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Thread: Table top Light box

  1. #1

    Table top Light box

    Does anyone have and use one of these for photographing turnings? If so are they worth while. It takes me sooooo long to set up my photo setup I would really like an alternative even if it is slightly less effective.
    Pete


    * It's better to be a lion for a day than a sheep for life - Sister Elizabeth Kenny *
    I think this equates nicely to wood turning as well . . . . .

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
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    11,654
    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Blair View Post
    Does anyone have and use one of these for photographing turnings? If so are they worth while. It takes me sooooo long to set up my photo setup I would really like an alternative even if it is slightly less effective.
    Peter,

    I use a diffusing box made from thin white cloth put around a frame made from PVC pipe. I didn't glue the PVC cross pieces so I can tear it down or put it up in just a few minutes. Inside is a piece of mat board from the framing store, curved for a seamless background. Some photo CFLs for light. I usually set it up in the shop on my table saw. I use it more than I do the tablesaw!

    photo_cube.jpg acrylic_ornament_green_bell.jpg

    JKJ

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Cookeville TN
    Posts
    338
    The table top boxes are OK if you throw away the lighting and use something different. Ideally you need one light up high to light the top and one side, and then a weaker light on the other side down low. The lights that come with them are usually too weak and come on short stands so both lights are the same height. That is the worst possible lighting scenario. I have 2 handouts. I don't know how to post a PDF on this site. One is on simple lighting techniques that don't require a light tent and only one light. The other one is on tricks for using a light tent. e-mail me at johnclucas45@gmail.com and I will sent them to you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Mount Sterling, KY
    Posts
    2,504

    Photo Light Booth

    Mine is a purchased one, eBay I think, about $30 at the time. It came with some lighting but I didn't think it was adequate so bought four flex lights on sale at Walmart, $3 each I believe. See JohnC Lucas's post above on lighting. Some times add a riser under the back drop to elevate the subject a little. It stays set-up in my shop. Can't see it here but have a tripod for my Canon hanging on the wall to the right. Takes up very little room, a small part of a corner of the shop.
    IMG_6471.jpg IMG_4141.JPG
    Last edited by James Combs; 11-26-2018 at 3:59 PM.
    ____________________________________________
    JD at J&J WoodSmithing
    Owingsville, Kentucky

    "The best things in life are not things."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Cookeville TN
    Posts
    338
    Well 2 people have taken me up on the offer to send you my handouts. I really don't mind sending them or answering questions on photography so don't be shy. I photographed artwork for many artists for 26 years as a University photographer and I have also traveled doing demos on inexpensive ways to light and photograph your work. I've also written articles American Woodturner, More Woodturning and Woodturning design on simply techniques to photograph your work.

  6. #6
    John I have your hand outs and used them when I built my photo tent. I really appreciated the help. In those days I had a place to have my camera etc set up and it only took seconds to take a photo or two. I now have to set up and take down in my shop and was wondering if these small units would work. Sounds as if I should just keep doing what I do. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge with all of us.
    Pete


    * It's better to be a lion for a day than a sheep for life - Sister Elizabeth Kenny *
    I think this equates nicely to wood turning as well . . . . .

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Posts
    11,654

    pop-open

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Blair View Post
    John I have your hand outs and used them when I built my photo tent. I really appreciated the help. In those days I had a place to have my camera etc set up and it only took seconds to take a photo or two. I now have to set up and take down in my shop and was wondering if these small units would work. Sounds as if I should just keep doing what I do. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge with all of us.
    Another option might be the collapsible pop-up "booths" made for spraying finishes and paint. I bought one at WoodCraft for cheap a while back - I haven't tried it yet but it's made from white cloth and seems like it should work fine. It pops open instantly and closes into a disk that fits into a carrying case.

    Here's an example: https://www.amazon.com/HomeRight-She.../dp/B01I1YI09O

    spray_booth.jpg

    JKJ

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Sunrise Beach, MO
    Posts
    1,153
    John,
    The collapsible booth seems like a great option if you are limited by space. Before I moved to the Lake, I had one made of PVC draped with a sheet and a graduated backdrop that took up lots of space. I haven't set one up in my new compact shop/wine cellar, so this might work for me and a lot of turners. I might have to trim my backdrop to fit, but seems like a great idea.
    Regards, Ken

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