Continuous Light for embroidery work

Discussion in 'Lighting Forum' started by jamgam, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. jamgam

    jamgam Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 27, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Hi folks

    I've been fiddling with a light tent on and off for a while and can get pretty good results sometimes. I originally made my own small one with some PVC and a white bed sheet. It worked ok but could only hold little things. The Mrs started doing some embroidery work and likes to take pictures of it so I bought a bigger tent off Amazon. Problem now is the continuous light isn't really enough and she now has a background she wants to use so I'm thinking the light tent itself might not be the ideal option

    This was my original setup


    Here's the new tent pretty much

    Here's the issues. She purchased a wood grain looking floor background that she wants to lay the clothing etc on and take pictures. She takes the pictures with her Canon S110 point and shoot so there won't be any "triggering" off camera lighting etc. I have 3 of the Home Depot can lights I can use to light the work continuously

    This is an example of the bigger light tent with the Home Depot Lights


    This is an example of a photo on her background


    What's my best course of action with the Home Depot lights to give her a little better results? Do I need to rid up some softeners for two of them and get them as close to the card table as possible?
  2. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    You can try backing the lights off to more evenly light the the sides of the box. If the lights aren't bright enough get some halogen work lights, 250 or 500 watt.

  3. inkista

    inkista Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 13, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    This is just me, but I think it's time to ditch the continuous lights, go off-camera flash, and mess about with optical/radio trigger combinations so the S110 can do OCF. There are ways around the lack of a hotshoe. I use this Rube Goldberg combination to fire OCF from my S90:


    I hold the optical slave portion to the front of the S90's pop-up flash. It then triggers the RF-602 Tx, so the Rx's on the remote flashes fire. You can't get this combo any more (the current version of the Yongnuo RF-602s no longer have the PC input port to plug an optical slave into); but you could use a hotshoe PC adapter on most any radio transmitter.

    I found that my Powershot S90's flash emitted a single pre-flash in Av/Tv/P mode, but no pre-flash in M mode, so as long as you're in M mode, you can set off most optical triggers. If you don't mind getting a bit of light from the pop-up, and you have Yongnuo YN flashes, you can use the S2 slave mode in Av/Tv/P, S1 in M.

    To me, at a certain object size, it just doesn't make sense any more to do the light tent/continuous light thing--you'd be better off with strobes on stands and proper modifiers like umbrellas or softboxes. The amount of working room you gain, the freedom of choice on angles, and the gain in illumination (and control thereof) are worth it, imo. YMMV.
  4. jamgam

    jamgam Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 27, 2013
    Atlanta, GA

    I dont disagree at all. When I shoot my own stuff I pull out the strobe and my 580EXII which works better but this is for my Mrs who has ZERO interest in learning anything about photography. If I could get some continuous lights then I could tell her the settings on her S110 and she'd be done

    Probably not the easiest thing but I thought I'd ask
  5. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Love the use of the card table - great idea! I will have to try that one.

    As for modifying the home depot lights - try scrims. This is what is used for video production. A scrim is a wire frame with a fabric covering. They are held in place with a C-stand. However they can be made with wire and light weight nylon{parachute fabric or even a sheet}.

    Here is a link to Matthews{the leading supplier for the film industry}
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