Spring 2012

Spring 2012
by ani

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I bought a 120x120x120cm phototent for photographing clothing using mannequins. I already ordered 2x 5500K 150W(750W incandescent) daylight lamps, one for each side. I'm wondering if I will need more lighting due to the large size of the object. Shall I get another light placing it over or in front of the tent? If I light it from the front will it cast shadow on the backdrop? Also what camera settings shall I use? I have a Fujifilm Finepix S4300.

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"Also what camera settings should I use" takes this from a specific, answerable question to one that is both very broad (lots of answers!) and very specific (depends on your situation). I suggest editing that out of this question and asking a few other specific questions about what you're trying to do (ideally showing what you tried and what didn't work). – mattdm Sep 1 '13 at 12:51

Hi Pavel and welcome to StackExchange, Photography.

A phototent is used to get even overall lighting of the subject.

The lighting, instead of hitting the subject directly, shines directly onto the translucent walls and ceiling of the phototent. The phototent in turn becomes the "source" providing indirect, diffuse and soft subject lighting.

Two of these light sources with a tent may be enough (amount of) light to make a shot; but, I don't think you'll be happy with the quality of the lighting.

A third source would be helpful to get even lighting of the phototent. You want even lighting. More wouldn't hurt; but, you are after flat lighting, more or less, with a light even background so a clipping path can be easily used to put the subject into layouts.

There should be no shadows cast on the walls of the inside of the tent so long as the sources remain outside the tent and their light does not fall onto the subject directly.

Take some care to prevent stray light shine into your camera lens during the session to reduce flare since you will be shooting toward the source.

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While this post explains how to use a photo tent pretty well, it doesn't really answer the question of if it will be enough light. – AJ Henderson Sep 1 '13 at 18:58
@AJHenderson Two factors are involved. There is the quantity AND quality involved in "enough." I can't say much about the amount without knowing about how much the tent fabric absorbs/transmits. The lights themselves are rather bright, though, and should be okay. The other factor addressed above is the quality. With a great deal of care, there may be a spot where only two sources can evenly illuminate all of the surfaces of the tent; but, three would be "enough" to hit all of them with one at the rear and above to light the back and top with the others hitting the sides. – Stan Sep 9 '13 at 15:46
agreed that trying to answer the question with the provided information would be difficult since transmittance information isn't provided and we can't really know how well it diffuses without the model of tent and how directional the light sources are to begin with. Your answer was informative, it just didn't answer the question clearly. Your edit clarifying that two lights probably isn't enough makes it a good answer and fixes the problem I was mentioning. +1. – AJ Henderson Sep 9 '13 at 16:14
@AJHenderson Merci. Hard to know when to quit. – Stan Sep 9 '13 at 16:17

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