Friday, September 4, 2009

learning about lighting

the past few days i did a bit of work to put together a light tent for some photography projects. also, everyone and their mother seems to be doing home renovation so I made a trip to home depot for some lighting. i bought two sets of CFLs - a pair of 40W equivalent daylight bulbs (5000k color) and a 100W equivalent soft white for a shower light. and then i ran across two small can light lamps (kinda like this) that would have been pretty cool for my light tent. right now, it's a large desk lamp and my aquarium light. so i learned a couple of things:

1) bulbs have a couple of measurements: wattage, lumens, and color temperature. a CFL produces higher lumens for a lower wattage, and bulbs of all wattages and lumens can be bought at various color temperatures. daylight bulbs are best for light tents.

2) warm white, which has a more orange glow, is around 3000K, and cool white, which is typical of fluorescent bulbs, is around 4000K. daylight bulbs, which provide a full range of the sun's spectrum, is around 5000K.

3) bulbs are also designated by their sizes and shapes. the cans i want to buy use R20 or P20 bulbs. but as long as the fluorescent bulb fits, it should be ok. wattage limits are usually to protect the fixture so that the heat from the bulb doesn't melt the casing.

so now i'm going to set up a better photo tent. i'm not quite up to Ken Rockwell's level but maybe soon. I have a few jewelry photography pics from my last project posted on the designer's website, and hopefully this weekend i'll get more product pictures done, and also a picture of my very temporary, but fitting, setup.

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