I've been reading up on photography lately. I have dived into the "photograph your own artwork" waters.I know this goes against the wisdom of sticking to your area of expertise. I would prefer to use a professional, however on the occasions when I did, the photos were not much better than the ones I take. Mine are okay, but they can be improved.
At first I researched cameras, thinking I needed a new camera. After doing some research, I believe the camera is not the problem - its my lack of knowledge. So I'm reading up on f stops and shutter speed, depth of field and white balance. And, of course, lighting. That is always a challenge, especially with some of my large pieces.
Several resources suggested using two 500 watt light bulbs. I decided to try the compact flourescents, because they use a lower wattage to achieve the same amount of light. They are supposed to be much cooler than tungsten or halogen. After seeing the $50 price tag for one such bulb, I settled on the 400 watt equivalent for half the price. They arrived yesterday, and I have never seen such a large light bulb in my life. Here are two photos to give you some perspective on their size. I'm almost afraid to use them - they are so big, they could be dangerous! I'm not even sure they will fit into the clip-on light fixtures I have.