What is a light tent and why would I need one?

Let’s start with the first question.  What is a light tent?  A light tent is simply a white cube made out of a transparent fabric that diffuses the light so that anything inside it is covered with nice even lighting.

Light tents can be bought at most camera stores or online at places such as ebay.  Prices will depend on the size of the tent you need but generally range from about US$15 and up.  The size you get will depend on what you want to take photos of.  Sizes range from approximately 12 inches (30cm) to about 55 inches (140cm). The one in the photo above is 20 inches (50cm).

Why would I need one?  Light tents have many uses.  But particularly for isolating objects from the background.  This is excellent if you are selling items on ebay, It puts the focus directly onto the item for sale rather than the dirty bench top you would have had it sitting on.  A light tent is also very good for photos of glass or reflective items as the light is diffused rather than directly on the glass, cutting down glare.

A light tent typically comes with three or four colored backgrounds to use.  I have the black one installed in the above photo and the photos below were all taken using the white background.  The background sheets provide a seamless background to shoot your objects on avoiding all those ugly corners where the wall meets the floor (or table).

As I mentioned, a light tent is excellent for isolating objects for ebay, but it’s also excellent for isolating objects if you are into, or thinking about getting into, stock photography.  The three photos below are all for sale on shutterstock and istockphoto.

The isolations a light tent can produce will improve your sales on both stock websites and auction websites. So if either of these is your thing I would highly recommend buying yourself a light tent.

Pics By Nick - Kiwis

Pics By Nick - Hand Candle

Pics By Nick - Turkish Teapot