Friday, October 8, 2010

Photography help




I'm photographing pots on a gradient background in a windowless basement. Any suggestions on what bulbs and wattage to use? Also, the bounced reflection of the white part of the paper is soooo strong. It generally makes the bottom half of the pot's color look washed out. Anyone else have this problem?

4 comments:

Sue Pariseau Pottery said...

I don't remember the specifics about the bulbs I use, but I got them from Home Depot. They are the "daylight" CFLs and then I put a little white paper diffuser over the fixture to help distribute light. It takes a lot of playing around with the lights and your camera settings to get it right. And then even if they look great on your screen, they might not on a different screen. I've had some photos that look great at home when I edit them, but after they are posted and I look at them on my work computer they look too dark. That's really frustrating.

Hollis Engley said...

Hi, Kyle. Nice pots in the "Clay and Blogs" show, by the way. Wish we'd had a chance to connect last week at the opening.
Anyway, on the photos ... I use a 150 watt bulb bounced from an aluminum reflector up to a white umbrella and then to the pot. The pot sits on a dark-gray-to-white background that I got from Porter's Camera Store, online. Actually, the whole outfit came from Porter's. I rarely get any hot spots where one part of the pot washes out and the other doesn't. You could approximate the umbrella by rigging the light so that it bounces off a piece of white cardboard, like mat board, for example. That would diffuse the light and reduce hot spots. As to the strength of the light source, I think it doesn't matter a great deal, since most of us are shooting these days with auto-exposure cameras. Whatever bulb you use, the built-in meter will make the decision on exposure anyway. Good luck with it.

ang said...

yep what hollis said, diffuse the light source...:)

jim said...

hi kyle, i always refer people to this blog post when questions about photography arise... http://jeffcampana.com/blog/2009/03/turning-pots-into-jpegs-part-one-the-setup/ jeff specifies the bulbs by name and tells how he does it. i will say that i've taken his advice and the photos are much better but the bulbs are bright and will need to be diffused or positioned at a distance.