Digital Light Shed: A photo accessory that will pay for itself

Impact Digital Light Shed - XLNearly everyone has at least a box of used electronics and camera gear sitting someplace in their house hoping for a better home. With cellphones, computers, and cameras being upgraded more frequently than ever, they can pile up faster than we can find friends or family members who might want them. In many cases, those electronics are still worth real money, so sending them off to one of the new “e-Cycling” ventures seems like a waste. eBay seems like the obvious answer, but taking good product pictures is such a hassle that many of us don’t take the time to do it – even if we take pictures for a living. That’s where the Digital Light Shed comes in…

pr_digitallightshed_0005webThe Digital Light Shed from impact is a remarkably well thought out and convenient solution to taking quality product shots of anything that will easily fit on a table. It provides evenly diffused lighting and a choice of white or black backgrounds. The zippered openings and velcroed cutouts are flexible enough to allow just about any configuraton of lighting to work – including uplight through a transparent surface like a glass table.

The diffusing material smooths out shadows, allowing the use of just about any light source or light sources from outside the shed to create a studio-like environment in a minute or two on any tabletop or even floor surface you have available. When finished it “twists” back into a nice flat package that can easily rest behind a bookshelf or hidden away somewhere.

I’ve used it both with daylight through a sunlight and with a small portable Ottlite when I didn’t have enough light from outside. In either case to get the combination of shutter speed and depth of field you’re likely to want, you’ll probably be best off using a tripod. If you don’t have one the Oben AC-1410 ($120 with ballhead) is a great little model that won’t break the piggybank but can still support a light camera and lens.

Impact Two-Light Digital Light Shed Kit - Extra LargeImpact Two-Light Digital Light Shed Kit - Extra Large
You can get the Digital Light Shed either by itself or as a kit with lights

Along with this article I’ve shown the image I took of a used cellphone and accessories that we put on sale on eBay – providing us a quick $40 for something we would have otherwise sent to our local e-cycling outfit or just kept in a closet for another decade or so. Every study ever done has shown that quality product pictures increase the sales price on eBay. After all, photos can assure the buyer something about the condition of the product and even whether it powers on and runs successfully.

pr_digitallightshed_0002webThe Digital Light Shed is only $64 at B&H, so it won’t take much in the way of sales to help it more than pay for itself. It’s one accessory I’m really glad I have. Not just for the extra cash, but because I hate to think of all my old gear just sitting around gathering dust. I’m still working on the best way to photograph larger settings without getting any “edges” (you can see a little bit of one in the phone photo) or having to keep rearranging things, but for small items the Digital Light Shed is just about perfect right out of the box.

 

 

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