Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

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I am going to be doing some product photography but I am running into an issue. This issue is achieving the proper lighting. My ideal setup would be a light tent with a few lights and my issues would go away. However, I am in a situation where I do not have the luxury of setting up a light tent nor using extra lights. I have considered using a speedlight with a diffuser attached to help add more light to the photos.

I will be shooting products from books to glass artwork. Is there any advice on what I should try to get the best possible photos of these products if I cannot setup a light tent or access additional lights?

Note: I am using a Nikon D5100.

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Mary Grum's answer is good, but bear in mind you can make an inpromptu light tent with a cardboard box and some thin white paper. –  ElendilTheTall Feb 22 '13 at 21:25
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Bouncing a zoomed out speedlight off the ceiling of a small white room will give you a very nice even light for product photography. You can even keep the flash on camera and make use of TTL if it has a swivel head.

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I would do a bump flash (bounce it off the ceiling like Matt Grum mentions) in a white room with a piece of white cardstock behind the flash to redirect a little of the light straight forward. The Speedlight 600EX has a little card for this purpose built right in and it does a fantastic job with bump lighting.

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