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using a photo-light-box to take photos  RSS feed

 
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I caved in and got a light box for taking photos of yarn and other stuff.  The theory is that these photos will look more professional and accurate. 

What do you think?  Is it worth it? 

The problem is, if I wait for natural light, I have maybe one hour out of every two weeks when the light is good for taking photos.  If I'm not home... well.

handspun-linen-photo.jpg
[Thumbnail for handspun-linen-photo.jpg]
light box
handspun-linen-in-natural-light.jpg
[Thumbnail for handspun-linen-in-natural-light.jpg]
natural light
handspun-corridale-in-natural-light.jpg
[Thumbnail for handspun-corridale-in-natural-light.jpg]
natural light
handspun-medum-natural-wool-yarn.jpg
[Thumbnail for handspun-medum-natural-wool-yarn.jpg]
light box
 
raven ranson
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The pictures look pretty flat to me.  I wonder if some of these buttons on my camera would help. 
 
raven ranson
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Does anyone have any thoughts on how to make the photos better with the lightbox?

Are they better?  I can see them on my screen, but I don't know what they look like on other people's computers
 
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I agree that the lightbox pictures look flat.  But you'll make it work!

I have limited experience with this but here are some questions.  What lights are you using?  You want high-CRI bulbs (such as an LED with a CRI of 90+, or a full spectrum fluorescent.)  This will give you more color range.

What type of diffuser are you using on your light sources?  Different materials dull or sharpen the light.

How many lights are you using? What is the placement of the lights?  I've found that I need at least two.  One overhead at an angle and one accent light.

Hope this helps.

 
raven ranson
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Thanks for the reply.

The lightbox is Amazonbasic and it says the lights are

High output built-in LED lights for handheld photography with a camera or smartphone. Lights are positioned for optimum contrast, and provide 5600k daylight balanced LEDs with high Color Rendering Index (CRI) for consistent color. An extra light provides directional light modelling like in a photo studio, giving better highlights, contrast, and shape to product images.



I quite like the box as it's easy to set up and compact to store.  It's much larger than I expected too.  Taking photos at night is also a bonus.

But if the pictures don't look better than I can take without, then I'm not sure it's worth the expense.  I suspect the problem is user error as I have all these buttons on my camera I don't know how to use. 
 
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In school we used a large sheet of milk (opaque-white) plexiglas suspended from the ceiling and the bottom laid onto saw horses to sweep into a flat surface. We would use paper or cardboard underneath to mask off areas around clear objects to create interesting effects with light coming from below as well as other effects.

I’ve managed this type of photography using just incandescent lights reflected off a white surface like foam core board to get a window effect with secondary light sources to create fill or just additional boards positioned just off camera to use reflected light from the main source to help model the subject.
 
raven ranson
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playing with the camera settings a bit

Better?

still at a loss how to photograph the wool yarn in the skein. 
photographing-yarn-with-a-lightbox.jpg
[Thumbnail for photographing-yarn-with-a-lightbox.jpg]
 
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Hmmm, the skein is small, so that makes it a bit more challenging.

Idea! I'm wondering if you could make a background of white/cream fluffy wool, and then put the skein on that. It would add more texture, a bit of a "story," make it less boring than a plain white background, and give you a way to add structure. You could fluff up certain areas of the wool roving/fluffy wool to give a way to drape the skein down.

Might be something worth a "shot."

And now to bed with me! Maybe my dreams will give me some ideas!
 
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I made a small experiment. Picture taken in direct sunlight (as probably obvious by the shadows) on a Nikon D7000 in RAW mode. ISO 100, Aperture F8.

The two attached Pictures are from the same RAW file. The first one uses sRGB, the second uses Adobe RGB colorspace.
I can try to take the same photograph with artificial light, once the sun has set.

EDIT: In a modern browser, they should look the same.
DSC_5404.jpg
[Thumbnail for DSC_5404.jpg]
sRGB
DSC_5404_01.jpg
[Thumbnail for DSC_5404_01.jpg]
Adobe RGB
 
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They don't look flat at all to me. The first one maybe, but it's also a little underexposed.
I think they're coming out really well from the light box. You will never get huge contrast as the whole idea of the box is to get light in from many directions.
There are a few really easy Photoshop techniques to really make images pop that might be worth experimenting with?
 
Rob Lineberger
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Nicole Alderman wrote: It would add more texture, a bit of a "story," make it less boring than a plain white background, and give you a way to add structure.



I was going to say the same thing!  The white look works if you are using it in a website or something where you want the backgrounds to all blend in and the product to pop.  But if you want an interesting look, try stuff scattered around.  Needles/crochet hooks or whatever this is used for, leaves, etc.  A pastel robin's egg blue background might look good.  Take a roll of kraft paper, paint it the right color, and lay it under everything.  Curve it up in the back to cover the back wall too.  Then try something like the depth of field trick (move the camera far away, zoom in on the subject so the background blurs. Depends on lens.)  Lots of things to try.  It took my ex about 3-4 weeks to get the hang of the light tent.

Your latest effort is a marked improvements so you're getting somewhere.
 
raven ranson
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I'm wondering about adding more stuff. 

My understanding is etsy has or is creating a system for identifying pictures but it needs the picture to have minimal clutter and be on a white background.  But this is just something I heard, I don't know how accurate it is. 
 
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