Monday, 20 May 2013

Photography Light Box

Last year, in the knowledge that a white background may help with lighting object's that I wanted to photograph, I attempted to make a little staging area in two different ways. It was a huge failure (including the melting of some of my sugarpaste flowers :-( ) Here are a couple of photos that I did take using them.
At this point, I had never seen the concept of a lighting box. Following my post about photography woes, I decided to have a little look at ways amateurs like myself could take decently lit photos if I didn't need them to be contextualised. I found several ways in which you could make something called a light box. There were lots of different tutorials, guides and links etc so I tried to take the best of all of them and go all 'Mrs Crafty B' styleee and do it my own way.

I've started with a prototype but actually it worked pretty well. I ended up with unedited photos like this:
So here's how I did it. First I raided my crafty hoarders booty. Let's admit that as crafters, most of us hoard and so have a collection of 'stuff' somewhere! I dug out the following items:

- a box - in true mummy style I found a nappy box
- some white tissue paper - saved from....something
- a ruler
- scissors
- a craft knife
- some sticky tape
- A3 paper.

Now, the last item is actually supposed to be card and will work much better when I replace it with something really sturdy but paper was all I had to hand. So, the process.

I cut the flappy bits from the top of the box and laid it on its side. This is the side from which you will take photos.

Using the craft knife and ruler I scored a square panels from three sides of the box. At this point, you should have something looking a little like this.
I then covered each of these three empty spaces (not the top) with white tissue paper, pulling it taut and sticking with sticky tape.

I laid the box back on the one still complete side.
I cut the piece of A3 paper so that it was narrow enough to slip inside the box in a curve. It should run from the far side of the bottom of the box to the top edge of the complete side with no panel cut (this side should be at the bottom as you are looking at it).
As you can see, the reason that paper is not ideal is that it creases very easily and causes little shadows and easily spotted blemishes on the finish photo.

Now for the photos. Some tutorials show you to light the box from the top but I'm of the mindset that sunlight is the best lighting so I took my box off to the conservatory, set it up, popped the objects inside and got snapping.

Once done, I used iPhoto to sharpen or brighten the images etc, although most did not need adjusting at all.

This box is so small that I could only really use it for small items, but it is a prototype so once I know I have somewhere to store it I will make a bigger one from a studier box with card for the insert.

So what do you think of some of these (unedited) photos so far? Hopefully I will get to use it in some better sunlight soon! Do you think this is something you could make use of for those not contextual pictures?
Mrs Crafty B

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