Lighting for All in Tents and Purposes

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 15-2: Cut up a gallon milk bottle to create a tent for shooting small objects.

Figure 15-3: Coin collections and other small shiny objects are often best photographed inside a tent.

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Reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information presented in this book is  accurate. However, the reader should understand that the information provided does not constitute legal, medical or professional advice of any kind.

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