Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Weekly Project: Light Box

This is a project that has been on the to do list for I think a year now. I've been wanting to make a light box to allow me to take better pictures of items for the blog or storefront. I first came across the idea from Strobist, and its on how to make a DIY lightbox. Well my attempt is now complete. There are a few tweaks I need to do but I'm pretty proud of it.

  • White tissue paper
  • Masking tape
  • box cutter
  • posterboard
  • ruler
  • cardboard box

The first steps were to cut out squares in the box on 3 sides with the box cutter. I left a margin of approximately 2 inches around to ensure stability of the box. Tip I found to make it easier. On each side leave a small part of the middle uncut. I mean small, like 1/2 an inch. That way when you are trying to cut the last side you aren't fighting with the box for leverage. After all four sides are cut like this just just go back and quickly slice the remaining piece. I found it much easier overall.
IMG_8999 IMG_9000

The second steps were to tape the tissue paper over the holes. I cut the tissue paper to be slightly larger than the hole and then using masking tape I taped it to the inside of the box. I don't think it really matters if it's on the inside or out. I just found it more esthetically pleasing to put it on the inside. Make sure the tissue paper is taunt but be careful about ripping it.

The third step is to add the poster board. This part is really simple. Just cut the posterboard to the width of your box and insert. The goal is is have a smooth curve instead of the sharp corner at the back of the box. My piece of posterboard wasn't long enough so I had to combine 2 pieces which really ruins the affect. I'm going to replace it shortly.

The fourth and final step, Light! The key to all of this is light and I think I need brighter bulbs in my set up. I picked up 2 lamps from a flea marker for dirt cheap, I think $5 for both. Just shine in however much light you want from any angle to get the best macro shots.
IMG_9012 IMG_9014

The Test Shot
I drabbed one of Wee Rose's toys for some test shots. First I'll show you with no post editing.
IMG_9015 IMG_9016
They came out very dim. Why I think I should buy some brighter light bulbs. In general we keep 60w (or the equivalent for our lamps. We aren't big on bright lamps) and I think I need 100w or more.

Post processed
IMG_9015_2 IMG_9016_2
I'm not the greatest at post processing just yet but I think there is a bit of improvement. Definitely need brighter lights though. Also I only have a Cannon Powershot Camera. Nothing fancy, no DSLR yet. My hope is that with the light box I can ditch using the awful on board flash and have much truer colors.

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