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Photobox set-up questions - lighting, backdrop


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So I have a small photobox setup that includes the portable box and two white-light lamps designed to stand on either side.  Most of the overhead lighting at my house seems to have a yellowish tinge that makes really vibrant photos difficult.


- Do they make white-light bulbs that I can just screw into a recessed ceiling light?

- I have a standing desk-type lamp that I think I can swing out over the top of the box - it may be halogen though.  Do they make suitable bulbs for that?

- Or do I need to buy another lamp?


Next, I have a mountain picture that I'd like to print as a backdrop.  Should I go matte or glossy finish?

I've seen a lot of panoramic pictures better suited for railroads and thinking this is a cheaper option.



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The easier way to take care of this is by color correcting your images.   

What you are interested in is setting a custom white balance in your camera.  In some (not all) cameras you first take a picture of a blank white field under the lighting conditions you are using.  Simply placing a sheet of paper and taking a pic of that works fine.  This now gives you a reference image.  If your camera supports a custom white balance function you can use this as a reference for the rest of your pics for that session.


I could also go into color correcting in post, and shooting in RAW vs JPG, but I'm intentionally being vague as I don't know how complciated you want to get or what your camera is capable of.  I do photography on the side and have tackled this issue for a while.  It's easy once you know how.


Check your camera manual or search "Custom White Balance" for your camera.  

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The best way to capture true colors is to shoot in direct sunlight. If you cannot do that you will want a daylight bulb. Other sorts of artificial light will invariably distort your colors. But if your picky like me you want the colors in the image to match the colors on the model. 

I have to disagree.  Direct sunlight washes out colors and creates harsh shadows and horrible speculative highlights (blown out glare points).  Daylight shooting is fine as long as you have some sort of shade, or better yet a diffuser.


I treat these shoots just as a portrait shoot, the same guidelines apply.



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  • 2 weeks later...

I really like the 3200K color temperature lamps they give a warm feeling to the picture.  Its the staple color temperature for broadcast video and being a video guy it makes me happy.  Alzo digital has a line of compact florescent for photo and video applications in various color temperatures that are accurate.  Most CFL's very in there actual color temperature.  They have them from 75 watt incandescent equivalent all the way up to th3 300watt equivalents. They all can screw into a standard light socket.  I do want to add the ones that are the equivalent of 300watt bulbs are extremely large about a inch and a half bigger in diameter than a standard CFL and about 9 and half inches long so you need to take that into consideration.  Daylight is 5600K color temperature if you like the natural look.

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