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Sunday, December 12, 2004

Light tent

Sony P7

This is the light tent I used for all the plane pictures. It's a 2x2x2 cube made of 1" PVC pipe pieces, with 3 yards of white tafetta safety-pinned around the sides. This fabric does a great job of diffusing the light without losing too much intensity - exactly what light tent material needs. To find it, I went to JoAnne's Fabrics (with Mrs Cleek, of course) and held various fabrics up to their overhead lights; this tafetta was the whitest and diffused their huge halogen lights the most - and it was cheap. There's enough fabric there to cover the top and all four sides, though for the planes i left the top open and just turned out the overhead lights.

The two lights are cheap-o hardward store clip-on lights, with 100 watt GE Reveal bulbs, though I've used normal bulbs in there without any problem; color correction is easy enough in Photoshop that the light source really isn't an issue. One lamp is clipped to a microphone stand and the other to a guitar stand.

Inside the tent there's a plastic storage bin (Rubbermaid, i think) propped up on two pieces of packing foam. The bin is translucent and not very glossy. For the Zero, I put the plane directly on this storage bin. Notice that there are no shadows - it looks like the plane is floating. This is because the storage bin is translucent and light is coming up through it, eliminating any shadows.

All the other planes were bigger, and wouldn't fit on the plastic bin, so they're on spreads of printer paper. You can see the edges of the pieces in some pictures - I need to get bigger paper. And because the paper isn't translucent, you can see shadows under the planes - I need to get bigger plastic bins.

This is the same setup I use here, too. Most of those are directly on the plastic, some are on velvet, some are hung from wires in front of colored paper, etc.. Most are shot from directly overhead.

Total cost of the light box and lights? Maybe $40.

All images Copyright 2004-2005, cleek.