Diary of a newbie doing their own product photography for the first time .


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Oct 26, 2013
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Six years ago I bought a used canon G10 and had my wife and her friend start taking pictures of about 15 new custom pool cues .

The pictures were terrible, I wasn't happy and either was anyone else.
I was swamped setting up my new shop and really had no time to mess around with something as simple as photographing pool cues ......

I knew nothing about photography and personally thought it should be as simple as pushing a button.

My pictures turned out terrible too, and how am I going to sale a custom cue for lots of money on line if I cannot produce a descent photo !

After reading all these advertisements and talking to another person who sales cues online, I bought a 60 in X 60 In photo or light tent.

My buddy said he just sets his light tent out in the sun and photographs his cues .

So I decide to do the same thing, I got that big @ss light tent out on my picnic table, my camera and tripod, its hotter then hell outside.
I cannot see $hit because the sun is so bright and I have to remove my sun glasses to see the screen and now I am sweating and I have a 1500.00 cue inside the light tent.
Out of the blue a gust of wind sweeps the light tent off the picnic table knocking over the camera tripod and one of my best cues .

I guess the wind doesn't blow where my friend lives.

Then I buy a 3300 w cowboy CFL studio lighting system.
And bought a Canon T3i camera and I am inside my living room with this Big @ss light tent that I cannot figure out how to fold back up with these 3 CFL cowboy studio lighting system .

The Cowboy stuff was falling apart taking it out of the box for the first time .
I would be doing my photography and would watch the light stand just drift down all by its self.

And if I got my exposer right, or enough light to the different colored exotic woods, the light would turn into glare and I couldn't see much of the cue.

Finally I joined a photography forum, explained my problem to everyone.

I got tons of different answers , but allot of members were recommending the book Light Science and Magic..
And that was the best investment that I had made toward getting a decent exposure and dealing with reflection or glare .

The Light tent collects dust and I am thinking of using the CFL in my shop over one or two of my lathes .

I use alien bee strobes with PCB foldable soft boxes , with heavy duty light stands and Westcott boom .

Product Photography is so much easier now that I understand light and how it scatters and reflects or is refracted .

Shadows and photographing non metallic smooth surfaces .

Moral of this story is buy the book first, and save your self money and headaches .
Excellent story!

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