For my last couple of thrifty finds blog posts, I have been experimenting with a gift that my husband recently gave me for my birthday.
I generally use light coming in the windows for all of my photography of food and dishes. Unfortunately, that can be difficult (or impossible) in the evenings or during a long Canadian winter.
So, my husband thoughtfully purchased this Optex Portable Studio & Lighting Kit to help me with my photography sessions.
As the box says, it is compact, portable and easy to set up. It uses two 15-watt compact fluorescent light bulbs.
It comes with two double-sided backdrops for a background choice of blue, grey, white or chroma key green. Here is my new lamp on the green background.
And with the blue background.
Seems ideal, but there are a couple of problems. One, it is small (16 inches on each side). So, it works only for fairly small items. My mom's vintage pot, for example, didn't quite make it.
Also, many of the items I photograph have reflective surfaces. It is always difficult to work with them, because you get reflections of things you don't want in the photo (including yourself). I find that the two light bulbs in this kit are not diffused enough for some purposes. They leave a strong glow on the two sides of the item.
I ended up just photographing the pot on the kitchen table instead.
Here is the kit in its carrying case. Nice and compact.
Do you use a system like this? Do you have any secrets for enhancing its use?
One thing I wonder about is the backdrops. Four colours gets dull pretty quickly. What would you do to create some different backgrounds?
If you don't use a kit, how do you ensure proper lighting?
I am learning as I go, so any advice would be appreciated!