Wednesday, February 1, 2012


THE POST ON JANUARY 9, 2012 showed photos taken with a  single primary light source.  The post today shows the set up, a quick and hasty way to shoot simple objects and give your creative  lighting talents a chance to shine.  The set up consists of these items:
  • White matte window shade used as the infinity curve backdrop
  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Light Source- we used a Surefire™ tactical flashlight, a very bright hand torch
  • Objects to Photograph
A tripod to hold the camera is recommended. Although exposure did not require a really slow shutter, the tripod ensured a steady shot and freed me to move around with the light source. My arms will not reach like Plastic Man and it was comical enough  bobbling around in the crowded space and not tripping on the tripod or the legs of the ironing board  used to support the backdrop. I maneuvered around with the flashlight and used the camera timer to click off the photo.

Typical exposures use ISO 400, F/2.8 to F/7, somewhere around 1/40 sec to 1/60 sec shutter.  I recommend manual focus and manual exposure, fiddling with exposure to get the look you want.

A PERMANENT PHOTO SET UP: The best way to use the window shade backdrop is on a permanent photo table.  The shade should be mounted a foot or so up at the back of the table then pulled out along the table when needed. Add various arrangements of light tents, diffusers and multiple lighting methods to do macro and product photography.  The key is in the set up of the item and lighting. Take time with that.

A window shade makes an easy infinity curve backdrop for photography of small items.
This is the basic set up. An older camera fills in as model.
The room was darkened for photos taken with the single primary light.

The single source light and items to photograph

Play with lighting and discover the effect you want.

The set up for this photo of a Wacom™ graphics pen and mouse is seen in the first photo. Lighting was the Surefire™ hand-torch with a tad of ambient light leaking in from a hallway.