Michelle Knight. Writer, photographer, programmer, truck driver and general, all round nut case. Life is a journey and that's what this blog will probably end up being. Let's see where we go, eh? ;-)
So ... this is something else I've thrown together in a few minutes for you. Literally, ten minutes and all the shots here were done.
I'm going to re-do the, "money shot," properly this afternoon, but this is a collection of some of the main points for cheap standard-light shooting.
Many of us who do frequent reviews, can't rely on natural light all the time. We need to produce consistent shots, time after time, to maintain consistency ... unless you're like me, who's perfectly happy to drop a book on the carpet, or tiled floor (which is an ideal makeshift background!) and shoot like that.
OK ... two LED, "lights," similar to garage maintenance lights, which are banks of something like three by ten. It's in an awkward, dark corner.
If I'd spent a little more time on this shot, then what would I have done differently? Well, one of the things you might have thought of, is turn the lights down ... actually, I'd have backed them away, rather than turn them down. (difficult here, as I'm in a corner) The, "distance to source," is important for the diffusion. So backing the lights away and making use of full power, is more helpful than dialling them down.
Also, I'd have increased the, "feather." You know when you point a torch at something and you've got that hot spot in the centre and a nice, more gentle light around it ... that's the feathered light ... so rather than point your light directly at something, use the feather instead as it is a better, "quality," of light.
The left hand light, I should probably have pointed it at the curtain and bounced the light back.
I'd probably have used a second pair of socks, as well!
You can also combine the lights from one side, to form a larger, more spread bank of light. Don't be too afraid of shadow elimination ... lack of shadows can sometimes make things look artificial and end up wiping out that, "homely," look that some people like with their books.
This enables you to use, "fill in," light. Where you have a large window pouring light in from one angle, that light is going to blast the books from one side. It doesn't take much
The main light, as you can see, is actually coming in from behind the phone; the window is at the top right, but even though there is a shadow from the receiver, and also a bright spot on it ... they don't look un-natural. They don't set off our, "unreal photo," alarm bells.
Don't be scared about a little, "bright edging." I'll be toning the bright edging down when I re-do the shot, but an overly controlled shot can lack character.
All in all, this isn't bad for a couple of cheap, LED lights on cheap light stands. You should be able to so-equip yourself, for only a few tens of dollars off flea-bay. Oh, and a quick raid of the sock drawer.
And this is the same lighting, with a DSLR, hand held. Yes, there is an increase in quality ... but that's an expensive camera ... as opposed to the one you've got in your pocket day in, day out.