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Photographing Jewelry - Type of light bulbs


#1

Dear All,

I have been trying buy photo light bulbs locally but was shocked at
the prices. A 250 bulb from a photo supply shop costs US $150. to
$200. As I need three according to Amy O’Connell’s site advice I am
unable to buy them due to this excessive cost.

My question is: what affordable bulbs might work just as well? I am
using a digital camera so should be able to change the color tones
with Photoshop.

Thank you for your help.

I am hoping to get beyond the stage of using my scanner to take
pictures of my necklaces.

Sharron in hot, hot, hot Kuala Lumpur


#2

Lennea:

since you have a digital camera, you should be able to use a
Function in the camera called “white balance”. This function allows
you to Use whatever light source you have available or find
economical to purchase And correct the color in the recorded image
to that which would have been Acquired if you had used white sun
light. This is one of the significant Advantages of using a digital
camera for photographing jewelry. hope that this helps.

howard siegel
laptique, ltd.


#3
I have been trying buy photo light bulbs locally but was shocked
at the prices. A 250 bulb from a photo supply shop costs US $150.
to $200. As I need three according to Amy O'Connell's site advice I
am unable to buy them due to this excessive cost.

Wow! What kind of light bulbs are we talking about? Good old blue
bulbs? Yikes. I think I pay around $5.00 for one.

You could try Ott lights, those are daylight equivalent

Elaine

Elaine Luther
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay


#4

You can use any type of bulb, incandescent or florescent with a
digital camera. Most cameras can adjust the color to that of daylight
giving you reasonable results. Or you can make a small tent out of
cheesecloth or a similar material and work out in daylight . I
usually will work in the shade with a bright sky overhead.

Good luck
Ronald


#5

B and H Photo has a wide selection of bulbs ranging from $.95 to
$3500. I’ve used them for numerous photographic equipment purchases
and have been quite pleased with all the products they carry. The
website is bhphotovideo.com

Good luck!
Erica
Duffy


#6
I have been trying buy photo light bulbs locally but was shocked
at the prices. A 250 bulb from a photo supply shop costs US $150.
to $200. As I need three according to Amy O'Connell's site advice I
am unable to buy them due to this excessive cost.

Hi Sharron,

I don’t know Amy O’Connell’s site. But here is what I would do:

  1. Buy ordinary household bulbs, 75 - 100 watts, but make sure they
    are all new and of the same kind and strength. Don’t mix with old
    ones. (Halogens will also work)

  2. On your camera, adjust your white balance to automatic

  3. Use white background.

  4. Use tripod (or other sturdy fixture)

  5. Use long exposure and small aperture.

  6. Use the timer on your camera (3 or 10 seconds)

  7. Experiment until you are satisfied.

F.Y.I., The colour temperature of these bulbs is around 3000-3500
Kelvin. If you want coloured and/or textured background, you should
add that in Photoshop.

The 250 bulbs you mentioned, are expensive because they are
calibrated for colour-film.

Since you are shooting with a digital camera, you don’t need them.
Besides, 3x250w is a bit overkill for a small set-up.

Yours

Jon Holm
Bornholm,
Denmark


#7

Hi Sharron,

I think you might be pleasantly surprised by the results you can
generate with a few Littlites and some creative baffling, instead of
those extremely hot blue bulbs. The Littlite is a high-intensity,
low wattage halogen bulb, mounted in a heat-sinked reflector at one
end of either a 6, 8 or 12" gooseneck coil; at the other end is a
transformer and a full-range dimmer switch. These setups run about
USD$40-50 apiece, and can be ordered from www.littlite.com (no
affiliation) or your local electronics shop, and have the advantage
of being placed exactly where you want them, then repositioned
quickly and easily. (If you’ve ever seen a gooseneck-mounted light
atop a DJ’s or sound engineer’s mixing board, you’ve seen these!) To
get the lighting just right, either build a box and spray paint its
interior flat white, or flip a styrofoam cooler on its side and
treat it as a miniature photo studio, reflecting the light off the
interior walls, instead of the jewelry piece(s). Cover the bottom
with the fabric or other background of your choice, and the front
with a piece of white muslin, with a 2-3" round hole in the middle,
to shoot through. This’ll save you TONS of headaches, and lots of
time, too. (If you opt for the Styrofoam cooler route, be carefult
that the Littlites don’t come in contact with the foam… They tend
to get hot, if you leave them on, and Styrofoam tends to turn gooey
(and/or flammable, if in contact for long enough)… and extricating
hours of fabrication work from a previously gooey “set” can do some
pretty bad things to a previously good day, if you catch my drift
{;o)! )

Douglas Turet, G.J.,
Turet Design
P.O. Box 242
Avon, MA 02322-0242
(508) 586-5690
@doug


#8

Good comment Ronald. Natural light is hard to beat. Cloudy days
provide excellent lighting without hot spots.

jerry


#9

From what I have seen and read, the best lights for both display and
photography are SoLux. They are 12V, 50W bulbs that have about the
same power distribution as daylight but are low in IR and UV. See
http://www.solux.net/ for more

Ray


#10

I’m John Henrys wife but I am also a photographer. I know how
expensive a Professional Photographer can be and I well know the
cost of lights. When I was in college and getting degree, I used the
photo lab at the university which had all the lights and cameras I
would need for. Most instructors encourage advanced students to
start taking outside work and by then I personally was shooting
photos for florist to enter into national competition and many
different art media for juried shows local. national and
international which some of the art works (including Jewelry) made
it into the various competitions.

Ringlady
Betty