As of June 2016, I have been using a Canon t5i DSLR (in 2018 this was updated with a t7i) with a 60mm macro lens, still with the single fluorescent Ottlite in a light tent for my standard shots (with a cell phone flashlight from the side for duo/multichromes), and added in 2017 a CAME-TV Boltzen 30W Bi-color fresnel LED light specifically for holos.  This photographic lamp allows for a gradient of color and I have it set at 5400K for daylight effect. It is indistinguishable from direct mid-day sunlight for showing polishes in outdoor conditions. My settings for the full hand shots are f4.5 and ISO 200, and for more close in macros, f3.5 and ISO 100. My settings for products vary. All shooting is done fully manual and I have a custom white balance.  All images posted to IG are also produced with this setup. Bottle shots are taken with a Canon 6D Mark II and Sigma 70mm Art macro lens. Video is taken with a Nikon D5500 and Tamron f/2 60mm macro. Bottle shots and video are taken inside a Foldio lightbox.

Prior to June 2016:

My camera is a Panasonic DMC-ZS10 with a single Ottlite in a cheap light tent. I use direct light, but the white interior of the light tent helps with even lighting. I use fully manual settings for the greatest accuracy and detail possible, which is my highest priority.

I always use manual camera white balance, meaning I get the camera to "read" true white by holding a photographic white card under my light and recording that as white, so that the high light temperature of the Ottlight (around 5200-5800K) does not read as too blue. I also use the lowest ISO, or sensitivity, I can (ISO100), along with the widest aperture my camera allows (f3.3). The low ISO allows maximum detail without graininess, which the wide-angle DMC-ZS10 is prone to in lower light situations. I recently switched from 1/60th to 1/50th of a second exposure time.

My Instagram outdoor shots are all taken with an Iphone 5. Let me be honest and say I hate its camera! I cannot promise the same level of color-accuracy with these shots, as there is no way for me to control its settings and different lighting situations can result in different colors. You can enjoy these as more informal shots that show the sparkle of the polishes in direct sunlight. Update: as of December 6, 2014, I've switched to an Iphone 6 Plus. So far it seems like there is a lot more detail, but the jury is still out on color accuracy. I'm still getting used to it. Update: I've switched to only using my camera shots on IG due to problems with cell phone resolution and color accuracy.


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