Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Lighting Problems Solved?

I am very excited about the results of my lighting research and the results I am getting! I have spent months trying to get rid of "noise" and other problems I have had with my coin photography. I have experimented endlessly. I knew most of the problems I was getting was from the bright spots on the coins. Answer? Return to the basics. I knew I needed diffused lighting and I knew the lack of lay at the source of my problem.

I picked up a piece of frosted Plexiglas a few months ago and I had bought a couple of 5 and 1/2" clamp on work lights from Home Depot or Lowe's and I had these on hand. I had enough bulbs including the fluorescent spirals I had been using. I had experimented with all kind of bulbs. I cut the Plexiglas to the size you see in the photograph above and secured it to the face of the "cans" with large rubber bands. I plan to drill small holes through the can and secure the Plexiglas using a 1/8" stove bolts and wing nuts.

Part of the beauty of what I have done is in the portability of the unit(s). I can hold one unit in place by hand and light from any direction I like. I can clamp the light, one or two onto the shelf you see in the picture or I can clamp one or more lights onto the two vertical posts I made. I can also place the unit on the work surface and use the spring clamp to elevate and shoot across the coin's surface.

I cannot believe how easily I can hold one unit in hand and snap my shutter with the other and not have to worry about the bright spots. I can hold one unit at the angle I want and clamp the other unit in place for a fill light. Please observe the Plexiglas is tightly in place against the light can. I left the lights on for an extended period of time and the fluorescent hardly warmed the Plexiglas. CAUTION: ANY other bulb would present a heat problem.

The bulbs I am using are 13 watt spiral fluorecents. I used my wife's little Nikon 46oo to photograph the setup so the photographs are not the best. Suddenly my Fuji s5000 is much more camera than I ever thought as a result of my new lighting system. I have a friend who wants us to make these to sell. I have not done any research and I have no idea if this has been done before. Regardless, this is all new technology to me. You have the right to make units for your use. This setup works so well that I may let him look into "manufacturing".. Someone may write and say this was done eons ago but if it was I am amazed that I did not know about it.

Please click on the URL's below so you can understand what is going on. The Plexiglas is 1/8" inch thick. I think that is about 3mm. I hope you have questions and I hope you will ask them. I am sure this is terribly written but I am trying to get the information to all. I satisfied my questions well after midnight and I am a bit tired. I will state, without equivocation, that you will like the results of your efforts if you assemble one or more of the units. I cannot believe how wonderfully the unit(s) work. Also remember that you can use a more powerful bulb and a larger can if you like. Please send me feedback. Thank you for reading and God Bless.. Jerry..
More photos:
The following is a mirro finished siver coins I was unable to photgraph becase of the shiny fininsh until I used Jerry's Photo Can: http://tinyurl.com/58bepy

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