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Old 10-02-2006, 11:07 PM
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Thumbs up Light Tents

For the keen photographer, I have found a great product which I am personally going to invest in, a light tent.

Check out this site :http://store.tabletopstudio-store.com/ezlite.html

If you go to the "Information Site" tab on the left of the page it will take you to a page with a wealth of information on using light tents for photographing a variety of subjects, including photographing flowers.

Be interested in comments from others regarding this product.
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Old 10-03-2006, 03:07 AM
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Looks like you will need more than one of these for your tiny and supersized plants. Cynthia
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Old 10-03-2006, 05:40 AM
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Only the 30" .......... ONE SIZE FITS ALL !
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Old 10-03-2006, 11:45 AM
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Well, we will see as your collection grows. I have a couple of rolls of felt material that I use for a back drop, and some times the plants are so big, like a pot of reedstemmed Epidendrums, that I either have to get too close to the material (I think it is about 48" wide) and the material is in focus and shows the texture, or I have to find some other way to photograph it. Think I'll look for a black cloth that won't show texture. Cynthia
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Old 10-03-2006, 06:21 PM
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Sounds like you're at the stage where you need to take a visit to a professional photo store to purchase a mobile backdrop which consists of 2 or 3 rolls of heavy paper on a transportable frame.

These are around 8 to 10 feet in width, and the rolls are around 50 feet long, so as the bottom gets dirty or torn, you cut it off and pull down some more.

Not a cheap option, but then you will not be left wanting for width or height. I can send you a photo of one if you like, I think there is still one at work. We ended up having a permanent ceiling mounted frame made and retired the portable unit.

Our unit had a black, blue and white roll on it.
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Old 10-03-2006, 10:10 PM
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Actually, I am not at that point. I think I have even backed up a bit. My big problem right now is space for anything, including your little tent, tho it would help if it collapsed for storage. The rolls I have get hung from a wall when needed, and then rolled up and, in theory, put away. But being in a log home with almost no closets, they are just sort of put where ever they won't be a bother. Right now, no time for doing a really nice job with photography, so everything gets its picture taken in the greenhouse just as soon as it blooms for fear of a mishap that prevents me from recording the bloom until next year. So the rolls are currently collectring dust. Cynthia
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Old 10-03-2006, 10:34 PM
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These tents fold up to a size a little bigger than a frisbee, they're totally collapsible, that's what I like about them.

It means I can quite easily take them on field trips photographing wild Australian native orchids, which for the majority are miniatures.
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Old 10-04-2006, 12:25 PM
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OK, this sounds like it might be useful, and I have saved the site under cameras. Lookiing forward to your pictures with this. Cynthia
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Old 10-06-2006, 02:23 AM
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Cynthia,
I use material too, as I live in a log cabin also! I have a problem with storage myself. The texture is a fine woven linen and it does very well. The tents are nice but just looking at them, they seem like they would be confining? The bigger one as Anton said would work for most any orchid..but the price!!

I just take photos for my records and couldn't justify the price in my mind.
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Old 10-06-2006, 10:42 AM
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"I use material too, as I live in a log cabin also!'

Well, then you have probably noticed that your pictures have a very warm caste from the reflections off of the log walls. Mine do, with or without flash, and I have to do a little color correction. But this never bothers me as I am always correcting color, as I have this problem in the greenhouse, all those green leaves reflecting light. Then there is the black shadecloth and the plastic sheeting adding their tints. I take pictures at an Orchid Society in Phoenix, and they have cream colored walls. I have gotten very good at color correcting, well most of the time, but my camera, an SD10 from Sigma, came with very good software to manipulate the raw pictures. I am not sure how it could be done on another camera's software, Windows bundled software, or shareware, but I will have to find out soon, as I and another film photographer will be doinig a photography 'how to' for our local Orchid Society. Cynthia
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Old 10-07-2006, 02:31 AM
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Yes, they do have a warm cast. A photographic how to, that sounds like fun!!
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Old 10-07-2006, 06:30 AM
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It all gets down to color temperature.

If you use a digitital camera, go into the menu, look for White Balance and set for whatever light source you are photographing under. This will correct the color temperature.

Fluoro has a green cast, tungsten light globes - yellow, daylight - blue, as is flash. the problems occur when you mix light sources, or have the camera set for the wrong color temperature.

Rather than letting your camera do it, itself by having it set on Auto, you have more control by manually setting it yourself. Also by setting your camera to flash when photographing outside you get an effect known as Fill-in Flash which eliminates shadows in your images, as sunlight produces dense shadows.

I can upload some images to demonstrate this effect if you like.
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Old 10-07-2006, 11:05 AM
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Hi Anton. The problems I am describing are not even close to being solvable by WB or color temp. First, color temp is only a one dimensional shift, along the black body curve. WB are discrete settings that either match what you want, or not. In the software I use, I have a color wheel, which allows me to shift to red, green, or blue, or their compliments (correct term?), cyan, yellow, and magenta. The following are not fixable by any of your recommendations: reflections from colored walls in a room, the deliberate use of colored lights to bring out the colors of some flowers or other objects, pictures taken in a greenhouse with exagerated green from reflections off of plants, or blue from light passing thru plastic sheeting and shadecloth, a sunset illuminated scene, where yellow is in extreme abundance ( http://www.pbase.com/schnitz/image/35336829/large , where the image is still yellow after a very exagerated lowering of yellow). Even shade can be different colors depending on what kind of reflected light is influencing it and the time of day, as shade WB adds yellow to compensate for the blue of the skyglow which is most of the illumination, but the sky is not always the same shade of blue. In Los Angeles, often the sky isn't blue at all. I am now in the habbit of taking all pics in daylight WB, and converting the color if I feel a need. Cynthia
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Old 10-07-2006, 09:17 PM
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Another trick we professional photographers use, is to carry around an 18% Grey Card.

You take one picture of it under the lighting you are going to be using before you take any of your intended subject, then continue your photography.

If you use color negative film and get it processed at a lab, you just tell them that you have an 18% Grey Card on the first frame and they will then color balance their machine to that, and all the images should come out close to intended color.

If you use a digital camera, balance the color to as close to the 18% grey Card as you can in your software and again, the rest of the images, should only require minor tweaking.

You didn't mention which software package you are using, but if you want to get into more precise handling of your images, then you have to bite the bullet and get Photoshop, if you don't already have it.

"Forget the rest, gotta have the best." I have tried many packages over the years, nothing compares, except for the cut down version, Photoshop Elements.

My 2 F stops worth.

PS Check your Email.
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Old 10-08-2006, 12:20 AM
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Yes, I have a version of Photo Shop. I use it for croping and resizing, and a little paint brushing, like cleaning the potting mix out from under my fingernails when I have a picture of my hand holding a pot. But the Sigma software is great for all the rest of the adjustments, many of which are better than Photo Shop, and are done before the conversion to jpg.

I have bought a couple of different gray cards, and I have to say that I don't like the color of either, at least they leave a little residule shift in my pictures (monitor calibrated) when I use the eyedropper whitebalance corrector of my Sigma software on the photographed graycard, and the cards don't appear to be consistant with each other. So I will be looking for a white piece of paper or other material somewhere in the world to use as a gray card that I like the results from.

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Old 02-17-2008, 12:58 PM
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White balance = Expo Disk! Works great, don't need a card, balance is always perfect.
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Old 02-17-2008, 07:43 PM
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I thought I would expand a little on the post from Brian, that will explain the item to which he refers as follows:

Fine tune colour at point of capture.

* Works in mixed, or difficult lighting conditions.

* Replaces your gray and white cards.

* Spend more time shooting and less on workflow.

* It’s convenient, fast and easy-to-use.

The new ExpoDisc Digital White Balance Filter is designed for professional photographers, videographers, and serious amateurs. Photographers no longer have to shoot through extra glass, carry inconsistent and cumbersome cards, or spend hours on the computer in post-production colour correction. Just read and set white balance with the ExpoDisc Digital Warm Balance filter in place before shooting to produce portraits and landscapes with warmer, more pleasing colours.

The filter is not cheap but some serious workers might think the cost is well worth the WB accuracy.


Bill
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Old 02-17-2008, 08:24 PM
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This light tent is an interesting "thing". Could you put a black background in it? It looks like the point is to evenly disburse the light evenly, correct? That you'd still need proper lighting seperately, yes?
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Old 02-17-2008, 10:11 PM
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Kevin, on my Website, a lot of the orchids have been photographed in the tent with plain blue, graduated blue, black, and plain white backdrops.

I made my own after a trip to Spotlight to get the materials, preferably lightweight material which doesn't pull on the tent. Mine is a non tearing acrylic material.

Ezcube sell a range of backdrops.

I found it great for most plants, some of the bigger ones are a bit of a hassle though. Also if you are considering one, I would suggest to get the one I got which is the 30" model.

I can send images if you are interested.
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Old 02-17-2008, 11:01 PM
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I was just thinking this would be an excellent thing take to shows so if there is an AOC winner and photos are necessary, we have a portable set up to take a much better quality pic than what we've traditionally been getting (with exceptions of course, some AOC award pics are good).
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Old 02-18-2008, 03:50 AM
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These tents fold up to the size of a frizzby and about 3" high and weigh next to nothing.

I take mine when we go bush because it is so light and small.
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Old 02-18-2008, 04:20 AM
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Here's My Light Tent Part 1 - construction

1. Tent in bag - foot as a size comparison
2. Tent out of bag
3. Tent opened up
4. End partially connected
5. Velcro Tabs for joining end to tent
6. Exposure adjusted to show velcro
7. tent complete
8. View from top to show second access in top

Bag to complete roughly 20 to 25 seconds.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg tent01.jpg (38.7 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg tent02.jpg (38.1 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg tent03.jpg (39.8 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg tent05.jpg (46.2 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg tent06.jpg (25.6 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg tent07.jpg (36.5 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg tent08.jpg (37.7 KB, 3 views)
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Old 02-18-2008, 04:29 AM
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Here's My Light Tent Part 1 - folding up

1. Grab like so on both sides
2. Twist like thus
3. Fold into itself
4. Place in bag

Done in 15 seconds
Attached Images
File Type: jpg tent09.jpg (40.0 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg tent10.jpg (52.8 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg tent11.jpg (48.1 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg tent12.jpg (39.1 KB, 8 views)
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Old 02-18-2008, 06:13 AM
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Anton the Tent Idea is awesome mate


but can you do some thing about them legs please
sorry mate I could not help myself there
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Old 02-18-2008, 07:37 AM
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Luvly, aren't they.

Good calves for an old fart, eh ?
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Old 02-18-2008, 07:43 AM
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lol Anton I would not be came to show mine lol

I still have my favorite winter tan lol
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Old 02-18-2008, 06:51 PM
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Is there such thing as a program to help with calibrating your monitor so that it is correctly calibrated to show true colour. I have an IBM Thinkpad and the colour does not seem to be entirely correct, and me adjusting the colours myself up and down by eye does not seem to be very scientific, and very prone to error. Why I ask is...I just can not get pinks to photograph, and display correctly. So I want to calibrate the monitor correctly as well as look into the WB gizmo that was mentioned above. Any help deeply appreciated.
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Old 02-18-2008, 11:51 PM
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Yes I use one at work called a ColorVision Spyder.

I also calibrate my printer as well, and therefore have the PrintFix Pro Suite which includes a colorimeter as well, but unless you are doing regular color correct imaging is a bit of overkill.

Go to Datacolor - Global Leader in Color Management Solutions for the details.
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Old 02-19-2008, 03:03 PM
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The Spyder is a piece of hardware, not just software. I got one, purchased just with the software that came with it, and couldn't get it to work for almost a year. Emailed them before the year was up to tell them their product didn't work on my lap top, and they sent me a higher level software program for free. Worked just fine after that. What I discovered, just as suspected, was that the color on my Del Ultra screen was extremely good already, and only the intensity at mid brightness was a little off, but off the same on all colors, so the correction didn't affect the color of things.
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Old 02-19-2008, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
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Only the 30" .......... ONE SIZE FITS ALL !

I have a Dendro (home depot rescue noid) that when in spike reaches a yard in length













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Old 02-19-2008, 05:16 PM
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Thank you both so much for the information.
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Old 02-19-2008, 07:33 PM
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There's ALWAYS one, isn't there.................. (sigh)

THERE ARE limitations.

These tents are for "normal" orchids that are short and squat.

I am going to have problems when my Den lasianthera grows up, from what I hear they grow up to about 8 to 9 feet.
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:12 PM
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For the keen photographer, I have found a great product which I am personally going to invest in, a light tent.

Check out this site :EZcube Light Tents

If you go to the "Information Site" tab on the left of the page it will take you to a page with a wealth of information on using light tents for photographing a variety of subjects, including photographing flowers.

Be interested in comments from others regarding this product.
I got one of these for Birthdaymas:



from thinkgeek.com. One size, but it does come with two very useful lights (at least, useful to someone like me), a case and a tripod that does not work with fullsize DSLRs and its $49.
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:34 PM
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What size is it, looks to be about 20" ?

Here's mine with some ugly dude as a size comparison...........
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Old 12-31-2008, 12:40 AM
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Yup, the one I got is small, which is perfect for most of my plants, plus it has lights - something I didn't have before (well, not lights that were worth a tinker's damn at least).

And mine definitely did not come with a professional photographer or anything close to it!!
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Old 12-31-2008, 01:30 AM
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They just threw him in to get rid of the old stock, it is a model that that they don't make spares for any more...........
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