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Anyone who has taken or has tried to take pictures of pottery knows the challenges to taking a half decent shot. Good pictures can mean the difference between getting into a show, exhibition, or publication or not.
Anyhow a few people had asked me what I was using as my light set up. I have always preferred to use natural light (ie outside) for digital photos (and actually for slides as well) but that is not always possible or convenient. Last year I found these not so compact daylight compact florescent bulbs on ebay for $35 (for 4). They are 5500K/43 watt daylight bulbs. They make bright and true color, and don’t get excessively hot. (I apologize, I just snapped this photo quickly so its not in focus enough to read the product details on the side of the bulb)
When I was hunting around for photography light fixtures, I found most were way out of my price range. Instead of making a major investment, I found these utility lights at my local hardware store which range in price from $5 to $10.
I usually use 3 of these lights: one on either side and one toward the top. It takes some experimentation with light placement. I jerry-rigged a light stand out of a folding display rack we take to shows, which allows me to move/clamp the lights strategically for best illumination.