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MerBear MerBear Originals
Brockville, Ontario
Posts: 1,540

On the weekend I bought what they called a fold-down laundry hamper. It's made out of light-weight white canvas, is round, and sort of pops open. Much like the light tents I've seen on ebay. It has handles and a zippered top. I'm sure it will make a usable light tent for photography and I can also use it for my stuffing. It only cost $8. I haven't tried it for photographing yet but I don't see why it won't do the job. Here's hoping. For you Canadian shoppers - I got it at the grocery Superstore.

Marion

Deb Upstate New York
Posts: 1,650

Can you post a pic?  Thanks Marion!  I love your thinking!

Estelle Estelles canal bears and Tod Teddies
Todmorden West Yorkshire
Posts: 370

I have seen those in the shops over here in the U K what a good idea I shall buy one to try, they look as thouhg you could easily alter them anyway  :clap: thanks for the tip

Amanda Pandy Potter Bears
Staffordshire, UK
Posts: 1,864

Thats what I did Marion. I cut out the material and replaced it with some white translucent stuff. If I was doing it again I would do one panel at a time. I cut the material out and ended up with four round hoops of wire as the material had been holding the shape together. There was some cursing I can tell you. It does the job though.

Estelle Estelles canal bears and Tod Teddies
Todmorden West Yorkshire
Posts: 370

good tip I shall do one panel at a time  :dance:

MerBear MerBear Originals
Brockville, Ontario
Posts: 1,540

I will try to remember to take pics tonight Deb.

Amanda: why did you change the material. Do you need something more translucent for photographing?

Marion

Pipa UK
Posts: 971

Wow Great idea Marion. give it a whirl and let us know what the rseults are like !!!

Tammy Beckoning Bears
Nova Scotia
Posts: 3,739
Website

TENT3.jpgFLAT-TENT.jpgTENT-SIDE.jpgTENT-1.jpgHey, great minds think alike , I bought one at Walmart last week for $9. It is more of a white nylon fabric but the same idea.   I haven't used it yet until just now, but it should work fine I think- (I didn't use a background for this test other than the hamper itself and it is a sunny day here.  I would prefer a square oneso it doesn't roll, but hey at this price I can compromise  :dance:

Here are pics of my hamper. I used my Delartful 6" bear for size comparison.  Hope Danni doesn't mind but I just love him.  bear_tongue  My cat seems to like it anyway  bear_grin

Pipa UK
Posts: 971

Let us know if it's any good for photographing Tammy. your kitty looks ever so cute in there  bear_grin give him a cuddle n kiss from me !!!

Shelli SHELLI MAKES
Chico, California
Posts: 9,939
Website

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

PBB-Photo-Closet-with-O-Nei.jpgThese hamper light tents should work fine for you; when I wrote my photography article for BEARS N BUDS I actually found a photography forum online that not only recommended using these white cloth hampers, but posted pictures of them to boot!

Having said that...

I just want to remind you that you don't have to spend a lot of money on a light tent.  I made mine from very inexpensive PVC pipe, from a home improvement store.  If you bring the measurements of your space with you -- the height of the "legs" you want for your tent -- the people there will cut it to size for you, for free.  And the 3-part elbow connectors in a bin, next to the PVC, are all you'll need, to assemble the tent once you get home.

The only other part is buying your backdrop, and a long length (several yards) of fabric to drape over left, top, and right sides.  That's actually the priciest part, but if you use something like muslin, it's very reasonable as well.

I think that by doing the above, you will walk away with a very similar pricetag, but a much more customized -- and not round! -- light tent.

So when you think you're ready for such a thing, give it a go!

In the meantime, the hamper will do a wonderful job of diffusing and bouncing light, and I imagine you'll all see an immediate improvement in your photography as a result.

I'm attaching a picture of an early iteration of my own light tent, to illustrate.  I light it a bit differently now (I don't use the handheld light anymore, and I've changed the overhead spotlight to something else) but the concept, especially the idea behing constructing it, is precisely the same.  My light tent is actually located in, and entirely fills, a walk in closet... so you can't actually "see" the PVC pipe legs, except for the back left one... if you look really hard.

I have heard some people say, by the way, that they can't find PVC -- I think it was our Aussie friends.  We use it in the US all the time for plumbing applications; usually for the installation of sprinkler systems.  Just FYI.

Have fun with your new toys!

Tammy Beckoning Bears
Nova Scotia
Posts: 3,739
Website

Actually I priced PCV here a while ago and it seems incredibly expensive.  Must be made of gold.  I figured it would have cost me about $40-50 to make one.  I had another contraption that I've been using , but it is a pain to set up and take down so I always hope for a nice overcast day to take pics.  We get lots of those here  bear_angry .  The hamper is so easy for me since my bears are small, but I will eventually get something better.

MerBear MerBear Originals
Brockville, Ontario
Posts: 1,540

thanks Tammy...now I don't have to take pics.  That's the same one as I got. I think that if I put something flat in it for the bear to sit on and maybe some posterboard behind the bear for a backdrop that it should work. Not that it matters much to me cause I don't have a site and don't market my bears but who knows what the future might bring.    :doh:

Marion

Shelli SHELLI MAKES
Chico, California
Posts: 9,939
Website

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Tammy... well, maybe PVC is only cheap in the US!  Sometimes that happens, as I know all too well from my time living in Zurich.  I was always fascinated by the fact that, in America, you can buy a gigantic, supersized Coke for less than bottled water, coffee or tea, or milk products, on a per-serving basis.  But in Switzerland, the tiniest amount of Coke -- served, always, without ice -- in a miniscule little wine glass, cost MORE than all of the above, and by a significant amount.  Or at least this was the case in the early 90's.  Go figure.

I bought all the piping required, plus connectors, to make the above light tent -- which stands about five feet from ground to top -- for less than $10.  It's the thinnest, white kind of PVC pipe; there are likely other plastic tubes that cost more, that may also be referred to as PVC... so maybe you're looking at the high-end stuff and I ended up buying the low-end stuff.  Plus, in different countries/locales, sometimes building codes are different, requiring different materials and different construction that might add up to higher cost. 

Your laundry hamper light tent will work beautifully for all the light-bouncing, reflective qualities it allows.  I was just suggesting a larger, more customized alternative because I think it will be easier in the long run for you to work with something NOT round, and certainly, that it would be simpler to switch out backdrops if you had a back rod of some kind from which to hang them, and onto which you could clip them. 

I happen to use a closet rod, which happens to be in the exact right spot in my closet, to clip and hang my backdrops; but I would use the light tent frame for it if that rod wasn't there.

Have fun with your new photography toys!

kbonsall Kim-Bee Bears
Pennsylvania
Posts: 5,645

My light tent was cheap also... probably about 10 at the most... the lights were the expensive part.. I use two regular desk lamps, two "architect" or drawing desk lamps and I also have a flourescent light fixture... the long ones with the tube lights....

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

Hmmm..... we can get square laundry hampers here like that only they have this meshey fabric instead of the solid nylon-like stuff in the picture. I'll have to kep my eyes open for a square one with the right material.

kathytaylor Ruby Mountain Bears
Northern Nevada, USA
Posts: 1,467

I just purchased one off of Ebay, thanks to Dilu's previous tips. I only payed 7.50 plus shipping for it. And thanks to Shelli's tips, I just purchased an new photoshop software program. I only payed 8.00 for the software, Yeah!! I love Ebay somedays, the new stuff should be here any day now.  :hug:

Tammy Beckoning Bears
Nova Scotia
Posts: 3,739
Website

:dance:Thanks for your advice Shelli.  I hope I wasn't sounding rude abd ungrateful, I didn't intent to.   :doh: I would love to have a better tent.  Actually, can I come live with you and use your set-up  bear_grin 

I'm going to check around again to see if I can come up with something , maybe even small wooden dowels are cheaper than the PVC here.  I could even use thinner and fatter kinds then drill holes to slide one into the other for corners.  I'm sure there are lots of option, just need to make time to look.  Hummmmm  , now you've got me thinking.   :hug: :hug:

Oh Daphne, I almost bought one of the square mess ones after I got the round one.  It was smaller, but I could drape fabric over it and it would work great too I think.  I am still thinking about exchanging mine.  Any excuse to go shopping  :dance:

shantell Apple Dumpling Designs
Willamette Valley Oregon
Posts: 3,128

Can you please share light recommendations (type, brand, size, etc.) and perhaps placement.  I have enough muslin to make several light tents just need to get the lights...does anyone use OTT lights (or similar)?   I love them for sewing but would they double as a photo light source?

Shantell

Shelli SHELLI MAKES
Chico, California
Posts: 9,939
Website

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Shantell, I think for we amateur photography types, any kind of light will work... so long as you remember, for EVERY photo session, to adjust your camera's white balance to conditions, and to select the right "light source" option in your camera's menu.

The 'best' kind of light is daylight; those photography bulbs are expensive, don't last long, and are VERY hot, however.  I tried them to start -- that's what the blue bulbs are in my hand-held studio light setup, above (my dad loaned it to me) -- but I burned through them so fast that, at about $3-5/bulb, it just wasn't worth it.

Michelle Lamb shared with me, gracious lovely creature that she is, that she uses exclusively fluourescent bulbs.  I think she has a mixture of the "regular" shop light kind, mixed in with some "daylight" type fluourescents.  These are the 4" long tube lights that are probably already in your home... in your garage, or your overhead fixture in your kitchen.

I really pour the lights on; Michelle uses even more, like eight tubes per bank, left and right, and a lot overhead as well.  My closet has six tubes per side, and two overhead... plus the "hair light" which spotlights top-of-the-head features, which used to be the halogen clip-flashlight shown above, but now is a regular clamp-type shop light; the one with the aluminum hood.

You'll have to play around a bit with your lighting, and with how far away you are from your bear when you take pictures -- that can really mess you up, if you're standing well INSIDE the light tent, as opposed to outside it, so be mindful -- to figure out what works best.

I'm sure OTT lights would be fine but I don't have direct experience with them.  The best guidelines are:

--  No matter what kind of light, use a lot of it
--  No matter what kind of light, adjust your camera settings and measure white balance for each photo shoot

Have fun!

kbonsall Kim-Bee Bears
Pennsylvania
Posts: 5,645

WOW! YOU USE LOTS OF LIGHTS! I think I need to go out to the store and get me some more!

Shelli SHELLI MAKES
Chico, California
Posts: 9,939
Website

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

Yes, I do use a lot of lights!  :)

I was lucky (?) in that I attended UCLA, and got to watch scores of movies and TV series being filmed in and around the UCLA campus, and in Westwood, where many movie premieres take place.

You simply would not BELIEVE, unless you saw it for yourself, how much lighting is directed at the actors -- with reflectors, handhelds, lights on stands, lights from above, lights from below -- during a photo shoot that's supposed to be showing action that takes place in normal lighting conditions.

For indoor photo shoots -- portrait shoots -- just think back to your school picture day, or to the time you took the kidlings to a professional portrait studio.  They've got a number of standing lights aimed right atcha, and then add more with flash coming from all over the place (camera mounted, top-lit) at the time the shot is taken.

So don't be shy about the lighting, people!  It's one of the most important parts of this whole deal-i-o!

Amanda Pandy Potter Bears
Staffordshire, UK
Posts: 1,864

The laundry hampers here are square and have the mesh so thats why I changed the material. PVC piping is'nt cheap here either although I keep looking for an old style plastic Wendy house in the charity shops. They have the pvc piping.

Kirsten So. Cal.
Posts: 302
Website

One night last winter they were filming at the bearch, my hubby and  I were all bundles up with our coffee and there was this glow coming from down the beach. They had so many lights set up, it was as bright as day!

I use 3 lights now but definitely need to get more. When building my light tent I found the joints to be the most expensive part. The pipe it self was only a few bucks...

Densteds Densteds
Posts: 2,056
Website

Hi Shelli,
I think you mentioned in another post how to adjust the camera's white balance but I can't find it, could you post it again PLEASE!!!!

hugs,
Denise.

shantell Apple Dumpling Designs
Willamette Valley Oregon
Posts: 3,128

Reminds me of my very short stint at modeling...I'm surprised those supermodels don't melt...

Poor bears...send them to their new homes with orbs floating in their little peepers!!!

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