Frit-Happens !

Technical Forum => Photo help => Topic started by: mel on November 14, 2014, 10:51:26 AM

Title: Portable light tents
Post by: mel on November 14, 2014, 10:51:26 AM
I'm still struggling a bit with photographing my work, so have been looking at the portable light tents on ebay, about 30 (e.g. OTOMAT L-BOX). Some come with lamps on small stands and some have integral lighting. Has anyone bought one, and if so, was it any good for beads/jewellery? I'm just fed up of having to shift all my gear around, find a decent background, locate lamps that have gone walkies around the house and so on. A self contained unit that works well would be worth the money spent I think.

Title: Re: Portable light tents
Post by: Dickie on November 14, 2014, 11:37:56 AM
One issue you may have with a light tent/box is it can make your glass look like it's been etched (matt) as the light tent removes all reflections, you need these to make glass and jewelry look shiny.
You can however add black card to the inside of the tent to add the desired reflections, but it can be tricky to get right.
Personally I wouldn't use one, as a piece of while card and some simple lights is all you should need.

Title: Re: Portable light tents
Post by: cbeadies on November 14, 2014, 05:58:22 PM
I was reading a blog post about using a home-made light box, might be useful. (

Title: Re: Portable light tents
Post by: Miriam on November 15, 2014, 01:04:05 AM
I made a tutorial. The text is in Dutch but with the pictures, you get the idea. (

Title: Re: Portable light tents
Post by: Pegasus on November 15, 2014, 12:58:29 PM
Hi Mel,
I have used a light tent in the past, it's ok but I have found it's not necessary. Take a look at my pics, all I use are 2 photography box lights, left and right of the subject & slightly forward. Imagine the centre of a clock face is the subject, place your lamps at 4 and 8. I have the lights placed so the light hits the subjecy at approx 45 degree angle (vertical). I have used various things over the years to diffuse the light, even white plastic bags opened up and hung in front of the worked just fine! The trick is to use a tripod to take your photo's and choose a background that is a mid shade, ie not black or white something in the middle. Set your exposure on the lower side rather than high, you can easily adjust the brightness and contrast on an under exposed photo. Try taking a series of photo's with different exposures and go look at them on your pc to see which looks the best. Then you know which exposure to use.
Just keep looking online for tips, that's all I have done over the years. I've experimented too and now I'm happy with my photo's. Just experiment, you'll get there! Hope that helps. xxx

Title: Re: Portable light tents
Post by: mel on November 15, 2014, 02:06:14 PM
Thanks all, I've looked at the blogs and am going to try a few ideas without a light tent to see what is possible, I may post some pics to get some comments if anyone has the inclination to give me some pointers as I'm not savvy enough to see if the exposure is ok.

Title: Re: Portable light tents
Post by: mel on November 15, 2014, 03:22:25 PM
Would be grateful if anyone could let me know if these are over exposed? I upped the exposure by 2 stops as I just used one light (I need to buy a second light!). One is unedited and one is slightly tinkered with. I don't trust my own judgement I'm afraid, but I'm thinking the first one is better?

 This one has had no tinkering- just been cropped:
( ( studs just cropped ( by melanie.ingledew (, on Flickr

This one I upped the brightness slightly, and increased the saturation slightly too.
( ( studs inc brightness and saturation ( by melanie.ingledew (, on Flickr