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TamiL Dolls N Dreams
Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 6,454

Hi,
I have been thinking about purchasing a light tent with lights for taking my doll
and bear pictures with my 35mm & digital camera.

If you use one, are you pleased with it?

Do your pictures look better?


I also can't decide between a 20" or a 30" most of my dolls and bears would
fit in the 20" but the 30 does not cost that much more and what if I made larger bears someday.......... bear_original


Thanks for any info anyone can share!!!!!

Tami E Tami Eveslage Original Teddy Bears
Milford Ohio
Posts: 2,367

Tami, I don't have one but it's high on my wish list. I know there is another older thread regarding light tents. I'll see if I can find it and post a link. I would say to go with the bigger one since you need to have some room around your bear and dolls. I probably will get the biggest they make(36) for my bears.

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

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

You can also custom make your own light tent from lengths of PVC pipe (which most home stores will cut for you) and some "elbows."  The whole shebang should cost you well under $10, even if you make a five foot tent.

I just throw some translucent fabric over mine for photo shoots.

There are lots of posts on this subject; check the REFERENCE LIBRARY under "Photography" or just SEARCH "light tent."

Also, I wrote an article on photography and light tents which you can find at the Bears N Buds website.  There's some information on constructing a light tent in it.  If you're interested, look here:  http://www.bearsandbuds.com/webzine/Pho … ddyPg2.asp

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

I would say its essential and with white balance and macro (on camera) makes life loads easier. My photos are OK but would be rubbish without one. I made one from a cheap wire laundry basket/hamper thing. I cut the mesh out and used opaque white fabric and sewed it in. If I did it again I think I'd pay for a proper one as it was a pain to do. If finances are tight though it only costs a couple of dollars and you can see how it goes.

Then you need the lights too, that will be another whole topic as thats another biggy!

Tami E Tami Eveslage Original Teddy Bears
Milford Ohio
Posts: 2,367

Cool. Thanks Shelli

Aleta - The Silly Bear The Silly Bear
Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,119
Website

Hi Tami,  bear_flower
I have a 28" Smith Victor Light Tent.  It came with two adjustable lights so I can set the whole thing up on a table or keep it on the floor if I wish.  I just used it for the last two bears I listed and I took pictures with the black background that came with it.  Overall, I think the pictures are better than what I was taking before and the picture color is truer to the bears. 

The 28" works well for me.  The largest bears I make are all under 24 inches these days.  Any bigger and I feel like I'm wrestling a buffalo.

Warmest bear hugs,  :hug:
Aleta

Tami E Tami Eveslage Original Teddy Bears
Milford Ohio
Posts: 2,367

That's good info Aleta. I have never made a bear bigger than 24". I do hope to sculpt large dolls (I have a few heads at this point.) so I may want the bigger one...

Shelli, I just finished reading that article in Bears and Buds. Wonderfully informative!
I really like the part where you describe the time it takes to get good photos and get your auction ready. I think some people are not aware of that. In my doll group I was asked if I would photgraph dolls and create ebay listings for other members on a monthly basis and they would pay the ebay fees. I declined expaining that it takes a lot of time to do all that and I don't have that much time to give away. Some didn't understand what could take so long. I should refer them to your article!

All Bear All Bear by Paula
Kent
Posts: 5,162
Website

Nope.  I take my pics on an idiot proof digicam in my back garden!  My sister (professional photographer) did show me how to set up my own light tent, but it's such a phaff and I prefer the results I get in the garden.  That said, if I need something to look professional, I smile sweetly at sis and she turns up with the whole kit and caboodle!  bear_original

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

Can I borrow your sis???

I use my fridge for pictures but that a whole different story.

I have a light tent that I hate - got it off ebay, a collapsible thing that has collapsed on me while I've been inside it primping a bear. Just lovely! NOT!

The next time I have a go at a light tent it will be a make your own with PVC as Shelli describes. I've got to get thr right lights for it too. That makes a huge difference and I don't have enough or the right kind which is why I take my pictures inside my fridge... that light is SO bright! bear_laugh

Tami E Tami Eveslage Original Teddy Bears
Milford Ohio
Posts: 2,367

Paula, I love to do outdoor pics of my bears as well. Since many of them are natural style, I like to show them "at play" in a natural setting.  I've come to know what times of day the light will be just right in certain places in my yard, but I wonder what will I do when I need to get a bear on ebay and it's been raining for days and the ground is soaked or worse, covered in three feet of snow...You are so lucky your sis can come to the rescue!

tuppies teddies Tuppies Teddies
Lindenow, Central Gippsland
Posts: 1,969

My light tent is a north facing window, I peg a dark cloth to the curtains.  Not very high teck but it works for me...

TamiL Dolls N Dreams
Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 6,454

Thanks all for the great info, think I'm going to jump in and purchase one and some lights.
Living in Colorado it is hard to depend on the sun coming out when I need it in the winter time. This way I won't have to worry about it.  Plus there are so many times when I finish a doll at night and in the mood to take pictures right away but have to wait till the next day for sunshine.  So this will be a nice change. I will let everyone know how it comes out when I get set up.

hugzzzz

Laura Lynn Teddies by Laura Lynn
Lexington, KY
Posts: 3,649
Website

Laura Lynn Banner Sponsor

I used to take portraits of pets.. mostly dogs. I preferred the direct lighting over the soft lighting a light tent gave on the dogs.  I finally decided to go with the same type of lighting for my bears.  It IS a personal preference... try and see which you prefer (by putting some sheer white fabric over the lights.. but carefully... don't want it to catch fire  bear_cry

I learned a LOT from Shel's article!  Being who I am... I had to change it to fit my way.  (don't we ALL?)  I didn't have an extra closet... so I made some changes.  Here's my portable studio lighting set up
My-Photo-Studio.jpg

I bought one of those tri-hamper units for $12 at Walmart.  Put the PVC frame together... tossed the bags.  Bought 4 clamp on lights in the hardware section also at Walmart.   Plugged all those into a power strip, attached to the frame.  Plug the power strip into the outlet when I'm using it.  I put 200 watt bulbs into the fixtures.  This is why I wanted the power strip.  I only have the lights on for very short periods because the bulbs I have in there are really too large.  I use the off switch on the power strip to turn them all on/off.

For backgrounds I've been using solid color fleece material... also from Walmart bear_original  I have white, black and royal blue (like Bear Paths) 

I set the unit up on my table and use a tripod for my camera.  I make sure to set the "white balance" setting on my camera... (directions in your manual as all cameras are different.)  This way my photos do not need any color correction.

Tami E Tami Eveslage Original Teddy Bears
Milford Ohio
Posts: 2,367

Thanks for showing your set up, Laura Lynn. A question just popped into my head; do you turn off all other lights in a room when you use the lamps---- with or without a light tent?

TamiL Dolls N Dreams
Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 6,454

Good question Tami E. that what my next question.
Do you turn off all other lights in the room.... bear_original

By the way Tami E. your bears are so adorable!!!!!!

Laura Lynn Teddies by Laura Lynn
Lexington, KY
Posts: 3,649
Website

Laura Lynn Banner Sponsor

Not a problem  Tami!

Since I shoot digitally and do a "white balance" before I take photos... I do NOT turn off the other lights in the room.  I leave them on.

Swan Valley Bears Swan Valley Bears
Penn Valley, CA
Posts: 1,845

When you say opaque or transluscent fabric, what do you mean?   What kind of fabric do you use exactly?  Like a sheer curtain type fabric?  Or thicker, like batiste?

Laura Lynn Teddies by Laura Lynn
Lexington, KY
Posts: 3,649
Website

Laura Lynn Banner Sponsor

WHen I used to have a studio lighting set up the umbrellas were made out of kinda thin white nylon fabric.  You want to "soften" the light - but not block it.  Don't use a patterned fabric cause that will throw funky shadows on your bear.  But I prefer NOT to use fabric at all....

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