Sunday, September 14, 2014

Figure Photography Set

I have recently taken an interest into figure collecting.  After taking some pictures of my figures I realized that I need to have proper lighting in order to take good pictures.  With this said, I decided to build a set for taking pictures of figures or small items.

After doing some research I came to the conclusion that I would need the following items in order to build the set:

  • Table
  • Diffuser
  • Primary Light Source
  • Secondary Light Source
  • Reflector
  • Various Backgrounds

For the table I am using the Lack Coffee Table from IKEA.  The dimensions on this table are as follows:

Length:  35 3/8"
Width:  21 5/8"
Height:  17 3/4"

Though this table is only 17 3/4" high, it does provide adequate surface area for setting up the background, diffuser, reflector, primary light source and secondary light source.  Additionally it has a shelf, which can be used to store backgrounds.

A diffuser is needed to soften the primary light source.  In made a cheap diffuser by taping tracing paper to a 15 1/4" x 11" x 9 1/4" box from an AmiAmi order.

For the primary light source I wanted a bulb that would emit a natural color temperature  After doing some research I found that a bulb would need to have a color temperature of 5000K-6000K  in order to have a natural daylight appearance.  Additionally, I wanted the bulb to be a compact fluorescent lamp to avoid generating heat that could cause damage to the figure.  I chose a 60 watt equivalent, 5000K CFL from EcoSmart as it was the highest wattage 5000K CFL I could find.

For the lamp I chose the Gooseneck Desk Lamp from Room Essentials based on price, and light positioning flexibility.

The secondary light source is needed to reduce shadows caused by the primary light source.  I chose a 40 watt equivalent, 5000K CFL from EcoSmart so that it would not be brighter than the 60 watt equivalent used for the primary light source.  For the corresponding lamp I picked up the TERTIAL from IKEA.  I highly recommend this lamp as its positioning and height can be adjusted on the fly with minimal effort.  Furthermore as the lamp vices the table top, it does not have a base that will occupy space.

A reflector is needed to reflect light onto the figure to fill in and/or transition any shadows.  I made a cheap reflector by folding a 22" x 28" white dry eraser poster board in half, using the glossy side to reflect the light.

I picked up various colors of 22" x 28" poster boards from Hobby Lobby for the photo backgrounds.

I am happy with how this photography set turned out and the lighting it provides.  I will be using this set to for future blogs.

The following is a summary of details and prices for this items I used to build this photography set:

Item Part Number Manufactuer Vendor Price
15 1/4" x 11" x 9 1/4 cardboard box
22" x 28" Poster Board
Hobby Lobby
22" x 28" White Dry Erase Poster Board 262832 Pacon Hobby Lobby 2.59
LACK Coffee table 000.950.36 IKEA IKEA 19.99
TERTIAL Work lamp 203.703.83 IKEA IKEA 8.99
tracing paper pad - up & up Target 2.19
Gooseneck Desk Lamp - Room Essentials Target 9.99
60W Equivalent Daylight (5000K) Twister CFL Light Bulb (4 Pack) ES5M814450K EcoSmart THE HOME DEPOT 6.97
40W Equivalent Daylight (5000K) Twister CFL Light Bulb (2 Pack) ES5M809250K EcoSmart THE HOME DEPOT 4.97

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