Sunday, October 3, 2010

Tutorial: Simple Lightbox

For me, in my tiny, North-facing apartment, I need a lightbox to take decent photos. Especially when I'm trying to get detailed shots of my jewelry. Of course, I'm not going to spend a ton of money when I can make one for under $3... so why should you? Since I recently made myself a larger one, I thought I'd show it off here - nothing fancy, but extremely useful:
Here's how I made it:


large box
exacto knife &/or scissors
white tissue paper
white bristol board


Click on this link for step by step photos.

1. Tape open one end of your box. Decide on the bottom & back of your lightbox. Make sure it'll be large enough for what you want to photograph.

2. Cut out rectangular holes in the top & 2 sides of your box. This is to let in as much light as you can. Make sure to leave edges around each side though for sturdiness.

3. Tape tissue paper over the 3 holes.

4. Tape a piece of white bristol board so that it covers the bottom & back of your lightbox. Don't fold it into the edge - you want a clean curve to make it look like the background of your photos fades away into the distance.
And voilĂ ! A lightbox! To use it, just light a lamp behind each of the pieces of tissue paper & snap away. You can adjust the brightness by adding layers of tissue paper.

I often stick a piece of coloured cardstock under the item I'm photographing for a bit of colour.

Do you have enough natural lighting for great photos or do you use a lightbox? Any other lighting tricks you use?


Deana Mattos said...

this is sooo easy
thanks for showing us
so far I still just use natural light but this winter I am sure I will be making one

Sisu Studios said...

Thanks for sharing! Sometimes I wish I could make a lightbox big enough to photograph my blankets . . . Good thing I have a large sunroom with 10 windows!

Kara Lennox said...

In my old house I had tons of light in my office. Now, not so much. I am set up by a north-facing window and I use a lamp to fill, but still my pictures are not how I want them. If I had room to store a lightbox I would make one! Clever.

Kate said...

I made a light box just like yours...and then my cat destroyed it (and my mom threw it out). Now I just use natural light and it seems to work pretty well!