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I am considering getting a full set of semi-pro studio equipment: Nikon D70, 4 tungstun lights w/ stands, textureless drop, and perhaps a light tent. It's around a $3000 investment and from what i have seen at other photography studio, the result looks quite promising.
Anyone care to share what you use for your pictures?
If you are doing photography for the web, resolution isn't the biggest problem (as you're going to be reducing the quality and filesize down anyway). It is the lighting that is the most important aspect - it will be worth getting a decent backdrop and the tungsten lights. What size of product do you generally photograph? Truck-size, macro or in between?
Of course I am going to stick with my trusty mechanical Pentax K1000 as my favorite camera!
Size of the products ranges from 5 inches to 5 foot. Thanks for the D50 suggestion. I probably don't need the D70, because the camera will probably stay in my office for only product shots anyway.
I once saw a TV programme in which the photographer Anthony Armstrong-Jones took a very good self-protrait using a commercial photo booth, simply by adjusting how light was reflected on his face when the flash went off.
I can press all the right buttons on my camera, but damned if I can manipulate light the way he can. That's why his photographs are good and mine aren't.
Problem is I don't really know how to position the lights, that's why I might have to consider a light tent.
...how to position the lights
One last tip on lights:
If you have to take pictures of objects on a continuous basis ( like when selling on ebay) create a very small studio like area in you cellar or spare bedroom. Paint it either in a good white or in black, so that you have nothing that distracts from the images and you don't get any reflections and color artifacts from colored walls.
Hope this helps.
Btw. I am using a Pentax ist DS
More recently I have been trying not to use the flash in most of my photos as I like the natural colours. This does mean I have to take many more photos though to find one I like.
Regarding the number of 500 Watt bulbs I cannot make a good estimate.
It is all relating to the size of the studio, the size of the object, the distance of lightbulb to object, sometimes even to the age of the lightbulb, the sensitivity of the film (or settings in digital). You even have to consider the temperature caused by the lights as the nearer to your object you are, the more it affects the object itself.
I would work at least with two 500 Watt bulbs so I have a good light in the background and also some light in the foreground (left or right) which I can enhance with flash (direct or indirect).
Hope this helps.
Don't forget to switch on the office lights after shooting, as you may be 'blinded' by the photo lights.
Great results, mind you both have F1.8 lenses and are analogue