August 15, 2014

Lightbox and Photography set-up, and my new OTTlite

Creating/Maintaining a successful blog is HARD. As many of you may already know it takes a lot of work. There are many successful bloggers out there that write up full and detailed posts about how to start and build your blog (so thats not what I'm going to do today). I have read as many as I could find and all of them have one aspect in common: A successful blog needs high-quality Photos!

Now "good photography" doesn't have to include some huge lighting set-up and a $$$DSLR camera... in fact, I've seen many popular blogs with amazing photos taken with a simple point-and-shoot camera.

However, good photographs start with good lighting. Some of us are lucky enough to live somewhere with an abundance of daylight hours so they can frequently photograph in natural lighting (which is optimal - even a phone can take decent photos in natural lighting). But I am one of the unlucky few who have limited, and inconsistent daylight hours throughout the year (yay Canada).

As a result, some of my photos are taken in natural light, while others are taken in artificial light inside my lightbox. Which has led to very inconsistent photography on my blog (one thing that has frustrated me for ages!). I have played around with the settings a million times on my camera while photographing under artificial light, to no avail, until I finally realized I needed to fix my lighting situation.... enter OTTlite!

Keep reading to see my lightbox set-up, and to find out where I got all of my products from...

First of all my lightbox is one I've had for a while now. I purchased from HERE. (I paid $25 at the time). The package included the lightbox you see, with 4 different "backdrops" in White, Black, Red, and Navy. It also included the mini-tripod and two flood lights (not seen in above photo).

Each backdrop velcro's on to the lightbox as above

I came to realize that the white backdrop works best to brighten my photos (the darker colours just absorb the light, which required me to use more lamps that I don't have).

Now, the two small flood lights that initially came with the lightbox are TERRIBLE. (Which is no surprise given their reviews). The bulbs that initially came with them are very dull and very warm lighting (not ideal). So I went to Wal mart right away to purchase better bulbs, preferably with white-light.

While the new bulbs were significantly brighter, the "white-light" bulbs were still very warm compared to my other lighting sources (my skin always looked orange in photos) and the bulbs got very hot! (so bad I was afraid to put them too close to the lightbox for fear of it burning the fabric)

So I went hunting for new lighting sources...

In the above photo are my two "white-light" lamps. A fluorescent circular craft lamp that my mom gave me, and my new OTTlite (which I purchased from because doesn't ship internationally)

The OTTlite bulbs are supposedly one-of-a-kind for mimicking natural light (and as a result, colours are supposed to appear more accurate), and so far I couldn't be happier with my OTTlite!!

So from now on I will photograph my nail art only in my lightbox in hopes of having some more consistency.

Just for fun I've included a blue manicure (usually VERY hard to get color-accuracy)...

 China Glaze Wait n' Sea, OPI Black Onyx, BM-407 stamped with polish from Mundo de Unas (Amazing stamping polish!!)