Close-up photography of detailed objects requires good lighting.
However, being able to light an item properly to show the true color,
details and beauty of the object can be difficult. I think a light box is a
great solution. It provides light diffusion and a uniform background to help
you capture the true essence of your item.
Unfortunately photography lightboxes
can be expensive, so I decided to make my own.
I looked around the internet and saw a variety of examples from cardboard boxes
to huge wooden boxes. Then my daughter had a brilliant idea, she said "mom
how about we use art canvas boards?"
Cleaver, it already had the white fabric coating, wood frame standard so
no extra cost for any of these pieces. So the more I thought the idea out the
better I liked it. Next thing I knew we were in the local craft store deciding
what size canvas we wanted to use.
Canvas comes in a huge variety of sizes so the choice was fairly simple.
The size should be appropriate for the the objects you will photograph. I want
to learn how to photograph small and medium size items so I didn't need
anything super big but I wanted a moderate size box just in case
inspiration hit me to work with a larger object.
You can buy fairly inexpensive canvas in a two package which is
what we purchased. I decided on a medium size box but you can go as small
or as large as your heart desires since the variety is so big.
The 4 pieces of canvas cost me $21 with a half off coupon.
(I don't buy anything without a coupon)
Glue - I used wood glue for its strength. You have to smear it on
with your finger tips so as not to get the glue on to your white fabric.
Tape - I used tape to hold the boards straight while the glue dried.
I put tape across the back and seams and it worked great.
My box dried overnight and it's tremendously sturdy.
My 2 year old boy tested it's durability for me, lol.
You will need to light this box and this could be the most expensive part of the
box unless you already have the lights. Without good lighting you will not get the
picture you desire. I already had an Ott Light that I use for everything and I love the
soft yet bright light it produces so that is what I used. The Ott Light also has a flexible
stem that allows you to position it anywhere you wish to utilize the light source.
Since I decided to use a flexible light source I did not
cut window holes in my box. I did discover that if I position the light
outside the box the white fabric diffuses the light, making it soft and perfect
for taking bright photos with little shadow.
(Total cost was $21 for my light box)
Then I started learning how to use my latest creation.
Lights, camera, action!