I jumped on the light box making bandwagon and now have a sweet new set up for taking photos.
There are many instructions out there, and I kind of went with a combo. Here's what worked for me!
Things You'll Need
- large cardboard box (about a 2 foot cube, but I guess it depends on what you want to photograph)
- ruler & straight edge
- utility knife
- white tissue paper (or other white material. Some use a white sheet, a white shower curtain, old white t-shirts, etc.)
- masking tape
- 3 utility lamps with clamps
- 3 daylight bulbs
- Buy a mini fridge. The box it comes in is perfect for this - just about the right size and extra sturdy. Plus a mini fridge is awesome for keeping your beer cold.
- If needed, cut your box around the top to make it the right size. Mine was a little tall, so I cut a few inches off all the way around. Leave the bottom of the box in tact!
- Cut off flaps from the top of the box, but leave the bottom of the box in tact. The bottom of the box will become the back of your light box.
- When laying on it's side (as pictured above), the bottom and back will stay in tact. The top and the 2 sides will be cut.
- Measure a 2 inch border around the 2 sides and the top. It should look like a picture frame on these 3 sides.
- Using a utility knife, cut out the center of the 2 sides and the top, leaving just the 2 inch border.
- Pretend to be a robot.
- Place tissue paper over the openings and tape into place. (I used a double layer of tissue paper.)
- If desired, put fabric or paper inside the light box to serve as a back drop.
- Arrange the 3 clamp lights (with daylight bulbs) equidistant from the 3 tissue panels.
- Treat yourself to a nice, cold beer...from your mini fridge.
There you go! Not too bad, right? It's kind of hard to describe, so hopefully the pictures made sense. If you have questions, let me know!
Now, I am by NO means an expert in photography. As in, not at all. However, I can tell a difference in the photos I take in the light box vs the ones I take in my kitchen using regular overhead lighting. And I like what I see! The tissue paper diffuses the light, making it softer. The harsher light in the kitchen makes things look shiny and casts more shadows.
Light Box (1)
Light Box (2)
You can see 2 more examples at the bottom of this post.
It takes up a lot of space, but right now it's stored in the basement. However, that means I have to bring my dinner down there to photograph it...and it usually gets cold. The price we have to pay, right?! But I read somewhere about making it collapsible, so I may look into that. If so, I'll probably have to use something more sturdy than tissue paper. We shall see.
If you're planning to make one of your own, good luck! Let me know if you think of any improvements!