Another Light Tent Test

I’ve been experimenting a bit more with the light tent that I made a couple weeks ago. The past two nights I’ve tried to take pictures of these pillows that Kate made (which she obviously got better pictures of in the daylight). I’m flat out embarrassed by the pictures of the pillows in the tent, so you’re not going to see any of those. I think they might be too big for the space I’ve got to work with. So after much frustration with quilted items and vintage toys, I picked a new subject.

iPod Nano

I lowered the shutter speed to 1/13 and that seemed to help a bit, although I might need to go even slower. I’m frustrated with the “grayness” of this picture. If I touch it up much more in Photoshop to get the whites brighter, it washes out the corners and the wires blend with the background. Any photographers out there have suggestions in how I can get my light tent photos nice and crisp like this one by Jeffrey Bail? Feedback of “buy a DSLR” is unacceptable.

Built My Owen Light Tent

LifeHacker, which I mentioned in my last post, pointed me to the Digital Photography School, a blog all about. . . er. . . digital photography. Go figure. It has a lot of great information for an amateur photographer like myself. And when I say amateur, I mean that in the most amateurish sense of the word amateur.

For Kate’s business, we have to take pictures of her products outside, because the lighting in our house is terrible. So when I found an article on how to make an inexpensive light tent, I was all about giving it a try. So two weekends ago, Simon and I went out and bought all the supplies, and I spent several hours on Saturday and Sunday putting this guy together.

Homemade Light Tent
So naturally I wanted to give it a shot. Since this will hopefully eventually be used for product photos, I tried a couple of eyeglass cases Kate made.

Light Tent Test - Eyeglasses cases.
If I were using this as a product photo, I’d crop it tighter, but I left it as is to show the problem that I’m having with vignetting. It’s just one of several problems that I need to solve. In addition to lighting the top of the tent, I think I need to add some light on either side, as well. While my camera is great for a point-and-shoot, I think that I really would need a DSLR to get the kind of photos that I want out of this setup. However, I’m going to mess with the setting some more and see if I can’t get more satisfactory pictures.

The eyeglass cases weren’t the only test subject of the night. I also decided to give Laserbeak his five minutes of fame. Incidentally, this one was cropped, so the vignetting should be less noticeable.

Test Subject in Light Tent