Photo Boxes

Posted on July 13, 2012

OK, I’m going to show you my photo box.  I just have one request, please don’t laughJ



Yes, this is it.  My homemade photo box using some of my hubbie’s shop lights and a box I bought from Walmart, plus some white copy paper.  I have always intended to upgrade, but truth be told, this works just fine for my needs. I used a paper box top to stabilize the side lights but if you have free standing lights you won’t need this fabulous innovation.  BTW, this is a conglomeration of several homemade light box plans I found on the internet, so thanks to all those who came before meJ


Total cost: about $32.00


Lights- $4.00 each, bulbs were $5.00 each

Slightly white plastic container- $5.00

I put cooler energy efficient fluorescent bulbs in the sides and an incandescent bulb in the top to add some warmer tones.


I taped white paper to the tops and sides of the box and then taped the top light on with heavy packing (clear) tape.  The slight warpage on the top is from a 100 watt bulb in the top light and melted the top of the box.   I have since replaced it with a 60 watt bulb.



Previous to this, I would take all of my pictures outside on a slightly overcast day, but this was limiting.   Here is an example, you can see the contrasting shadows- they are pretty harsh and distracting:  


Versus one in the lightbox:



You can control your lighting so much better, your shadows will not be as distracting and are not dependant on the weather.  I do have the lightbox backing up against a big window, so there is some backlighting with naturallight, but I takem ost of my pictures at night when I get h ome from work, and it's usually dark.  That being said, I find sometimes that the color is so much better under natural light.



This is the camera I use.  It is a Canon SD 1300 IS (I had the previous/superior IMO model SD790 IS but left it out in the rain and ruined it.)  It's a pretty basic point and shoot version.  Set on “Macro” I can get very close to the beads for the close up shots and get nice crisp results.


I have been using a white background since I started this process and for glass I think it is an acceptable background.  However, you can lose some of your detail, especially if you use lighter colors such as white, ivory or yellows, they tend to lose definition.  Kind of like this:



The cupcakes on the bottom, because of the shadows, stand out, but the top ones bleed into the background. 


This set has pale pink and white, and so much of the detal is lost in against the white background.  


 I have been playing with some versions of a gradient background:


 The background for th is picture is a sheet of 8 ½ x 11 I printed on my printer- you can see the pixels, so I'mnot very happy with it, but it does make the bead stand out better than the white background.



This one is a little bit better- I made this using the following method:


Microsoft Word, New Document

Insert   “Draw a Textbox” (last option)

Draw one to fill up the entire sheet of paper

Double click on the textbox, and then go to “Shape fill”- Gradient- More Gradients- Two colors (for this sample I picked a light grey and black)


As an alternative, I have also been playing with this contraption:



This is an old glass light cover from the 1970’s that I stabilized inside a box and then affixed a glass (you could also use plexiglass) shelf into.  This setup gives the glass extra glow and color saturation and eliminates shadows completely:





This picture is from the globe:


This picture is from the lightbox:


I think there is too much bleeding out of the color in the top box, but maybe I just need to play with this a littel bit more.   Anyhoo, these are just a few options out there.  I will most likely purchase some gradient papers, but I wanted to see if I liked the way that looked with the glass, and this is a relatively cheap way to do that.  Have fun!  Laura 









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1 Comment

choschiba   January 30, 2015 at 2:37 pm

  wn1EvU I have read a few good stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how much effort you put to create such a magnificent informative website.  

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