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Forum topic by jeff posted 01-27-2021 08:56 AM 458 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jeff

1306 posts in 4472 days


01-27-2021 08:56 AM

Topic tags/keywords: photo light box

12 replies so far

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John Smith

2858 posts in 1169 days


#1 posted 01-27-2021 03:01 PM

Jeff – I installed a pull down vinyl window shade on my “hobby bench”.
it works like the old movie projector screens.
available at your Box Stores in the blinds & curtains section in different widths.
you could probably paint them to any color, if you wanted.

-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

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moke

1681 posts in 3783 days


#2 posted 01-27-2021 06:22 PM

Those are are light tents, Light boxes are an illuminated surfaces, used for viewing slides or negatives.

John, that is an ingenious way to store and use a background. Also it eliminates the need for hardware to set up a background. And with digital camera with Auto White Balance(AWB) it is easy to get good results. If you use multiple light sources try and not to mix the type of bulbs, the AWB will not be able to adapt. You might try and bounce your light off a white ceiling, it will eliminate that shadow. You may need a tripod, it will cut back on the light substantially, and use the self timer, so you are not “rocking the boat” when you take the photo.
Is that a dial phone on your bench? Hang on to that…..

-- Mike

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987Ron

365 posts in 323 days


#3 posted 01-27-2021 06:30 PM

White or colored sheet draped over works for me. Light from more than one angle sometimes add an effect.
I like John Smiths method as well.

-- It's not a mistake it's a design opportunity

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John Smith

2858 posts in 1169 days


#4 posted 01-27-2021 06:48 PM

Mike – I have a new Canon Rebel T7 that has all kinds of fancy gadgets
that I am still trying to learn. AWB is the top dawg that I need to master.
it is hard going from film to digital !!!
I still use my old Fuji point-n-shoot simply because it is quick n easy.
I think that if I tossed it, I would be forced to learn the Canon faster.
yeah, the phone is proudly displayed for posterity. it was our very first phone
we got back in the early ‘50s. and I still have the same phone number today.
at my hobby desk, I have fluorescent, halogen and incandescent plus the flash from the camera.
eventually, I will get the lighting to where some decent photos can be made.
if Jeff just needs a “box” for photographing small items, it would be fun to make his own
that could fold into a small size for storage.
my wife just bought us a new Go-Pro9. so that is another thing to learn !!!

-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

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jeff

1306 posts in 4472 days


#5 posted 01-27-2021 08:38 PM

Thanks for the response. John your pull down shade is ingenious.

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

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drsurfrat

476 posts in 193 days


#6 posted 01-27-2021 09:10 PM

That screen is ingenious.

I have also found that a very dark background helps balance the darkness of patina in my planes. No need to mess with pinpointing AWB, auto exposure is enough.

-- Mike (near Boston) ... Laziness is the mother of invention, necessity is the mother of exhaustion - me

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splintergroup

4650 posts in 2229 days


#7 posted 01-27-2021 09:29 PM

I have a light tent almost exactly like you referenced and use it for most of my project photos.

Firstly, the included lights are basically useless, too dim. I use a twin, 500 watt halogen construction light set for yhr top and one side. A single 500W unit on the other side is easily moveable for getting the proper shadows.

I set a custom white balance on my camera which basically requires a full-frame picture of a sheet of paper illuminated by the lights. Most all cameras can do this now a days with a similar process.

The tent came with three backgrounds (black, blue, and red) but i leave it set up in a spare room and usually keep the black installed.

John’s pull down shade is an excellent method if you have the place to keep a roll-up screen. You’ll still need some moveable lights and can’t go wrong with a tripod and remote shutter (or use your timed shutter release) if your lights are weak.

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bigJohninvegas

939 posts in 2469 days


#8 posted 01-27-2021 09:43 PM

I have been kicking ideas around on this very subject.
Basically I have been using a white bed sheet, with no special lighting.
(6500k florescent tubes in my shop) And not real happy.
I was looking into a light tent, but had not used one yet.
Then back in a December Zoom event, Meet The Woodturner, With Harvey Meyer.
http://www.harveymeyer.com/
It was mentioned that he photographed some of his work with an Iphone.
While I have a good digital camera, I too have been using my cell phone, and figured it was part of
my problem.
So he showed us a poster board style backdrop he uses. And I should have took notes on if he was using a special lighting. Seems that he does, but I don’t have that info.
Anyway, I chose to go with a backdrop. And found two on amazon that I decided to try.
One blue, and the other grey. Both were $9 each. So I figured if they didn’t work I was not out too much.
I went with the 3X5, which is a bit large for what I am typically doing. But again price was right.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B076CD62BF/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Here is a photo of what they look like hanging in my shop. Against painters canvas covering storage shelves.

And I have been working on pepper mills this week, So they have been the subject to experiment with.
I think I am liking the blue background better so far. But still not done anything with lighting yet.
And using a Samsung S20 phone camera. I should drag out the big digital camera and see how it does.
So Blue,

Vs Grey,

Oh, And I agree that pull down shade is a great idea. I have to figure out how I am going to store this backdrop I have. It came folded, with instructions to iron it. You look close and you’ll see fold lines still in it.
I think I am going to return the grey one though.

-- John

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splintergroup

4650 posts in 2229 days


#9 posted 01-27-2021 09:59 PM

Lines are nothing compared to cat hair (even in a sealed room 8^)

The blue looks good with that wood!

The real advantage to taking these steps is you can get a better diffuse light pattern which will eliminate hard shadows and reflective “hot spots” (a polarizer can also help).

Remember that your camera really can only show a narrow range of exposure before shadows turn black and hot spots turn white. What looks great with your eyes most likely will exceed the range of your film/camera unless you start playing with merging multiple exposures and all that other Photoshop type magic 8^)

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jeff

1306 posts in 4472 days


#10 posted 01-28-2021 01:36 AM

Your peppermill pics look good John. From research I’m finding lighting is very important. Thanks for everyone’s responses.

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View moke's profile

moke

1681 posts in 3783 days


#11 posted 02-03-2021 04:27 PM



Mike – I have a new Canon Rebel T7 that has all kinds of fancy gadgets
that I am still trying to learn. AWB is the top dawg that I need to master.
it is hard going from film to digital !!!
I still use my old Fuji point-n-shoot simply because it is quick n easy.
I think that if I tossed it, I would be forced to learn the Canon faster.
yeah, the phone is proudly displayed for posterity. it was our very first phone
we got back in the early 50s. and I still have the same phone number today.
at my hobby desk, I have fluorescent, halogen and incandescent plus the flash from the camera.
eventually, I will get the lighting to where some decent photos can be made.
if Jeff just needs a “box” for photographing small items, it would be fun to make his own
that could fold into a small size for storage.
my wife just bought us a new Go-Pro9. so that is another thing to learn !!!

- John Smith

Your Canon should default to AWB. The “green box” on the dial at the top of the Camera is the simplest way to operate, and it is universal with all Canons. It will default you to AWB within that mode. Get your self a tripod that will hold your camera securely, use the self timer (intended for getting in the photo yourself) and get away from the camera….you should get good results. Use your background (great idea BTW) bounce two light sources of similar
type off something white and let er rip!
I owned a camera store and studio for 30 years and worked there a total of 43. I liked to help folks with this very thing. I told them to go to a room in your house with windows…but work in INDIRECT light…shadows, get thin poster board and set it up in a seamless fashion as your window shade is. Indirect light is wonderful. I used it at every wedding I did. It will be a little brighter on one side ( the one closest to the window) but will wrap around and give you a great shot. Stay away from black or real dark backgrounds…...Cameras get confused there.

If you have more questions PM me…I’ll be glad to help. I retired in August cold turkey and kind of miss it. (not enough to go back anywhere though)

-- Mike

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John Smith

2858 posts in 1169 days


#12 posted 02-03-2021 10:23 PM

thanks Mike
I started taking pictures when I was about 12 with a Brownie box camera – and advanced rapidly
when I joined the Navy, I could afford a good used Canon 35mm and still have my first aluminum tripod.
5 years later, I had a studio in Key West, FL doing portraits, family, weddings, etc.
I had a box of cameras and lenses and assorted lighting devices. the Mamiya C330 Pro TLR and loved that one.
15 or so years ago, I tried to sell the lot at a camera store and he said he would give me $50 for
$2,000.00 worth of camera stuff. well, gave that to my daughter for “posterity”. she broke up with her b/f
and he sold my Mamiya to a pawn shop for drug money – it is gone forever.
sooooo fast forward through a few pocket Point-n-Shoot cameras and now back to the Canon scene that is
totally new to me. I am a member of PhotographyTalk.com and slowly getting back to some kind of norm.
but – having the ability to process and print 8×10 color prints right from home is a huge bonus.
thank you for the invite for the tips – I may take you up on that when I get in a slump.
Stay Safe !!
John

-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

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