search  current discussion  categories  business - display 

best lighting for digital photos of pots - my solution

updated fri 14 may 04


Kurt Wild on thu 13 may 04

For digital photographing of pots, the one suggestion that appealed to me
most and which I eventually ended up trying and adopting was to use 28
watt, 5,000K, daylight color, spiral fluorescent bulbs.

The last site listed above states: "Daylight balanced compact fluorescent
bulb ideal for product photography. These bulbs are daylight color
eliminating the need for color correction. They also have very low heat
production, and will not get hot like the more common bulb choices." and "
5000k daylight color temperature , Cool, 10,000 Hrs. of use, Lumens 1700"

I wanted to do business locally but the company I contacted could not
provide the above exact bulbs but offered the
Panasonic EFT28E50 28-WATT CAPSULE @5000K at $10.99 each. The
specifications on the package for that bulb shows it is a "Cool Color Light
(5000K), 10,000 hour life, 28 watt equivalent to 100 watt incandescent,
light output 1,680 lumens".

Order direct from Panasonic

I purchased three bulbs and use them in 10" reflectors purchased from Fleet
Farm. I use a curved white background and direct the lights at the pots.
One is hung almost over the pot about 20" above and the other two at a 45
degree angle about 18" from the pot.

It took a bit of trying different settings on my digital camera to find
those that produced the truest color shot of a variety of pots. On my
camera the settings that work best for me are: Exposure compensation -0.5;
ESP (digital ESP metering); HQ (high resolution); WB (white balance)
daylight - sunny; ISO (light sensitivity level) 100.

Anyone wishing to use the bulbs mentioned above should keep in mind that
they might have to experiment with their own digital camera settings to
suit their particular situation.