks. Yes it is almost there. Knife blades on a white background are a little challenging. There is too much light right at the tip of the blade. I could have fixed that in PS but it's better to fix it at exposure. I just have to experiment with positioning the strobes and subject. Or maybe another gobo. It's close.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,817
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Can you post a shot of what your set up looks like? I'm curious as to where you have your lights and gobo etc.
     
  5. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Messages:
    34,814
    Likes Received:
    814
    Location:
    Lower Saxony, Germany
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Light tent ... oh yes, please let me see what your set-up looks like, I don't know what a light tent is at all ... but I can see how very, very evenly the light's been spread, and that is interesting!
    More so since today I have set up my first little desk "studio" and worked with a "model"... so light tent is really something that I find interesting.
     
  6. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,598
    Likes Received:
    137
    La Foto, a light tent is a translucent white thing that you light from the exterior to produce the ultimate in soft, diffuse light on the subject which is inside the tent. Here's a shapshot of my new one.

    [​IMG]

    Mike, I have two flash heads lighting the tent - one on each side and high. The third unit you see in the photo wasn't turned on for the image you saw. My gobos are a collection of little black plastic and fabric things of various sizes and shapes. I just handheld one edge on above the top edge of the blade and moved and wiggled it until I could see a faint reflection of it on the top of the blade. it was pretty close to the blade and I had to remove it in the post process. If it had been a film shot I would have had to spend quite a bit of time with gobos and clamps. I was just happy that I could add some light modifiers to the setup which I couldn't do with the old one.

    My old light tent was just as deep but much shorter and narrower. It was a cocoon style. I think this new one will work out very well.

    I did reshoot the knife. I needed to move it back about 5 inches into the interior of the tent. I'm going to build some doors for the tent that I can attach to the sides and swing them in and out to prevent extra light leaking in from the front. That's what caused the overexposed knife blade tip.
     
  7. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,598
    Likes Received:
    137
    The light tent, by the way, is not expensive. I bought it from B&H for about $45. It is portable and includes a carrying case and couple of clamps so you can hang a paper or fabric sweep inside of it. Very nifty. I think my old cocoon cost me about $150. I like this one better.
     
  8. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,817
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Cool, thanks.
     
  9. John_05

    John_05 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Messages:
    523
    Likes Received:
    4
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    very nice shot Fmw.

    i like the light tent you have too. i have a couple, but they are the pop up variety. ive tried to take a couple shots of the knives i have in my collection, but so far i havent gotten any decent results. i get too much glare and i cant seem to get a decent shot of the spine or the edge of the knives.

    would i see a difference if i used strobes instead of continuous lights? i have 2 small lights that came with it that are continuous and rated at 5500k. im not sure of the wattage of the bulbs, but they seem to work well enough in the 12" tent. i also have 2 5500k 250 watt lights i can use for the 36" tent i have.

    would i see a difference if i used the door on the tent and used the flash on my Rebel XT with the lights i have?
     
  10. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,598
    Likes Received:
    137
    It is hard for me to envision the problem you are having without seeing what you mean. The image above was made exactly with the setup above. 2 750ws flash heads dialed down to 1/4 power, f18 and a shutter speeed of 1/250. Pretty straightforward. After running the test, I left everything as it was, posted the shot and then went about my invoicing and shipping for the day. Later, when I was asked for a shot of the setup, I just grabbed another camera and shot the light tent without any changes at all. In fact, the same knife was still in the light tent.

    The door I'm talking about will just shade the front of the light tent from extraneous light leaking in the front. My old one encircled the product 360 degrees and had some holes in it for lenses. This one is open at the front which is what motivated my desire for a light shield for the front.

    I doubt flash or continuous lighting is an issue. I use flash because it is fast, predictable, daylight white balanced, more powerful, cheaper to operate and free of heat buildup. Photographically, however, the shot should look the same with continuous light. The exposure and the white balance would be different but that shouldn't be an issue.

    Don't get me wrong, photographing knife blades or anything light or shiny against a white background can be tricky. You need to fool around with light placement, subject placement, exposure etc.
     
  11. John_05

    John_05 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Messages:
    523
    Likes Received:
    4
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    i wound up deleting the shots i took because i wasnt happy with them, so i cant post an example. if i remember right, i used a shutter speed of 1/400 and an aperture of f8. i didnt use the door that came with my tents, so could extra light coming in from the front be what was causing the excess glare? the lighting in the room i shot in isnt very bright (20 watt fluorescent) and was almost directly overhead so i didnt think it would cause a problem.

    ill try a few more shots later and see what happens and post an example. thanks for the tips.
     
  12. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,598
    Likes Received:
    137
    Ambient light shouldn't be a problem at that kind of exposure. My commercial studio was actually lit by bright flourescent. It never got in the way of my studio photography at all. The flash heads would reduce the ambient light to insignificance. I never even turned them off during a shoot. That was in the film days where color temperature was a make or break issue.

    By glare we normally mean unwanted or excessive light reflected from the subject back to the lens. The light tent should eliminate about all of that as long as the lights aren't directly on the subject but are on the tent itself. The subject should not "see" the lighting at all except through the tent. If you still get glare you might be able control it with less exposure. If you can cover the front of the tent with something that has a hole in it for the lens, that might resolve the problem. On Saturday I'm going to go looking for a couple of pieces of black and white acrylic that I can use to make the doors for the front of the tent. My plan is simply to have them close off the front of the tent but be able to swing so I can crack the doors open to make room for the lens or open them fully to get things in and out. I'm also going to cut a slit on the top panel of the tent and glue velcro to the edges so I can close the slit or open it for a lens.

    Maybe it's time for me to design something really cool and get into the light tent business. :)
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
foam core light tent
,
gobo in top of tent image
,

light tent

,
light tent horizontal
,
light tent lighting placement
,
light tent placement
,
light tent setup
,
photo light tent placement
,
photography light-tent light placement
,
soft light tent 19 inch