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DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> Show Me Your Rigged Light Setup on the Cheap
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Showing posts 1 - 19 of 19, (reverse)
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12/06/2008 01:34:44 PM · #1
I'm trying to figure out a way to get decent still lighting on the cheap, I mean, I'm talking lamps covered with sheets kind of setup. Mostly for taking indoor still life kind of pictures. I was thinking about buying a desk lamp and experimenting. I'm curious as to what others have setup. This isn't for extreme studio lighting for portraits or anything, just still life stuff indoors. Thanks!
12/06/2008 02:20:09 PM · #2
Here's the setup I used for my "Your Occupation" entry.
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The setup worked well enough but the $4 lamps from Wally-world stink. They don't stay pointing where I want them to go. I've done most of my tabletop shots in a similar manner, but I think that's the only one I have of the light setup.

Message edited by author 2008-12-06 14:22:30.
12/06/2008 02:48:30 PM · #3
Home Depot, your local art store, and your local fabric store are all places for the poor man to get his lighting setups.
12/06/2008 05:19:19 PM · #4
Originally posted by yospiff:

Here's the setup I used for my "Your Occupation" entry.
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The setup worked well enough but the $4 lamps from Wally-world stink. They don't stay pointing where I want them to go. I've done most of my tabletop shots in a similar manner, but I think that's the only one I have of the light setup.


Perfect! I had a setup up very similar to that back in high school. I just need to find a solid, cheap set of lamps. Anyone know where to find good, cheap lamps. I was thinking about getting one of those metal cone lamps that you use in the garage but was worried that might be too hot.
02/06/2009 11:26:06 AM · #5
Originally posted by yospiff:

Here's the setup I used for my "Your Occupation" entry.
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The setup worked well enough but the $4 lamps from Wally-world stink. They don't stay pointing where I want them to go. I've done most of my tabletop shots in a similar manner, but I think that's the only one I have of the light setup.


What type of bulbs did you use in the lamps? I'm finding that normal bulbs wash out any color in the subject. Thanks in advance for your help.
02/06/2009 11:37:19 AM · #6
Originally posted by WickedSound:

What type of bulbs did you use in the lamps? I'm finding that normal bulbs wash out any color in the subject. Thanks in advance for your help.


I believe those are tapered compact flourescents. About 13 watts each, equivalent to a 40 watt conventional bulb. Normal incansecent bulbs will give ayellowish cast unless you set your white balance for that type of light. On some camera models it is called Tungsten, since that is the kind of filament used in incandescent bulbs. If you are shooting RAW, you can fine tune your white balance after the fact.
02/06/2009 11:38:27 AM · #7
Make sure to buy full spectrum (aka daylight) bulbs - their color temperature makes them look like sunlight, wonderful for taking photos.

I use them in my office because I feel less "cooped up". I point my little clip on lamp at the ceiling and the room looks like it has a skylight.
02/06/2009 01:19:14 PM · #8
Comb the thrift stores too, and look at everything with an eye to what it could become, not necessarily what it is now.

I once paid $12 at Salvation Army for two boxes full of Smith Victor hotlights (reflectors, sockets, clamps and bulbs). Some had been used but some were brand new, and it all priced out at over $300, if I remember correctly.

I've also got a couple of really old gooseneck lamps with superheavy bases that don't tip no matter what strange position I twist 'em into, and they were only about $4 each.

A cheap garment rack doubles as backdrop hanger or stand for clamping lights onto.

A 2ft flourescent fixture set on a table with a textured glass cutting board above it becomes a light-table for shots like this;
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Unfortunately, I don't have anything set up right now, because I'm still trying to get the garage in shape since we moved, but trust me, it's VERY Mickey Mouse! But it works... sorta... sometimes... Okay, it's bloody frustrating most of the time, but one does with what one has, right? :)
02/06/2009 01:35:09 PM · #9
A couple of my older setups:

General random lighting:
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and this setup
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produced this
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02/06/2009 01:47:34 PM · #10
Originally posted by alfresco:


and this setup
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produced this
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Showoff ;) VERY inspiring! Thanks :)
02/06/2009 01:58:02 PM · #11
Originally posted by BeeCee:

Showoff ;) VERY inspiring! Thanks :)


It's nice to see that it doesn't take a lot to produce semi-adequate images. In this case I was lucky to have enough dvd's to act as a light stand!
02/06/2009 02:00:01 PM · #12
Perfect! This is the kind of stuff I'm looking for. I have been doing some experiments as well, just not with as good results...
02/06/2009 03:56:04 PM · #13
Thanks for all the great information. I just got into photography late last summer. A friend sold me their old D-100 and Tamron SP MF 28-105mm f/2.8 LD Aspherical IF Adaptall. Currently these are the only tools I have (which I'm so thankful too own)and pinching every penny I can doesn't allow for the extra toys to go along with them at the moment. These ideas and info will help immensly on indoor shooting.

Thanks again on the assistance. =)


02/06/2009 04:44:52 PM · #14
Can't get cheaper than this...

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02/06/2009 04:49:28 PM · #15
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Can't get cheaper than this...

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What's in the lower left? Is that using the infrared on the 530 EXII?
02/06/2009 04:52:29 PM · #16
Wish this thread was here before I bought my studio kit! :-)
02/06/2009 04:58:36 PM · #17
I'm drawing up sketches to make a homemade softbox out of 3/4 " PVC pipe, velcro, cardboard boxes, aluminum foil, and a worklamp. I'll keep you up to date on it.

I'm just trying to figure out though what dimensions it should be and how to mount the light...

02/06/2009 07:06:33 PM · #18
Originally posted by goinskiing:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Can't get cheaper than this...

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What's in the lower left? Is that using the infrared on the 530 EXII?


The lower left is one of those round cloth reflectors reflecting sunlight from a window which is above and behind Laine. The flash on the crayon box is being triggered from a ST-E2 on the camera.
02/07/2009 11:53:54 PM · #19
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Can't get cheaper than this...

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Sure you can. You're using a flash that costs a lot more than our thriftshop lamps and such :)
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