The most ghetto light tent in all the land

Discussion in 'Commercial/Product photography' started by Aquarium Dreams, Feb 25, 2007.

  1. Aquarium Dreams

    Aquarium Dreams TPF Noob!

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    If you have a more ghetto light tent, please share.

    This was made from a cardboard box and tissue paper, following Strobist's recipe here:

    http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/07/how-to-diy-10-macro-photo-studio.html

    [​IMG]

    The lights are 300w soft whites in clip-on fixtures, which are clipped to a couple old tripods. Posterboard serves as a reflector. I have to work on the lighting, but the box itself is great.

    Now envy my hot gear. ENVY!!!

    Stay tuned for trial shots.

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  2. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Cool!

    (Oops!, that word! :shock: )

    But it is!
    I am planning to construct myself my own light tent, too, and might follow your and "strobist's" ideas, and then mine will also look this "ghetto", heehee :D. Only don't I have even ONE white photo lamp at all, only halogen desk lights. Ugh.
     
  3. Aquarium Dreams

    Aquarium Dreams TPF Noob!

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    Haha. Thanks Lafoto. I don't take any offense to the word!:) I like cool. I also like ghetto and hope no one votes it off the boards! I think halogen would work, only you would set your wb to flourescent. Of course, I could be dreadfully wrong about this, and hope if I am, someone will correct the mistake.

    Here are my first macros made in the tent:

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/showthread.php?p=756126#post756126

    It's a lot of fun to use, and I can see becoming addicted, running around looking for small things to put inside the tent!

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  4. morydd

    morydd TPF Noob!

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    I built one of those, and had much fun with it. I need to rebuild it though. Cats and tissue paper walls don't work well together. However, we just replaced our shower curtain liner and I noticed that the old one (white "fabric" liner) was nice and translucent. I may pick up one to make something just a touch more permanent. If so I'll definitely post the results.
     
  5. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It should work just fine. As a suggestion, it is pretty hard to get much lighting flexibility with a single light on a light tent. You really need two which you can set to the same luminosity for super flat lighting or have different luminosities for soft shadows. I have my two lights set about an f stop and a half apart and I adjust the flatness of the lighting by moving the subject around inside the tent. It is very quick and painless. I do a lot of light tent shooting so it is an idea setup for me. I know exactly where to place the subject based on what I want to accomplish with the shot.

    An alternative would be to add a reflector over on the left side of the setup to send some of the main light back through the left side of the tent. While the light tent does a good job of spreading the light around the subject, two lights will give you infinitely more control.
     
  6. Aquarium Dreams

    Aquarium Dreams TPF Noob!

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    morydd, I had some fears about my cat (they do love boxes) so I store it on a high shelf in my closet, where he can't reach. However, when I set it up, he curled up next to one of the lights and became very curious about what I was doing, so I anticipate having to make repairs to this someday. When you make another one definitely post it!

    fmw, there are two lights. The one on the left is hidden by the posterboard. The tripod it's attached to has skinnier legs than the others. I wasn't really sure where to set them up. I tried using the setup you have pictured in the thread about your light tent, but it didn't give me enough light. The lamp on the right is pointed almost straight down into the box, while the one on the left is at an angle, but also pointing down mostly through the top of the box. The posterboard taped on top reflects some light down onto the face of whatever is in the box.

    Do you change the angles of your lights or are they usually set up the same? And I realize this is probably a silly question, because it's probably part of the purpose of a light tent, but is flat light preferrable?
     
  7. 357magnum

    357magnum TPF Noob!

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    my dad made one of those for my stepmoms ebay pictures
     
  8. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Flat light is what light tents do. It is the equivalent of shooting outdoors at noon on a dreary, overcast day. So if you aren't after flat lighting, then a light tent isn't for you. You can add some modeling with various adjustments but you will still get pretty flat or soft lighting no matter what you do.

    I use two flash heads on either side of the tent spaced about equally. The right one is dialed down further than the left one so the setup tends to cast a soft shadow on the right side of the subject. I could reverse that easily enough. I can adjust the strength of the shadow by the position in the light tent.

    When you say not enough light, that confuses me. Less light simply means longer shutter speeds. I assume you have another tripod besides the one holding up the light tent?
     
  9. Aquarium Dreams

    Aquarium Dreams TPF Noob!

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    I think I'm just not used to it. I haven't done any work with controlled lighting before, and I don't usually go shooting on overcast days. Lighting is something that I've just begun to study in the past couple weeks.

    See, this is how little I know! I assumed that with correct lighting I would be able to use faster shutter shutter speeds. I don't know what I was expecting. I guess I just thought I was going to get wrong. My camera is on a tripod. I just purchased another one, so there are about to be four tripods floating around my house, so there won't be any excuses!

    Thanks fmv, for being patient with all my noobish questions! It's hard learning sometimes when there isn't someone here to tell me if I'm doing it wrong. But based on your comments, I think I've got the hang of it, and I just need to practice more.
     
  10. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you use flash in the studio instead of continuous lighting, then you will get short exposures. I hand hold my camera with the light tent because the flash units provide very fast exposure times. With continuous lighting you will normally need longer exposures than you use in daylight simply because the sun is more powerful than what you are using indoors. We usually need small apertures for small product photography because we are shooting up close and need the depth of field a small aperture provides. That means slow shutter speeds and a tripod. Nothing wrong with that, by the way.
     
  11. neea

    neea TPF Noob!

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    I like it. It's more than cool it's... gnarly (that's right. I said gnarly).

    I imagine this would become quite addicting. I can't wait to make one. Maybe this weekend perhaps. I plan to make my frame out of pvc pipe possibly and some cheap fabric from Walmart.

    Aquarium Dreams... I must ask this one question as it's been rattling in my head for days. What's with the numbers at the bottom of each post. They're always different. If you would be so kind as to enlighten me and give my little brain a rest... :)
    Tnx
     
  12. Aquarium Dreams

    Aquarium Dreams TPF Noob!

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    You said gnarly! (That's a good thing, right?!)

    I hear the pvc and fabric ones hold up really well. One day I'll try it, but I'll see how long the tissue paper holds up. I just bought some black posterboard for a background for a shoot I've been planning--now all I need is time!

    And the numbers, haha. During one of those infamous, "How to critique," threads, I threw a tizzy fit and after a long and immature ramble, declared, "Now I'm going to go make 200 posts, many of which will illustrate exactly what this thread complains about, because this is a public forum and I can." I counted them, which are the numbers at the bottom of the posts I made that night. I think I made it to 50 or so. I'm a brat.:wink:
     

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