Light bulbs for photo shoot - WarmGlass.com

Light bulbs for photo shoot

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Kate Saunders
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2004 10:53 pm

Light bulbs for photo shoot

Postby Kate Saunders » Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:06 pm

I'm going to be taking photos of quite a few pieces of glass sculpture. I have access to just about everything I need from stands, roll of paper for background drape, decent camera, etc. All I need are the light bulbs, which I googled information about and was overwhelmed by the amount of information I found. So what type of bulbs do you recommend, fellow glass artists? I can't use outside natural light because this might take a day or two. I can black out a room in my house. Thanks!

Steve Immerman
Posts: 208
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2003 4:55 pm
Location: Eau Claire, Wisconsin
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Re: Light bulbs for photo shoot

Postby Steve Immerman » Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:44 am

You might find this article I put together on my website that covers almost all aspects of photgraphing glass. There is a discussion on bulbs.

http://www.clearwaterglass.com/Tutorials/Photography.html

Steve Immerman

DonMcClennen
Posts: 368
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2003 9:09 pm
Location: Ontario

Re: Light bulbs for photo shoot

Postby DonMcClennen » Thu Jun 04, 2015 11:21 am

Very informative Steve... Thanks for sharing!
"The Glassman"

Mike Jordan
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Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:13 pm
Location: Hillsboro, OR
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Re: Light bulbs for photo shoot

Postby Mike Jordan » Sat Jun 06, 2015 10:39 pm

For incandescent lighting, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. Actual photo floods are best because they are designed to give a even light and can put out a lot of light. If you look at regular light bulbs you can see the hot spot from the element (sometimes you can even see the element itself), which makes it hard to get a even consistent light source. A photo flood is coated so that it's light output is even. The bad side of these kinds of bulbs, they produce heat, are short lived (compared to long life room lights) and the element is sensitive to being knocked around, especially when it's hot.

There is a group of photo cool lights that can use florescent or LED. These do stay cool and give out an even consistent light. The bad side of these lights is that they do not put out a lot of light (as compared to photo floods and flash) so you need a lot of them if you need a lot of light. A lot of times they are used in "banks" with many lights to create a larger light source. They do last a lot longer but they are more expensive (more in line with flash systems).

Flash, either small units or regular studio systems can provide lots of light that is consistent, even and daylight balanced for long periods of time. The bigger units have modeling lights that let you "see" what you are going to get and other than the modeling light, they produce little heat. They can be had for very cheap (for small camera style flash units) to very expensive (for the big studio systems). They do have a learning curve, but are consistent enough that once you find a setup with light modifiers and positions that work, you can use this same one over and over.

All of these are going to need some kind of light modifier, either a light tent, umbrellas, light panels, reflectors, etc. Lots of room for improvising here and lots of choices to purchase. A lot of your decision on what you use depends on your budget, your need and how much you are going to use it. It also depends on how much time you are willing to spend learning to use it. You may find it cheaper, faster and with better results to find a photographer that has the equipment and knowledge (they don't necessarily have to be a professional as long as they can produce the results you want) and either pay them or barter for their time.

If you do it all yourself and you try to make do with what you have or buy very cheaply or don't take the time to learn how to get the results you want, you could end up spending more time, money and still not show your glass to it's fullest. On the other hand, you could find you get the exact results you want because to don't have to explain it to someone and it saves you time because you can take pictures in the middle of the night while you are waiting for a kiln to cool down.

There is no magic bullet it out there, but there are a lot of setups, systems and products that will do what you want... you just have to figure out what you need, what you want to do and what will work for you.

Mike
It's said that inside each of us is an artist trying to get out. Well mine got out... and I haven't seen him since.

Kate Saunders
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2004 10:53 pm

Re: Light bulbs for photo shoot

Postby Kate Saunders » Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:59 pm

Thanks for all the good information! Excellent! I really appreciate the suggestions and ideas.

Kate Saunders
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2004 10:53 pm

Re: Light bulbs for photo shoot

Postby Kate Saunders » Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:59 pm

I've decided to buy incandescent photoflood lightbulbs, probably 500 watts, plus I just ordered the Idiots' Guide to D5000 Nikkon cameras. It'll get me to really fool around with all my camera's little buttons and start understanding how to control how I take a photo. I'm taping up black plastic over all my dining room windows, not having company over for several days, and settling in for a long shoot. I'll have 14 pieces of sculpture to photograph, all going well. This is going to happen at the end of July, so there's still time for input! Many thanks for the two people who responded, I was lost in the sea of Google for way too long.

Kevin Midgley
Posts: 713
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 11:36 am
Location: Tofino, British Columbia, Canada

Re: Light bulbs for photo shoot

Postby Kevin Midgley » Fri Jun 19, 2015 6:48 pm

may I suggest that you place a regular light bulb in your fixtures while you go about playing with the basic lighting and get it right for angles and shadows and everything. Carefully change them out when ready and do all your shooting. Some of those 'daylight bulbs' in the distant past had a life of only 8 hours and that was if they were not bumped or moved while hot. Fingerprints have been known to shorten bulb life of hot bulbs so it is something else to avoid.

Kate Saunders
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2004 10:53 pm

Re: Light bulbs for photo shoot

Postby Kate Saunders » Fri Jun 19, 2015 9:54 pm

Great suggestion, Kevin, thanks!


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