DIY Light Box for Digital Photography.

By: Chrisjob Sep 11, 2007

I thought I might take some sharp looking photos for my test tube vases.  First, I tried lighting them directly with the light reflector I bought to expose silkscreens, but it was too harsh. A quick internet search taught me that a "light box" or "light tent" provides the desired results. A little more searching provided this, which is a cool idea, but I didn’t have a clear storage bin. I did, however, notice a great deal of cardboard boxes in a nearby dumpster, so I figured one of those, with some modification, would do just as well.Nor did I have any fabric interfacing (I don’t think I even know what that is); so, at first I tried taping some coffee filters, and then some fabric softener sheets, together, but it became unwieldy. So I bought some white muslin and tissue paper, and both worked with equally well.

Materials:
Cardboard box
Utility knife
Ruler
Tape
Scissors
Tissue paper or thin white fabric
White poster board (or any color you please)
Two (at least) clamp lights and bulbs

1. Stand the box on it’s side, and cut off the flap on the bottom and the top. cut the bottom out, but don’t recommend it, for structural sake.)
2. Cut most the sides and the top out, leaving 1 1/2” border near the edges and corners.
3. Reinforce any weak corners with tape.
4. Cut a piece of fabric or tissue paper a bit bigger than the side and top holes, and secure with tape.

5. Cut the poster board to match the width of the box. Tape it to the top.
6. Place your box towards the end of a table or workbench.
7. Place the desired item in the box, and arrange the lights for the best color. Experiment with different combinations for a particular item: arrange on sides, front, top, turn overhead lights on and off, use flash etc. Be sure to balance your camera for the bulb type (incandescent, fluorescent, etc), and to use a tripod.

 

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4921 views | Comments (3)

Comments

I need to read all your posts... So far they have all stimulated a Hey moment... like

  • Hey - that's really cool 
  • Hey - that's not so difficult
  • Hey - I need to make that

I made my own lightbox for taking pictures of my jewelry.

You can see it here 

I found that the lights were just too hot and made my camera cycle thru red/blue/and green filters too much .  It has worked very well for me in macro mode with a cheap Nikon.  However I still use photoshop to bump up the brightness and contrast a tad. (and get rid of any lint)

This is very cool.  Thanks for the play-by-play.
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