Monday, October 3, 2011

DIY Inexpensive Light Box (Part 1)

I made a light box for photographing items the other day.  It was rather easy, and I'm happy with the results, but I've seen ones that I like better online, so I may change it up in the future.

Here are my materials:  a big empty box from Sam's, three sheets of foam board, duct tape, glue (which I didn't use), exacto knife.

 First, I cut off the front piece of the box using the exacto knife.

 Then, I did a rough measurement and marked the foamboard to be cut to size.  I used the yardstick to keep the cut nice and straight.

Here is the initial setup: foamboard lining the three sides and the bottom.

 My first pictures with it.  I don't like the shadows or the seam.

 Next, I dug around and found this leftover piece of fabric from one of my projects.  I simply draped it over the back of the box so that it hung down.  It's not ironed, so it doesn't look its best, but I think it does look better than the foamboard background by itself.

 This is the same background.  Amazing how different the lighting looks.

 Again, same background.

A couple of years ago we switched all of our lightbulbs from the (ugly) yellowish tint to the white bulbs.  I have the box sitting on the dining room table directly underneath these lights.  It works out pretty well.  The nice thing, too, is that I can use the box is just about any room in the house (except for our living room which, for some reason, has those ugly yellow lights).  I have even set the box on the ironing board in my office under the lights and that worked pretty well.

I bought another piece of fabric (100% polyester gabardine) to use as a background.  It's an off-white, kind of creamy color.  I like the results of that.  I may go back and get a piece of white fabric and possibly black.  Actually, what I should do is dig through my stash of fabric and see what else I have.

The box is light, but a little bulky and somewhat awkward to carry.  I keep it in the catch-all room AKA my office.

In the (near?) future, I would like to test out my speedlight to see if I can get some better pictures.  I haven't exactly figured out how I will do that, but you will be able to see the process in a future blog post!

Another thing is I may redesign the box.  I saw some setups online using fabric to line holes in the box and lights to shine through the fabric.  I can get some clip-on lamps or flexible desk lamps to use.
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