Lighting Setup and Cheap Alternatives
Welcome to the second section of Basic Mini Photography. This section will help you to get the best look to your minis once completed. A lot of great minis and good photography is ruined by bad lighting. Now this section will not be a long one but it's not one to overlook.
Let’s look at the different ways to light your minis.
The first way is the pricier, yet higher quality method. Go buy a 3 light set with umbrellas, diffusers, and light stands. They start at around $200 and will provide the best well balanced lighting. Buying a setup will make it easy to make sure all of the bulbs are balanced and with the deflectors diffused.
Here is a link to look at:
If you are going to buy a kit this is the kind I prefer due to the boom arm on "5 inch light.
Most of you may not have $200 to spend on lighting, so let’s look at a less expensive setup that can be gathered at your local hardware store.
|1||Three metal 8" shop reflectors like this usually $8 when bought separate.|
|2||Three decent light bulbs all must be the same (when one burns out make sure to replace it with the exact same kind of bulb as the other two).... $12 bucks for three
The revel bulbs are good lights but finding daylight balanced are a better choice but do cost more.|
|3||A yard of thin white muslin cloth or 3 large sheets of tracing paper. I prefer the muslin to the paper because it is reusable.|
|4||Tape or large rubber bands.|
|6||Some kind of system to clamp the lights to at equal distance from the mini. This may require you to build something or improvise like I do. I clamp two of the lights to the back of kitchen chairs and one to an old tripod set above the table.|
Now for the setup:
You need to place the lights as seen in the diagram above. Then place the muslin over the lights to diffuse the overall intensity and to knock down any hot spots. Watch your lights if the muslin gets to hot it could burn so check your lights often.
In the near future I am going to build a free standing light setup that will allow easy modifications and proper spacing of the lights so check back and I will add the plans for it here.