Taking photos using lights

11 months 3 weeks ago #651847 by Rhonda-Clifton
First off I'm not a professional photographer, and so would appreciate some help.
I take photos of pottery, as that is my hobby.  I recently bought two photography lights on eBay.  They work extremely well with matt glazed pottery.  However, on gloss glazes I can see the lights reflected in the glaze.
I made a light box hoping that may solve the issue, but it hasn't.  The quality of the photos is less than desired - as in there are still shadows in the background, even after I edit to remove them.
So can you give me any suggestions on how I can get good photos of gloss glazed pieces without the lights showing as two bright rectangles.
BTW at the moment I have the lights at 90d from the front of the piece I'm trying to get a shot of.
If I use the light box, do I need a top light?  Would that help?  Or any suggestions at all as to getting the best shots. 
Thank you in anticipation.


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11 months 3 weeks ago #651849 by Nikon Shooter
Could you show an example shot and a backup shot?

Light is free… capturing it is not!
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11 months 3 weeks ago #651850 by Rhonda-Clifton
Thank you for your very quick response.  I was a bit surprised, as I'm in Australia, so we have 18 hours time difference.

#1 Matt glazed, using lights, backdrop white card
#2 Gloss glazed, using lights, backdrop white card - lights very visible
#3 Semi gloss, using lights and light box, backdrop white card - lights still visible
#4 As 3, before any edit.
Make: FUJIFILM
Model: FinePix S4800
ISO: 200
Aperture: f/3.1
Shutter speed: 1/56 sec
Captured: Wed, 10 Jul 2019 10:03am
Make: FUJIFILM
Model: FinePix S4800
ISO: 64
Aperture: f/3.1
Shutter speed: 1/42 sec
Captured: Tue, 16 Jul 2019 9:51am

Make: FUJIFILM
Model: FinePix S4800
ISO: 64
Aperture: f/3.1
Shutter speed: 1/60 sec
Captured: Sat, 3 Aug 2019 19:52pm

Make: FUJIFILM
Model: FinePix S4800
ISO: 64
Aperture: f/3.1
Shutter speed: 1/45 sec
Captured: Tue, 16 Jul 2019 7:56am

 


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11 months 3 weeks ago #651971 by fmw
You are a talented potter.  Thanks for the sharing the images.  My suggestion is to try lighting your light tent from the side rather than from the front.  That should get you closer to your goal.


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11 months 3 weeks ago #651983 by garyrhook
Lovely work, yes.

The key here is "diffusion". You should probably be using a larger diffuser in front of each light, move your lights further to the side, add another light above, and reflectors as necessary.

There is a whole field of education out there regarding lighting and photographing shiny things. This is not as bad as wine/liquor bottles, but it's close.

You might check on strobist.com to start.


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11 months 3 weeks ago #651990 by Nikon Shooter

Rhonda-Clifton wrote: Thank you for your very quick response.  I was a bit surprised, as I'm in Australia, so we have 18 hours time difference. 


…or 6 hrs the other way? Being in central Europe, I am at 12 hrs
either way! :)

May I suggest to surround you scene with diffusing material with
the light carefully positioned and a hole at object level to accom-
modate the lens? — be careful with the levelling of the camera.

It is possible to edit the highlights…


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The following user(s) said Thank You: KCook

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11 months 3 weeks ago #651991 by Rhonda-Clifton
I wish I was that talented!! I'm a collector, not a potter.
Photos 3 and 4 are taken with the lights to the side. I don't have an overhead light - yet -.


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11 months 3 weeks ago #651994 by Rhonda-Clifton
No eBay APP ID défined in Kunena configurationI've just had a quick look at strobist.com, and believe I'll be able to get a lot of information and 'education' from that site. Thank you.
I probably should have shown a pic of the lights I purchased. They are 50cmx70cm.


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11 months 3 weeks ago #651996 by Rhonda-Clifton
Good suggestion. I'll give that one a go.

And just how did you edit to get rid of those reflections? I'm super curious on that one.


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11 months 3 weeks ago #651998 by Rhonda-Clifton
Okay eBay links not allowed.  But here is an image of the lights.

 


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11 months 3 weeks ago #652000 by Ozzie_Traveller
G'day Rhonda

Firstly - may I also welcome you to the forum ... and also as another Downunder-land photographer [from mid-coast NSW]

You have received several good suggestions above - may I add my 2-bob's worth as well

The lighting units seem of reasonable size, and I presume that the pottery objects are of similar size, but your DIY non-shadow-box seems a bit tight for size. I wonder - could you / someone create a DIY "1-metre cubed timber frame skeleton" which is then fitted with white walls and base?

Note in your pic #4 how the paper base has crinkled and made a new shadow ... the trick for the base is to use white cardboard and on the rear / underside to razor-blade several dozen gentle grooves about 1-cm apart across the board so that when you gently bend it to a curve, the rear side can stretch without the front side becoming crinkled [it is a trick used daily by carpenters when making curved walls around the house etc.] You can get a sheet of thick white cardboard of about 900mm x 1400mm from an art-picture frame shop for about $25

If you had a DIY box skeleton, then the sides and roof could be covered with white fabric, and this would also assist the diffusion and reduce reflections considerably

Hope this helps
Phil from the great land Downunder
www.flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/


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11 months 3 weeks ago #652002 by Rhonda-Clifton
Hi Phil, thanks for the Welcome!!

I really should have taken another pic of the one in the light box, as I have since cut the backing cardboard to size. But it didn't make the world of difference. I think pic 3 was done after cutting. As per the instructions from one of the DIY sites, I used baking paper to cover the openings.

I just had a thought (scary, but I did!!) I wonder if using some fairly thin white perspex to make a box would work?? Or even corflute? I'd be interested in your thoughts on that idea.

Rhonda (from Melbourne)


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11 months 3 weeks ago #652004 by Nikon Shooter

Rhonda-Clifton wrote:  I don't have an overhead light - yet -.


With proper diffusion,  none will be needed!

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11 months 3 weeks ago #652227 by Ozzie_Traveller
G'day Rhonda

Another set of thoughts .... pop into the DWI site [yeah- I know it's Sydney based :( ] and look up "Light Tents". They might have a ready made cube of suitable size and at a reasonable price

Hope this helps
Phil from the great land Downunder
www.flickr.com/photos/ozzie_traveller/sets/


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11 months 3 weeks ago - 11 months 3 weeks ago #652234 by Piechura
If the room allows, you can bounce the light off the walls. Another cheap alternative is to use a cheap shower curtain or a thin white sheet and shine the lights through it, creating a much larger surface area for the light.


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