Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Let There Be Light

Even the most carefully crafted prop is going to look terrible if you can't get a good picture of it.

I bring this up because I keep coming across items that look interesting, but the photographs illustrating them make the props look terrible.  Getting good shots is a problem I've struggled with myself, so I wanted to draw your attention to this tutorial on creating a low-budget lightbox

You'll be amazed how the relatively small investment needed to put it together will pay off.   I use an almost identical setup for all of my prop pictures and it makes capturing good snapshots much easier.  Last week's preserved fetus project would have been nearly impossible to photograph without one.  The soft, even lighting brought out the details of the piece while keeping reflections from the shiny resin finish from washing out the image.


CoastConFan said...

Having a professional setup has never been so easy or so cheap these days. EBay has a couple of vendors who offer very cheap light boxes and complete color-corrected light sets. Modern digital camera are sensitive to certain light frequencies that can mess up your photo shot or make you spend an inordinate amount of time with Photoshop. Also modern digital cameras seem to really have problems with hotspots on reflective surfaces. In the old (film) days a light dusting of ultra fine powder such as baby powder applied with a brush was used to cut the reflective properties of some photographed objects.

Really, I don’t miss the expense of 35mm and 120mm cameras. With modern digitals you can take as many shots as you like at no expense. Then correcting them outside of a darkroom with something Photoshop is another advantage of film vs digital. I originally had a brand new Canon T-70, which was a jewel for macros and had full control of functions. It shot great in low light with a tripod as well. Some of my early black and whites tableaus were shot using a single candle and reflectors to achieve a moodiness and feeling. These had some very long exposure times in 35mm, 100 asa in very dim circumstances.



Dr. Theda said...

We went to school for Photography as well.... and Advertising Design ( our major) .... Best wishes from the "Crypt"....