One of the challenges of shooting close-up pictures of small objects is providing even lighting. You can arrange one or two (or even more) lights but might end up with unsightly shadows, harsh illumination, and reflections. There's a better way.
276 Part V:The Part of Tens
Pros use handy setups called tents to provide soft, even illumination for their close-up pictures. These are exactly what they sound like — tent-like arrangements of translucent material, such as cloth, arranged to cloak your item so that it can be illuminated from all sides through the covering. Just remember to leave a hole big enough for your lens to shoot through!
You can make a tent out of coat-hangers and bed sheets, or use more elaborate devices. Plastic friction-fit plumbing pipes and joints make a good skeleton for tents of many sizes. You can assemble such a tent and tear it down on a moment's notice.
For small objects, I prefer a freestanding tent such as the one shown in Figure 15-2. I made it out of a translucent plastic milk bottle. I cut off the bottom so I could fit the tent over the object being photographed, and removed the spout and enough plastic from the neck to insert my dSLR's macro lens. My milk-bottle tent can be illuminated from all sides and creates a soft, even lighting effect like the one shown in Figure 15-3.
Figure 15-3: Coin collections and other small shiny objects are often best photographed inside a tent.
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