Lighting

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You can be the best customizer on the planet with the most expensive camera, but your work will always come out looking sub par if you don't have a good lighting set up. Natural sunlight is great if you can plan for it, but then you need to worry about weather patterns and different lighting during different times of the day. One cloud and it changes the nature of the picture entirely.

For that reason, most customizers, toy reviewers, and dio-stroy tellers, archivists, and some eBay sellers, use an artificial light set-up. This article will show you how to do some low budget light set-ups to make your custom work or dio-story shine. With the right set up you can focus on details without using your camera's flash and come out with some professional looking pictures.

Contents

Buy it

I know of about a dozen customizers who have this particular Photo Studio in a box, bought when Amazon was running a sale on them. Yet, another half dozen use something similar to this Table Top Studio. Both are good and serve their purpose well enough to the people who use them.


Build it

Lights

You'll need two lamp lights at least. Some people use small stand up directional lamps while others use aluminum reflector clip lamps of some kind. You want them angled off to the side, but pointing at the object from the front. This will give it even coverage and lesson the shadows of whatever you are photographing. You may want to have more lights, some from the top, or some to the right or left of the dead front center.

Background

Whether it is a sheet, fabric, or a poster-board you will need a non-reflective background that is a different color than what you are shooting. You want to be curved up towards the back so it gives the impression of an endless room. The curved service deflects light away from the camera lens so you won't get a glare or gradient light. The infinity curve of the backdrop removes any sharp lines or points of contrast so the sole focus of the picture is the item being photographed.

Typical photo shoot set up


Personalized

Now that you know the basics, play around and find what works for you. You'll find your eventual set up will depend a lot on your own personal preferences, space, and look you're going for.

Personal tools