Buying advice: constant lights, around $200

y2kh8r

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I've been doing product photos for a few years, getting continually better. I've been using daylight spectrum CFLs with muslin cloth to diffuse the light.

I'm looking to buy an actual photography light (1 or 2 should do it) at this point, as I almost always have to brighten up the photos after they've been taken.

My photography area is maybe 2' x 3', so I don't need a ton of light. I just don't want to buy some junk that will break in a month. Looking to spend $100-$200, expecting to get 1 or 2 lights.

I've seen some cheap kits for around $200 that include three lights and a 10' x 10' background- they have mixed reviews- but mostly positive. I wouldn't mind expanding my photo area a little.

Alternatively, I've thought about building a big light tent (using PVC pipe and muslin cloth) and lighting it with fluorescent lights- the big tube ones they use in offices, only daylight spectrum if I can find it.

$P1010007_zps9a79f2b8.jpg

Looking forward to your input :)
 
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y2kh8r

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Thanks
 

Big Mike

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I'm looking to buy an actual photography light (1 or 2 should do it) at this point, as I almost always have to brighten up the photos after they've been taken.
You can brighten up your photos, simply by adjusting your exposure settings. Adding more lights won't necessarily help, unless you really have a specific need for them.

For example, when the camera meters on anything white/bright...it will intentionally underexpose the photo. You have to compensate for that, in order to get proper exposure.

But as for adding new/different lights...the important thing is that all your lights are the same type (color temp). If your subjects aren't moving and you're shooting on a tripod...it doesn't matter if they are 'bright' lights or not. So, for shooting products, you could use standard bulbs...but you want them to be consistent so that you don't have different colored lights.

More important than the type of lights, are how adjustable & flexible they are. Do you have stands that allow you to place them just where you need them? The modifiers, are also very important...soft boxes, umbrellas, reflectors, diffusers, flags, snoots etc.

And of course, a good knowledge of how to use light...will be the best investment.
Light: Science and Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting: Amazon.ca: Steven Biver, Paul Fuqua, Fil Hunter: Books
 
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y2kh8r

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Thanks a lot Big Mike, very useful advice.
 

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