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Gantaeno Je Suis Lugly!
Posts: 1,065
Website

EDIT: I apologise for all the reminising further down the page: what a shocker! We are both still very much interested in your light tent opinions!

Good morning everyone!

As you have all been inundated with photo's of my sloth recently, I won't be posting any examples here, but I'm looking for help with light tentas and photo equipment.  The gentleman who took the posh shiny photo's of Sloth did so without a tent, but as his camera is about four foot long it's so posh, and as there are lots of white walls in the Journal, I think we can accept that I might need a photo tent to replicate this :P

What I wanted to ask about is the lighting for these tents.  Can I just use everyday lights, or do I need shiny (and expensive) photographers lights? Some of the ebay sets come with lights, but these ones do not fold down as small as the other tents. (ie. this one:  http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Light-Tent-40cm-P … dZViewItem it's only 40cm too... too small perhaps?) I've looked at the past topics in the library and there's a lot saying how brilliant photo tents are and I'd like to try them, it's just the lightinf for them I'm confused about!

So, ignoring all that waffle, my main question is: can I light a light tent cheaply?

bear_laugh Thanks!

FenBeary Folk FenBeary Folk
Pointon Fen, Lincolnshire, UK
Posts: 2,234

Hi chloe I have my beady eyes on a lighting tent on ebay at the moment, having seen one in the other post about workspaces, there are no lights with it but it is 80cm (£3.95 with postage of £9.95!! I think) I too had wondered how good it was, if anyone knows

PS that would not the Grantham Journal would it????
:hug:

Gantaeno Je Suis Lugly!
Posts: 1,065
Website

Is it one of the pop-up foldy beasts? That's the kind I'm looking at too: I have no storage space for anything too big!

That would indeed be the Grantham Journal, and Gerald Wright is the photographer: my mum works there as the Health and Safety Officer bear_original  How do you know of the Journal?

FenBeary Folk FenBeary Folk
Pointon Fen, Lincolnshire, UK
Posts: 2,234

Yes the pop up variety is the one I am looking at :hug:
:crackup:  :crackup:  :crackup: I work in Grantham and was born there and lived there til 21 and went to school there :crackup:  :crackup:

Gantaeno Je Suis Lugly!
Posts: 1,065
Website

:O:O:O

NO WAY...

...

...

That is too weird bear_tongue I'm working at the College at the minute (don't say you're here too!) and i went to school and live here, appart from when I'm at University.  I can't believe there's another G-Town homie on here! (lol, a bit of Grantham chav coming out there XD)

Are you a fellow KG Girl?  Browning House I hope... Although KG's pretty rubbish at the minute, so i could forgive pretty much any other schooling past bear_tongue

FenBeary Folk FenBeary Folk
Pointon Fen, Lincolnshire, UK
Posts: 2,234

YES YES YES

Fellow KG girl Rossetti house but back in the 80's I'm old compared to you
My daughter will be at the college next wednesday sorting her A levels out (x fingers on grades)
I had a funny feeling on one your pevious posts that you were fairly close to me
GOSH GOSH GOSH I can't believe it
I lived around Signal and Sharpe rd all my life before marriage then we lived in tied housing near Bitchfield out towards Corby Glen, we moved to pointon fen for our daughter to go to Aveland at Billingborough from Ingoldsby primary school, but I am A GRANTHAM LASS through and through
:hug:  :hug:  :hug:  :hug:  :hug:  :hug:

Gantaeno Je Suis Lugly!
Posts: 1,065
Website

Lol! If she comes to Student Tutors I will probably be there, first ugly mug as you step through the doors XD Or I might even be on Reception bear_tongue Or possibly even manning the phones for people ringing in for Results... haven't the A-Level ones been and gone?

Booo Rossetti... I think my mum was in Rossetti bear_tongue or possibly Elliot. Browning Roolz! XD  I'm a centre of Town girl, and I've lived in the same house all my life...

Wow, this is almost surreal... I feel WATCHED...

:crackup:

FenBeary Folk FenBeary Folk
Pointon Fen, Lincolnshire, UK
Posts: 2,234

Very surreal cos judging by your age your mum probably was there when I was.
I did gce's in 1984 and A levels in 1986 :hug:  bear_wacko

Gantaeno Je Suis Lugly!
Posts: 1,065
Website

Entirely Possible, although I think she was a few years ahead of you... maybe she was leaving when you arrived at the school?  She was there in the late 70's bear_tongue You might have just missed each other... i know she was there when Maggie Thatcher visited: any recollection of that?

(PS, I do still want info on tents if anyone has any! lol)

FenBeary Folk FenBeary Folk
Pointon Fen, Lincolnshire, UK
Posts: 2,234

Hi chloe, Ok this gets weirder, I remember being told that we would have to line up for her and their being a protest, I think that she had just come to power poss 1979, I actually started in 1978 it was Miss Pannell last year as head and she had been there forever since about 1930/40 :hug:

MerBear MerBear Originals
Brockville, Ontario
Posts: 1,540

totally ot here  bear_wacko but I got a nice light tent at Walmart that all folds down into a brief case type arrangement and included the lights and a tripod stand for my camera. It was about $70 Cdn.

Marion

Gantaeno Je Suis Lugly!
Posts: 1,065
Website

Lol!  My mum has a photo of her visit at the Journal which she showed me. She pointed at a girl on the far left and said 'you see her? I am...' *points along the row beyond the photo's edges* 'THERE.'  :crackup:  I'll check with my mum when I get home from work...

Gantaeno Je Suis Lugly!
Posts: 1,065
Website

Thanks Marion! And you're not OT, WE ARE!!

I wonder if there's a equivalant you can get here? can I ask you how bright and white your lamps are, and how many there are?

FenBeary Folk FenBeary Folk
Pointon Fen, Lincolnshire, UK
Posts: 2,234

Thanks Marion, it was just the shock you see, have you found your tent adequate as it seems we can get the tent cheaply without the lighting on ebay (uk) :hug:

Gijzette Elfin Bears
Mount Dora FL
Posts: 1,507
Website

I have the light tent that is shown in the eBay link and it came with the lights. I haven't used it yet but will be doing so as soon as I finish the two I'm working on. I'll let you know what I think. The person with the eBay aution is actually showing used upside down.

According to the box the kit contains these lights: High Output Lights which are high power 20 watt lights providing even color temperature and clarity.  I asked my DH, my photographer, if ott light would be strong enough but he doesn't think so and an everyday light would be too yellow. He also said the main reason for using a light tent is for control of the lighting and also for elimination of the shadow.

I purchased mine from Hammacher Schlemmer I do know if they ship worldwide. Here is the link to their product which might give you some additional information http://www.hammacher.com/publish/73033.asp

Whether or not this is big enough depends on what the largest size bear you create is. Since I usually do mini or small this was perfect for me.

I hope this helped.

Hugs,

FenBeary Folk FenBeary Folk
Pointon Fen, Lincolnshire, UK
Posts: 2,234

Gijzette, thanks for the reply bear_thumb , I think I am completely ignorant about it all and may have to do more research, I am sorry I am not sure I understand about the lights, what is ott and do I actually need a light box?? bear_grin

Gijzette Elfin Bears
Mount Dora FL
Posts: 1,507
Website

Hi Sue,

The Ott light is a true color light that some us use when bear making. It simulates the same light you would have if you were sitting outside in the sun.

The main reason for using a light box or tent is to allow the light to be concentrated on what you are photographing without casting any shadows. Our own Shelli did a wonderful article for the Bears and Buds webzine that explains about light boxes and even how to build your own. http://www.bearsandbuds.com/webzine/Pho … ddyPg2.asp

I hope that helped.

Hugs,

edie Bears by Edie
Southern Alberta
Posts: 2,068

I bought the light tent from Walmart after hearing good reports from a number of people here on TT. It comes with two side lights of 20 watts which are supposed to supply even color and clarity. I have found that I CANNOT take pictures using just these two lights. So I use my Ott light right in front and with that I have enough light and the color comes out pretty accurate. I mainly do minis but have photographed a 12" bear in it with good results. At first I wasn't too happy when I found I couldn't take photos using just the lights that came with it but now that I have added the Ott light I am really pleased with it as I can take photos any time of day rather than having to wait until the light is just "right" to use natural lighting. I paid $50 for mine in the States.

rkr4cds Creative Design Studio (RKR4CDS)
suburban Chicago
Posts: 2,044

The subjects of Lights & Light Tents continue to resurface, as there are no perfect answers for most or all ppl.

Here's the Link to a Gadgets & Gizmos article I write - it covers this subject.
http://www.bearsandbuds.com/webzine/GizmosGadgets.asp

Fixtures: it's possible to use any fixture that works for you.
One with a reflector or some way to direct most of the light toward your subject is the most economic use of the electric power. You'll need at least 3 light sources and 4 or 5 is better. For this reason you'll get the best highlighting: from behind to highlight the halo of fur, from both side fronts to brighten the eye areas, from over the forehead to give the expression full exposure...

Light Bulbs: the best ones to use are the cool white spiraled ones with the regular screw-in base, as you can use these in any fixture, using an aluminum foil shaped into a reflector if the good ones are out of your budget.
Color 'Temperature'. This doesn't mean the heat given off by incandescent and halogen bulbs (which is tremendous) but how warm (yellow ) or stark (blue-white) your camera images will appear. We're aiming for right in the middle.

Many bulbs are sold as 'Natural' light but that refers to what your eye sees in a room or while sewing/reading.  With camera work it's a different meaning.

It's expressed as KELVIN (K) degrees on most bulb packages. Unless you're familiar with the brands available to you, insist on finding out this number before you invest, as the good bulbs average about $20 - $40, depending on the number of watts you can find or desire.
If the K value is not marked on the bulb package, note the brand and size and let your fingers do the walking - online. Google is your Friend!

In Kelvin (K) terms, "warm white" is 2700K (pix may look yellowish), more
"neutral white’"averages 4100K and "blue white"
(photo bulbs) are above 6000K.
My camera and most of the digitals and a lot of the 35 mm, will Have a White Balance setting. Set it somewhere between 4500 and 5000, put them into your computer editing software and see what looks best for your situation.

In fact, it's nice to take your camera into the store with you, turn on the light bulbs/fixtures you're interested in and snap a few pix. TAKE NOTES! Look at them on your monitor first if you can't decide what you should buy. This will really show you what you're going to get.




Set-ups (including Light Boxes/Tents):
In the case of the your sloth - and its size - you have some decisions to make...

First - my studio set-up. This is with the flash from my camera. We're doing some remodeling upstairs and the 'stuff' put up there is for safe-keeping.
studio1.jpg
It's on a desk top in the basement. I pinned a 3 yard length of denim (it comes in SOoo many shades and I always use the reverse side so the twill or gabardine weave doesn't 'strobe' in macro shots) over a dowel and hung it to the ceiling. The table top was brought up higher than my waist (neck & back problems leaning over to focus straight on) by putting one of our good old plastic bins under another piece of plywood. The fabric drapes down over the edge to create a seamless backdrop. I pull the tabletop away from the wall and put the upwards backdrop outside of the back lights' range when I want it to do darker or disappear. Otherwise, some light is cast onto it which bounces onto the back of my object.

Here's the lighting with the room lights off, no flash and just the 4 lights.
studio2.jpgIf I'd been closer to the object the whole scene would've been brighter but I wanted you to see the lights at the edge of the cloth. The lights gets moved around to the best advantage of each subject, sometimes even hand held in front to light up a particular area.

Here're 2 more examples:
I've bought many light boxes/tents and these were the 2 I used most when I had 3 lights - both sides & the Ott overhead. Now with 4 lights I find I don't need them (They'll be on eBay this fall.) They work best for small objects that are shot from straight on. And if I were really using them to photograph that boat inside, the lights would be moved right up to the outside of the cloth or plastic sides. These were quickies to show you the approximate cubic foot they take up for minis.
One other really nice thing about these cool-feeling spiral bulbs is that they will not melt your fabric or burn you if you brush against them!lb1.jpg

Remember that I said that the draped fabric created a seamless (side-to-side) drape? Well, there's also the question of seeing the SIDE seams inside of a light box. If you shot slightly to the side of center, or back off just a bit to capture a larger area, you see the vertical seams of both boxes. They work best for objects like coins, jewelry and like objects that don't need to be taken from several angles.
lb2.jpg
So, considering the sloth again, it's a large creation - to get all of the background seamless and continuous, you're going to need a backdrop almost twice as wide as the widest point across (his stretched arms?) so that the background is seamless vertically & horizontally.
That's why the photographer you used had the whole wall as his backdrop: so there were no annoying edges showing. My eye always sees those distracting corners when a towel or paper is draped over a cushion or taped to a wall. I want to tell them to either get in closer or crop them out with their software!!


I think I've covered everything I wanted to say, but ask if something doesn't make sense.. Here's what I was also doing during this past hour"
- uploading recorded (CD) books into my iTunes LibraryÂ
- downloading other books into the iPod
- Photoshop - editing some quick studio pix I just took
- the Teddy Talk group where I'm replying to a light box/studio lighting question
- an article I wrote about this subject in the Bears & Buds webzine
- Google to check my facts
and... email!!
Women: the Ultimate Multi-Taskers!!!

rkr4cds Creative Design Studio (RKR4CDS)
suburban Chicago
Posts: 2,044

Oh and using a tripod is always the best way to go, and one of the light sets was spotted online by Daphne and I ordered them. Don't remember  which set it was though! She might. I love both the narrower & the wider reflectors. These 4 get moved around continuously during shoots...

Gantaeno Je Suis Lugly!
Posts: 1,065
Website

Wow, thanks guys, what a wealth of information we have here! I think you've collectively filled in all the gaps that were left over from the library topics: now I know what K means XD.  Hopefully I can now buy a light tent that is big enough for my requirements, and still have the cash to purchase the lighting for it... I guess it's just knowing where to look :)

Thanks everyone!

FenBeary Folk FenBeary Folk
Pointon Fen, Lincolnshire, UK
Posts: 2,234

Gosh you guys are amazing, thank you for all the great information
Bobbie as always I can understand you and was very grateful for the bulb bits, I think I understand :hug:

Daphne Back Road Bears
Laconia, NH USA
Posts: 6,568

http://www.tabletopstudio.com/
or on ebay: http://stores.ebay.com/TabletopStudio

This is who Bobbie and I  bought our lights from. They sell a whole set up including collapsable light tent and lighting on eBay. In fact they have one that comes with a boom light which is something fairly new for them and I wish I had one.. might buy one!!! If you go to their website you can buy the individual pieces that you want instead of the whole kit. Their shipping is reasonable and they are FAST! They package everything so carefully and I returned one thing that I ended up not needed and they made that simple! Their eBay rating is fantastic at 100& with over 4000 feedbacks left. Can you tell I'd highly recommend them.

Laura Lynn bought her lighting from Wal Mart I believe... the clamp on lights from the hardware section I think, and just got the right bulbs. And for a frame to drape her background cloth over she used the PVC frame to a laundry basket!  Below is my photo set up.... it's a combination of her idea with the PVC and the lights I got from Table Top Studio:
StudioPhoto.jpg

I got one of those collapsable nylon light tents and hated it because I was always getting stuck in it while  positioning my bears... causing the thing to move just as I'd gotten teddy looking pretty! I didn't have a corner dedicated to photo taking so had to try to fold it back up after every use. HA!!!! What a laugh! Many bad words exited my mouth every time!

I haven't read all of this thread..... I see Bobbie shared a wealth of info..... what ever she said is very good advice!! Always is!

I love the light bulbs that the set I got comes with, though I'll likely experiment with others in the near future. And I'm going to get that boom light next.... More control over the direction of lighting from the top....after I sell a bear or two!

rkr4cds Creative Design Studio (RKR4CDS)
suburban Chicago
Posts: 2,044

You're entirely welcome! Any research I find, well if it makes logical sense to me then I'm happy to share it.

On the backdrop, Chloe, you don't necessarily have to lok for a light box / tent for this one sloth object, unless you plan to make many more. I'd use a sheet or a tablecloth. The light box/tent makes sense for only the size in your usual range as that's where most of its use will be.

I've got a set of instructions that I developed as a kit/brochure for those wishing to design & create your own tent framework out of PVC. But with a set of measurements - allowing enough room around your usual size (remember the corners & seams that might show!) you can visit any Home Depot and buy the materials to make your own.

Best of all, the PVC plumbing pipe comes in many diameters (thicker/heavier if your light box will be larger) and the corners & connectors all fit snugly together, while still being able to break it down completely or at least into flat panels if you cannot leave yours set up permanently.

Fabric drapes over it and lights can clip onto the sides or be freestanding.

rkr4cds Creative Design Studio (RKR4CDS)
suburban Chicago
Posts: 2,044

We were typing together, Daphne! Thx for showing yours!

I did not mention getting lights at Home Depot or other non-camera places. Yes they'll cost about $8 apiece, but I went through several sets if them....

The main difference is the shpaped brackets that clamp onto the bases of these reflectors. On the DIY lights, it's a very thin, soft pc of aluminum that very quickly bends out of shape and it's darn near impossible to tighten the pressure on those 2 pcs, which hold the reflector back and fixture center in the position you want it to hold. Longer use (a photo session heats up the metal and the metal 'softens'.) Regular use as a garage or storeroom use wouldn't need to be continually repositioned as we do.

From the pix you showed us, I was doubtful that these were any different, but to my great surprise and relief, their little C shaped pieces that cup the fixture base are steel! They cannot be bent! So they always maintain their shape and keep the tension against the base.

Yes, extremely fast service and fast delivery. You won't go wrong to use this eBayer.

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