Lighting – Constant source pros and cons

Hey there, it’s been a while since I last posted so I am sorry for the delay.

In the effort to learn how to control light I thought I would start with the easiest: constant light source.

An example would lamps, torches and hell you could even use your monitor (but the monitor thing is another post).

I took a little trip to Ikea and bought the following items for my shoot:

  • RIAN – Small white table with metal legs
  • LAGRA – Super cheap and small lamps (I got 3)
  • POLARVIDE – White blanket for background.

I then put them together into the following setup


Using the table I attached the lamps and blanket to it to make a miniature studio. I then used a Canon 450D I had on loan from a friend to make some pretty cool product shots of the cameras I own.






After just before I packed up, it dawned on me that I could try something else. I turned the lamps so they pointed upward and then put a figurine in the middle… This created an excluding effect where only the figurine where in view and the background was not in view. Remember I did this in a dark room in the first place.


As you can see the effect is remarkable. Even the white table with the glare from the table looks like fog.


  • Some bulbs give off a tinted light so that you might get a yellow tint on everything you take.
  • It is messy with all the cables around. Defiantly a heath hazard
  • The lamps/bulbs are not so strong so you always need them near your subject
  • It will never be a bright as flash.
  • Not combatable with store bought filters and diffusers.
  • Outdoor photography is almost not possible.


  • Instead of taking shots all the time to see if you got the setup correct, you can just look up from the camera and decide if you need to move something. Everything is just instant.
  • A much cheaper solution than using flash all the time.
  • If you buy the lamps you can clamp then you have an almost unlimited range to where you can put the lights.
  • When it brakes its easy and cheap to replace.

In conclusion I found this system very effective in lighting product and macro shots. But I still think that flash should be used for portrait photos using the correct setup.

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