One of the biggest photography challenges is having enough light for great pictures. In the idea situation, natural light can be used but in reality there are many times when good natural light isn’t available. Back in November, I told you about a family project that involved making a softbox for photography. We made the softbox, tested a couple different GE Energy Efficient bulbs and 3 digital cameras to see which bulb got the best results.
I set the 2 softboxes up on either side of a piece of worn wood and put a ball in the center.
I loved the results so I had the kids take their photos.
The first set of photos was taken with the GE Energy Efficient Soft White Halogen bulbs. They only use 72w but replace a 100w incandescent bulb. The brightness is 1490 lumens and the light appearance is 2950K.
The second set of photos was taken with GE Energy Smart Compact Florescent bulbs. These bulbs use 26w but replace a 100w incandescent bulb. The brightness is 1750 lumens and the light appearance is 2700K.
They took a photo with box softboxes on and another with box softboxes off. The flash was off and the camera settings were left alone. The pictures below are SOOC meaning Straight Out Of Camera (no editing) except for cropping when necessary.
Zack used the Panasonic Lumix to take the four photos above.
Vanessa took these four photos using Canon PowerShot SX130 IS.
Christine used the Nikon D200 to take these four photos.
We figured out that both types of bulbs work great in the softboxes! The GE CFL bulbs are a little brighter and a little warmer than the GE Halogen bulbs. We will be able to use both kinds in the softboxes since there isn’t that big of a difference.
As expected, the Nikon D200 got the best results. The Canon PowerShot was second best and if we would’ve spent more time using the manual settings on the camera the results would’ve been better. Zack has a hard time getting clear pictures with the Panasonic Lumix but he was taking his pictures later in the day so there was less natural light.
When taking pictures for my blog posts, I will be using the Nikon D200 and I will adjust my white balance depending on which light bulbs I am using in the softboxes.