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Photography Lighting


#1

Having a problem with flood lights. . . help! Using a small digital
camera with 120 or 150 (doesn’t make a difference) floods and a shadow
box. Floods are shown through the sides of the box. Box has opaque
plastic sides. The problems is that items with silver sets, findings,
etc have a yellowish tint or cast. How can I get rid of this
discoloration. The background varies using various colors from Red
to Green. . . doesn’t seem to make much difference. Would some sort of
a very light blue filter do the job (Like light blue plastic sides?)

Jim


#2

First, the background color may be having some influence due to color
reflected from the background onto the object. would depend on the
nature of the background – if it’s something that absorbs light
reather than reflecting it, should be no problem. The yellowish cast is
most likely due to the color temperature of the floodlights. A plastic
filter probably would not really help – while it might make it less
yellow, it would probably have some other unwanted effects due to its
spectral characteristics. You might experiment with using different
bulbs in your floodlights; some with a bit bluer color. But also, it
might be simpler and more satisfactory to see if you can correct it it
your computer.

Margaret


#3

Hi Jim. Try blue photoflood bulbs.I use 4, get every thing ready to
shoot, turn on the lights,shoot and turn of the lights, the bulbs get
very hot. Margo www.margosceations.com


#4

Hi Jim, There are light bulbs from General Electric called
"PhotoFlood". They have a blue coating on them that “corrects” the
color being emitted by the bulb. These cost about US$8.00 when I
bought them several years ago, but they last a while, given the
relatively infrequent use. I turn them on and off as little as
possible to avoid “jolting” them or repeated heating/cooling
throughout the shoot. Any decent camera shop should have these bulbs
in stock.

Hope this helps,
Dave
Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)
dave@sebaste.com


#5
Having a problem with flood lights. . . help! Using a small digital
camera with 120 or 150 (doesn't make a difference) floods and a
shadow box.  Floods are shown through the sides of the box. Box has
opaque plastic sides.  The problems is that items with silver sets,
findings, etc have a yellowish  tint or cast. 

Hi Jim, My digital camera (Coolpix 995) has a white balance setting-
you use a grey card to adjust the white balance. Ifyou don’t have
that option, try switching to tungsten lamps. HTH, Kate
http://www.katewolfdesigns.com


#6

If your Digital camera has a “White Balance” setting, set it to
INCANDESCENT LIGHT. Check your manual for details. If you simply
cannot get the camera to give a correct color balance, then buy some
BLUE flood lights. They have approximately the same color balance as
sunlight. Alternately, you can take your setup outside or place it
near a window through which you can capture some strong sunlight. Some
people just place a piece of frosted plastic over a window to produce
a marvelous large diffuse light source. A diffuser panel like those
used under fluorescent light fixtures works well and is very cheap…
Bob Williams


#7

The best pictures of jewelry that I have seen were not taken with a
camer a. She used a flat bed scanner. Every detail showed. She also
had picture s of sliced agate and other rocks. She had made up a box
to set over them and blackened the interior. It gave the impression
that you could see deep into the rock slices.


#8

Incandescent lamps will allways give a yellow or reddish tint on
color film. The best answer is to either use a combination including
fluorecent lamps, or a blue filter.

good luck


#9

Jim - Incandescent bulbs naturally cast a yellow light. Try white
balancing your camera under the spot lights. If your camera doesn’t
have that capability you could buy a filter. 87B is the type you want
(it’s a blue filter for daylight film used in incandescent lighting
conditions)

  • Wendy

#10
    Having a problem with flood lights. . . help! Using a small
digital camera with 120 or 150 (doesn't make a difference) floods
and a shadow box.  Floods are shown through the sides of the box.
Box has opaque plastic sides.  The problems is that items with
silver sets, findings, etc have a yellowish  tint or cast.  How can
I get rid of this discoloration.  The background varies using
various colors from Red to Green. . .  doesn't seem to make much
difference. Would some sort of a very light blue filter do the job
(Like light blue plastic sides?) 

Jim, For years I had the same problems with lighting. I used a
plastic milk carton and cardboard covered with tin foil. The milk
carton diffused the light, getting rid of hot spots and glares. I used
the tin foil to redirect the lights and get rid of the “yellow” color.
The tin foil was positioned so the lights hit it first and then
reflected through the milk carton, on to the object. I still had the
problem of stabilizing the camera.

I finally invented a product that takes flawless digital pictures of
small objects. It is the Cloud Dome; a diffuser dome and tripod in
one. You can use it with any light source. All I need to do is attach
the digital camera, adjust the “white balance”, place the piece of
jewelry under the dome, focus and take the picture. I use Photoshop
5.5 to crop and resize my images. After months of research, I found th=
e
Nikon Coolpix 950, 990 and 995 are the best cameras to use for
jewelry. Sony, Olympus, Fuji, and Canon also have models that work
almost as well. I have a camera mount to fit the Nikon Coolpixs and an
universal mount for the other cameras.

When I demo the Cloud Dome, people can’t believe my results,
especially with opals. I use natural daylight or overhead lights and
get the same fantastic results. My web site is not quite finished,
but you can check it out at http://www.clouddome.com. I just about
ready to launch my products. If you have anymore questions please feel
free to call me at 1-800-609-8999. Thanks,

Cindy
Cindy Lichfield
Cloud Dome, Inc.
P.O. Box 9
Lafayette, Colorado 80026
303-926-8999
303-298-7645 fax
800-609-8999
=93Let There Be Ambient Lighting=94


#11

Okay, here’s what I have done for years with jewelry photography: I
have two (or three, sometimes) adjustable swing-arm type desk lamps
with 100 watt incandescent light bulbs, the kind you can buy at the
grocery store. Use Kodak Ektachrome 64T (for tungsten) slide film.
Fuji also makes the same type, and some people prefer it. These
films are color balanced to work best in tungsten (sometimes called
"indoor") lighting. If you were to use them in daylight, the result
would be a blue cast over your images. I have had excellent results.
Try it. Do not let any daylight or fluorescent light sneak into
your shot. This is not digital stuff. I’m talking film. You can
place diffuser materials as required over the lights, or over your
subject. With print, or negative, film, work with your processor.
Tell them what you’ve done, and what you want. A good photo
specialist will be willing to reprint if necessary. Photographing
jewelry is like shooting into a mirror. You have to look very
closely at the image in the viewfinder, hide the camera and
photographer behind white or black poster board. I once had a
beautiful shot of some earrings that upon close examination revealed
the word “Nikon” in the polished areas. Look closely at published
jewelry photos. Sometimes you can see hands, faces, cameras,
tripods, etc…The trick is to make the technique invisible. -BK in AK


#12

I have a digital camera (coolpix 990) and have struggled with
lighting often. I recently got my best pictures ever buy avoiding
artificial light all together. My solution was taking my pieces to
photograph outside. Taking a picture of the piece on a sunny day, in
the morning, with my body shadowing out the direct sunlight seemed to
work well. Laying the piece on white paper seemed to get very accurate
color reproduction. I would be interested to here how your results
come out. Good Luck, Don Fernandes


#13

The blue photoflood bulbs have a short lifetime (mine say 3 hours).
One reason for this is that the filaments are subjected to a rather
severe thermal shock every time you turn them on.

To extend the life of the bulbs I plug them into the controller I made
for my wax tool. That way I apply power to the bulbs gradually. By
"gradual" I mean the one second or so that it takes me to turn the
knob from zero to full.

A nice side benefit of this approach is that I can turn the bulbs
down to half power between shots and still have adequate lighting to
see what I’m doing.

The controller I use is a simple lamp dimmer as used for home
lighting. Anyone wanting directions to build one, please email me off
list.

  • Brad Smith
    Los Angeles

#14

Hello Orchidland, I just returned from a session on digital cameras
here at the U. We learned about a nifty website that offers mini
courses on all kinds of digital camera stuff as well as
Here it is: http://www.shortcourses.com Most of the courses are
downloadable and FREE! Check it out. Judy in Kansas, where we’re
enjoying a gentle rain - very good for the germinating winter wheat
crop. Judy M. Willingham, R.S. Biological and Agricultural Engineering
237 Seaton Hall Kansas State University Manhattan KS 66506
(785) 532-2936


#15

Don Fernandes - I definitely agree with your technique of taking
objects outside and photographing in daylight, particularly in cloudy
daylight, to give an even diffusion of the light. I suppose its not
the most high tech way, but it seems to work well. Ivy -