DIY Photography Lightbox

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One of my main concerns when it comes to photographing beauty products or other items, is good lighting. Being able to showcase all the features, fine details and true colours of an object can be very difficult to achieve. A light box has proven a great solution to this problem as it acts as a light diffuser, softening the incoming light and removing any harsh grey shadows. Furthermore, it also provides a uniform background against which to photograph any object. Ultimately, your photos should come out clean, crisp and bright, with a magazine-like finish.  Although a  light box, or light tent, can be expensive to purchase, the following post will show you how to create a fairly inexpensive one for as little as £3 (or less as most materials can be found in the average household) that will yield equivalent results to a professional alternative. 

The following photo was taken in the example light box, and has not been retouched (for a normal product shot I would normally adjust the contrast and brightness levels as required, as well as crop the image to remove any edges of the box on show). I believe that since introducing a light box into my photography, my images have really elevated the look and quality of this blog as a whole. The light box is extremely easy and fast to make, yet the impact on photo quality is tremendous. Let's get started!


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You will need:

A large cardboard box
Tape
Craft knife
Tissue paper
White paperboard

Steps:

1. Choose a cardboard box that will be appropriate in size for the type of objects that you will be photographing (the larger the items, the bigger the box). 

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2. With a pencil, mark lines approximately 3cm from each side of the box. Next, using a craft knife with a sharp blade, carefully cut along the border you have drawn. You don't have to worry about the lines being perfect, as you can tell mine are relatively messy.

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3. Cut the tissue paper to an approximate size of each opening of the box, and secure the edges of the paper in place with some tape.

4. Cut a piece of matte white paperboard (or an alternative colour of your choice) to comfortably fit inside the width of the box. The paperboard should be long enough in length to extend out of the box. Tape the top of the poster board onto the top of the back of the box, and let it fall naturally; it should curve from the top without creasing. This will create an infinite looking white background for your shots.

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You're done! Notice that I have spray painted the box silver just to make it a little bit prettier; if this is something that you would also be interested in doing, please remember to decorate the box before Steps 3 and 4.

Now for photography, situate your new light box in a naturally well-lit area, such as near a bright window or an outdoor space.  Alternatively, softboxes, flash-lights or standard desk lamps can be placed on either side or above the box to produce the desired lighting effect (however, natural lighting is always  preferable to artificial lighting). Take some tests shots to see how well the tracing paper filters and diffuses the lighting; if you find that the lighting is too harsh, move back your sources of lighting further away to reduce the level of brightness, or alternatively, add more layers of tracing paper to the sides of your light box as necessary.


What are your opinions in today's tutorial? Is a DIY light box something that you will be attempting to make?

Lots of Love, Ana

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This was not a sponsored post. 
If you wish to use my images please ask for permission.
 All images © 2010-2013 Ana Sofia

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