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- The Art and Style of Product Photography
When it comes to studio lighting, no matter how big or small the studio and the subjects are, it all narrows down to one category of items: light modifiers. You can have the best, most expensive lights money can buy, but if you don't have the right modifiers, the results will surely leave you unsatisfied.
If you want to understand the role of modifiers, start by shooting with a bare flash. It's a lot like shooting in harsh sunlight. You will get strong shadows that look bad, unless of course you want to use them intentionally to add drama. Modifiers diffuse light. They turn a concentrated light source into a larger, softer one that flatters the subject. We're not saying you should avoid shadows completely, but for some types of photography, it's best to use an even, soft light.
One such category is product photography. It doesn't matter if you shoot products for a living or just for eBay auctions, you're always going to want a product to look good in a photo. One of the best light modifiers for this purpose is a light tent. Now these aren't anywhere on the list of expensive modifiers, but if you could save the money by building one yourself, why shouldn't you? You could also get caught without one, so knowing how to build a light tent from scratch is a useful skill. It's anything but hard and you can find the needed materials in any household.
Here is a video made by DIY Tryin that shows you the entire process of building a light tent.