lighting question

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by teacher, Apr 18, 2004.

  1. teacher

    teacher Member

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    I am a ceramics teacher at a high school. I need to build a lighting outfit for shooting the student work only. I think I want a "hot" 3 light system two side and one top. I have a gray backdrop, 50mm macro lense/camera, polarizing filter, tripod, and shutter release. most of the student work is 8 - 12in tall. However I need to be able to shoot work that can reach 3-4 feet. I want soft soft light. What can I buy. $500-$600
     
  2. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    What medium/ film to you intend to use? Black and White, Color Negative, Color Transparency ... or ??

    The lighting will depend on the accuracy of color desired ... and some few other conditions.
     
  3. teacher

    teacher Member

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    35 mm color negative primarily and digital second
     
  4. David R Munson

    David R Munson Member

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    You can pick up some Smith Victor hot lights pretty cheaply, and you could gel them to get the right color balance. You can probably find them for next to nothing used if you know where to look. Also look into improvising a diffusion panel - that way you can put a light or two behind it and get an effectively larger, softer light source.
     
  5. Doug Bennett

    Doug Bennett Member

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    I'm in the lighting business, so...

    For $600.00, you could pick up a couple of Altman Softlite Jrs. and some cheapo stands. Nice little fixtures.

    You could go to Home Depot or some such and buy 2 or 3 of those 500 watt quartz worklights for next to nothing. Then, you could buy, or fabricate, something like this: http://www.calumetphoto.com/syrinx/...&ac.cat.CatTreeSearch.detail=y&type=SPDSEARCH.

    Put the ceramics in the tent, blast the outside with light, shoot away. The Altman Softlites are nice, but light is light. What you pay for is how the light is managed, and in your case, the task is fairly simple.
     
  6. Doug Bennett

    Doug Bennett Member

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    Ooops, forgot: either buy tungsten balanced film, or get some color correction filter for the lights. Putting filters on those worklights is a little tricky; there needs to be an inch or so of space between the filter and the fixture.

    If you can't find color correction, a light blue gel, like a Roscolux 60, will work.
     
  7. bmac

    bmac Member

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    Looking for softlight on the cheap? How about building a tent out of white translucent fabric and placing a hotlight on either side at 45 degree angles and maybe one on top aimed towards the back to catch the top of the piece and throw some light on the backdrop. You can use the cheap smith victor hotlights and tungsten balanced film.
     
  8. livemoa

    livemoa Member

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    Cheap soft box option that I like is one of these big white plastic paint cans with a large bulb in side. Works a treat, as long as you drill a few holes in the top to let heat out.