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Photography Question 
Diana Quicksilver

Online Auction Photos - Lighting

Hello - I'm an experienced Ebay seller, and I usually use natural light for my product (small, table-top) digital photos, but I'm having a hard time wrangling enough light during rainy/cloudy periods (when everything gets dark and blue-ish). I've found a wealth of info on lighting, but no one seems to specify what TYPE of lights will give the best results. I've experimented with household lamps & halogen... but everything I've used provides a very yellow cast. I need advice on brands and wattage and specifics from any who may offer help. Thank you!!

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4/1/2006 6:25:49 AM

Brendan Knell
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/17/2005
  If everything is yellowish, try adjusting your white balance. That should help.

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4/1/2006 8:34:12 AM

John G. Clifford Jr
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/18/2005
  I've sold hundreds of items on online auctions, and use a simple Nikon 885 3 MP digicam. When there isn't enough light, I use the camera's built-in flash. I photograph the item on a white background (white cardboard, or for bigger items, a folded-over white sheet) from above (usually standing on a chair!), and zoom in to get it tightly framed. If the object is reflective, I'll deliberately move slightly to one side so that I am at an angle, and I never get bothersome reflections.
Hope this helps....

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4/1/2006 11:28:49 PM

Steve Parrott
  It sounds like you need the "Studio In A Box". It is a great item made for taking photos of small items. It is enclosed on all sides but one, with translucent panels. Included are two high power lamps to light the interior. It gives beautiful, even light with a blue or gray background. Costs about $100 and well worth it if you shoot many small items.

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4/4/2006 7:41:05 AM

Diana Quicksilver   I TRULY appreciate the all of the suggestions/responses, but I'm looking for specific advice on what type of lighting to use (other than normal household lamps) that will work for a tabletop shooting environment. I shoot a wide range of items from tiny (I've heard about the studio-in-a-box but it's only suitable for the very smallest items)to the size of stereo tuners, big pots & pans, etc. Thanks again all ye photo experts :))

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4/4/2006 7:46:49 AM

Steve Parrott
  Seems you are approaching the problem from the wrong direction. Any light that is strong enough to light the subject is fine. I would use some type of diffuser in front of the light(s) to soften shadows. As a previous poster stated, your problem is the white balance setting in your camera. No matter what kind of lights you have, you will have color casts if your white balance does not match the light output. Keeping the white balance in AUTO will give poor results. You may have to experiment with setting temps yourself in the camera until you arrive at correct color of your subject as taken with your light source. There is no magic type of light that will give you perfect results if the camera white balance setting is not correct.

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4/4/2006 8:02:37 AM

Raghav Sahni   Dear Diana Q.
every light has got different temperature and if u use the household lamps or halogen so there temp is about 3400 to 3700 degree celcius this might be the reason for giving u the yellow cast for that u can use the different type of fillters in front of the lens witch can reduce your yellow cast use (80A or 80B fillter for coloured photography)Hope this helps....

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4/6/2006 11:00:54 AM

Steve E. Beust   Go to the hardware store and get a simple aluminum light bulb reflector with a clamp. I think they are around 10.00. Then go to a photo shop and tell them you want a color corrected lightbulb for indoor photography. They will certainly know what you need. I think they are also reasonably priced. This should take care of your needs. Hope this helps.

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4/11/2006 10:00:56 AM

Diana Quicksilver   Just want to say THANKS to all who helped me solve this! I found the "white balance" on my Sony Digital (thanks Steve P. for pressing the point when I wasn't seeing the forest for the trees)AND am off to buy an aluminum reflector and color correct bulb (thanks Steve B.). I truly appreciate the input from those who actually know what they're doing :))

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4/12/2006 6:22:55 AM

Jim Manganella
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/8/2005
  With a decent camera a 20 watt halogen desk lamp will do the job. It's a clean, soft, white light. I've used this for 6 years on eBay auctions. (swrgco)

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4/17/2006 1:42:35 PM

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