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Milk Jug Photo Studio

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ok, since I'm clearly not so good with the explaining with words thing, here are some pictures of the milk jug photo studio I mentioned in my last post:



You don't have to physically stick your camera lens through the top hole; you just have to get close enough that you can focus through it:


I took these photos at 10:30 last night with no flash and only an overhead light on. Note that I did bump up the exposure and color correct that last one; the jug helps diffuse the light, not increase it. For best results, you should have light sources on either side as well as above your jug. And maybe not be photographing an almost black key. :)

I can't claim credit for this idea; I only remember reading somewhere that many Etsy jewelry sellers use it for photographing their goods. At any rate, I hope it helps some of you!

Posted by Jen at 11:38 AM Labels: ,

31 comments:

  1. damnit, that could have saved me 40 bux on the little photo booth I bought on ebay... Will have to try this though. It would be easier than setting up the booth and I do have some things to photograph!

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  2. I've been looking for a way to take not-ugly photos of silver/copper jewelry I've made, and this might just be the ticket. Thanks for posting!

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  3. Ok, so what if we want to photograph bigger things, like crocheted hats? Any DIY suggestions there?

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  4. It was the "trim the top back" part that confused me. I wounded how to get a top shot if the hole was I the back, or side, of the jug. Thanks for clarifying! I believe I will be using this technique in the future. what a clever idea!

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  5. Elsa, for larger things I think your best bet is the $40 photo cube Ginamonster mentioned. I have one, too, and it works fairly well. Cumbersome as all get-out, and the lights that came with it aren't bright enough, but it *does* help. Check ebay - there are lots over there.

    In fact, I think I've seen smaller cubes that pop open like a collapsible car shade - those would be easier & cheaper for small things like hats.

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  6. Very cool! Now if only I could find a milk jug big enough to cram my 3 daughters into it would save me a lot of hassle moving lamps and hanging sheets...

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  7. I'm not a photographer, but I might have to slice up a milk carton anyway, just to try this trick. :)

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  8. My sister uses one of those pop up ones and a couple of the "ld fashioned" clip on work lights (the ones that have the metal shades)

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  9. that's exactly what I thought you meant, Jen. You explain things fine. Super idea, thanks for sharing!

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  10. Here's a link to a larger DIY one. I haven't done it, but it looks easy enough if you have the time, space and need for it. :)

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  11. Thanks, Jen! This will be great for photgraphing miniatures, I think. At least I hope. WIll try it anyway.

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  12. I am plannng to make this. I have all my supplies gathered, I just haven't gotten it done yet. I'm hoping it will work well for my Etsy pics.

    http://cheriquitecontrary.blogspot.com/2011/04/diy-lightbox-tutorial.html

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  13. This is a pretty good tutorial for how to build a bigger lightbox.

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  14. Genius. I feel like a dummy for not knowing this one already.

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  15. what a clever idea... i am going to repeat this somewhere and sound smart.

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  16. Jen, your description was absolutely fine. I have a problem visualizing so seeing the "studio" really helped. Thanks!

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  17. Heh... now that I know it is a CLEAR milk jug, it makes more sense. :P I live in East TN, which is the home of Mayfield's milk. Mayfield's is known for its yellow jugs. Needless to say, I was a bit befuddled by the prior post. :D

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  18. Ooh, I just started a nail polish blog on August 29th, and I may have to try this trick for my photos!

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  19. Ah, see my mental question was about if/where to shoot the flash.

    If you want or need to diffuse the actual flash, something as simple as tissue paper also works to soften the light.

    Gina--Well, you paid less than the $90-100 ones I sell at my job. ; )

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  20. "In fact, I think I've seen smaller cubes that pop open like a collapsible car shade"

    Aha! I've seen pop-open mesh laundry baskets at drugstores and dollar stores. Cut out the mesh, line with white cloth. Not wide enough? Get two or three, cut open along a seam, join into an octagon or... whatever a 12-sided polygon is.

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  21. It's funny that you posted this. I used this idea about an hour ago to take a pic of my driver's license with my cell phone. I had to make it really short, but it worked very well.

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  22. "Ok, since I'm clearly not so good with the explaining with words thing . . ."

    I'm sorry, but this made me laugh. Dude, you're a writer! You do the "explaining with words thing" every freaking day! Cut yourself some slack. But it did make that line unintentionally hilarious.

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  23. Thats a great idea, I've been having fits trying to take pictures of my glass pendants, they always have WAY too much light!

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  24. Kiwi - In all honesty it was worth it just for the lights. Since I am a terrible photographer, it has helped. I'm just cheap.

    Eric- I'm going to have to try the work light idea.

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  25. What a cool idea! I don't even drink milk, but I may just have to make an exception to get the jug. This would work for little things...I wonder how to expand the idea for bigger stuff... (thinking, thinking)

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  26. "I'm clearly not so good with the explaining with words thing"

    Girl, you have two wonderful blogs, you do just fine with words!

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  27. I use a 35mm film canister - the frosted white one, over my flash. Seems to help!

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  28. For non-milk drinkers, or to save money, a gallon water jug from the grocery store should work just as well, and usually costs under a dollar.

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  29. Question...does it have to be a milk jug? Or can it be a frosty-type water jug?

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  30. Ugh, I wish I could use this! I just moved to Japan and haven't seen a milk jug anywhere... Sad day! -_-

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