Choosing the right lights for your auction photos.

Choosing the right lights for your auction photos.
In order to understand how lights can affect your images, you first need to understand natural light.

There are lights on the market that use the terms "Full Spectrum" or "Natural Lighting" to describe the effectiveness of the bulb.

Natural light from the sun is rated with two numbers - Kelvin and CRI (color rating index) - natural sunlight at noon has a Kelvin rating of 5,000 - 5,500 and a CRI of 100. A bulb with ratings as close to those numbers as possible will have a truer color reproduction.

Most light bulbs are what can be termed as spring colors and range in the 3,000 Kelvin area, and a CRI of around 65, and is the reason they produce a more yellowish glow. You may not notice this until you place a full spectrum bulb next to an ordinary bulb.

Now that you know the differences in lights bulbs all you need now are two bulbs and two adjustable lamps. I was able to purchase two lamps at a local office supply store that were marked for clearance. I picked them up for $9.99 each, they have a heavy and solid base with a 18" flexible steel neck (makes for easy lighting adjustments)

It's important to use two lamps, as this will reduce shadows and dark spots caused when using only one lamp.

The bulbs I used were purchased at WalMart for $10 each, and although they didn't have the Kelvin or CRI numbers, I noticed the packaging specified they were closer to natural light than other bulbs.

Take a look at the images below for an example of the differences that can be made with the lights.

Natural Lighting Bulb
Soft White Florescence Bulb

The florescence light I used on the images on the right was a standard "soft white" florescence bulb, you know ... those energy efficient bulbs that only use 30 watts of power but put out 100 watts of light. I thought I was being thrifty when I saw they were on sale for only 88 cents. It was then when I realized what a major difference there was in these bulbs.

As an added benefit, when I use the full spectrum lights I notice the room is very bright, but it's not straining on the eyes, even when the bulbs are exposed. I think it's well worth the cost to convert all our bulbs to a full spectrum natural light.

When you use these lights all you need to do is place your product on a piece of fabric that compliments the color of the object. You can see an example of how my little photo studio looks at the following link.

Mini photo studio for eBay photos.

Enjoy . . . Scott

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