It’s hard to believe that 90 days have already passed since I started my project 365. One of the things I don’t have in my kit bag as a photographer is the knowledge and experience with working with artificial lighting.
Wanting to create a soft box so that I can sell some items on ebay, and perhaps even create some stock images I figured it was time to dust off some things I purchased last year. Wanting to go the less expensive route, I purchased from Home Depot some metal clamp light cones and 5500 Kelvin CFL Daylight light bulbs. I also purchased an inexpensive Table Top Studio light box.
Here are my first two attempts:
What’s wrong with these images? Besides the blue background and the shaded front of the flowers? If I can fix those two things, perhaps I’ll get something better.
I managed to fix the blue by changing my white balance to Florescent, but it’s still not on the mark. The lighting in front is a bit better as I took one of the lamps and moved it around in the front until lighting was where I wanted it.
I then took the image above and in Lightroom 4, I dodged (lightened) the background to get rid of the muddiness.
I’m getting there, but still not quite right. The idea is to blow out the background to get a crisp and clean white. Of course, working with yellow flowers doesn’t help either as the color throws off the color balance in a DSLR. So here is what I learned today with this exercise:
- First lesson learned: The teeny lamps with the Table Top Studio are worthless.
- Second lesson learned: I really need to set the white balance correctly on my camera
- Third lesson learned: Need a better background material. The fabric that came with the light box has a gray blue texture to it. I’m better off with white poster board.
- Fourth lesson learned. Four lamps are needed for each angle, front, sides and the back.
- Fifth lesson learned: Get a perfectly crisp and clean background.
Next time I’ll have a white poster board for the background and perhaps some plexiglass for some nice reflection. I’ll also make sure the white balance is correctly set in the camera. Wish me luck!