Cheap Lights for still photography table


TPF Noob!
Apr 6, 2013
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South Africa
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I built a cheap diy product photography table but my light setup is letting me down i dont have money at the moment for huge studio light so im a bi screwed.
I do howeever have a canon flash 430ex ii, white umbrella that i use or the top shots and then a fluorescent light that im using at the bottom but the light from the bottom doesnt seem enough.
Can anyone maybe give me some advice on a cheap light setup that i can buy in the hardware maybe ?
What do you want to photograph, and how many light sources does it need?
well i wanna photograph products lie currently i have a skincare range im experimenting with.
I need a light source at the bottom constant light and then a source at the top
For still lifes you don't hardly need any light POWER at all.

You do need to manage light sources and light colors. Clamp lights is a great idea, but you don't need the powerful bulbs. Just use low wattage bulbs and long exposures. With the low wattage bulbs you can monkey around with diffusers and colored gels and so on without worrying about setting things on fire, and you won't make your studio into an oven.

Just make sure you have the same color bulbs in everything.
Besides the same color of light, you should balance your lights more in terms of power. Using a flash on top, and a fluorescent on the bottom, you are mixing high power with low power. Either don't use the flash or get another.

Take the advice of others here and just get some inexpensive utility lights and make sure they have the same type of bulbs in them. Don't use the fluorescent light at the same time. What you want is one type of light, all the same color, and then vary the intensity of each as required.

Be sure to adjust the white balance as required as well.
sweet thx guys went today to go check prices and different lights will post some test shots soon
Good start but you really need a diffuser on the light at camera left.

A yard of white ripstop nylon from a fabric store hung between the light and the subject would do.
No, the light from the left is super cold.

I am considering a couple LED panels as product/food/portrait lights. Nowadays, you can get battery powered 512 bulb LED panels with temperature and brightness adjustment for like $200 (Chinese of course). It might be a good option.

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