Monday, September 27, 2010

How to Build Your Own Photo Lightbox for Free, well almost Free.

This week I will be doing a series of posts about how I photograph my minis to coincide with the collaborative post going on over at From the Warp.  The first will be showing how I built my own lightbox to place my minis in.  I have no step-by-step pics of the process of building as I did this last year, but I think the pics in this post will explain most.

Items needed for build and setup:
Cardboard box
Parchment Paper
Printer Paper
Lamp with 150W Reveal(Daylight) Bulb
Nikon D40 SLR(what borrow from wife)

To start I found a cardbox at work that I thought was large enough to hold a unit or a vehicle.  Next I used a hobby knife to cut the top flaps off, this would become the front opening.  I then marked off lines 1 inch in from the corners of the sides and top so I would have a guide to cut my openings.  After these were marked I cut these openings for the top and sides.  These were then covered in parchment paper(found in cabinet at home) to help with light diffusion.  As you can see in the pic I also made a couple triangular shaped pieces of white paper for the corners at top(not sure if it actually helps, but it looks like it does).  I then used some 11" x 17" printer paper and taped to bottom front and raduised through back corner and taped again at top.  I took pics with only white for first year, but have now added the gradient paper as seen in pics this week for new trials.  Building this took less than an hour and used only items found laying around, so free so far.

Pic of the setup I use

Above is my full setup, minus camera.  I usually leave this setup somewhere to speed up my picture taking.  I will get more into the setup, camera settings and example pics in the next post.  

I hope this helps you decide if a lightbox is what you need for your minis.  For the time(1 hour) and money(none) invested I think it is worth building and have laying around to use if you have space.  Or you could just lean a piece of paper up against an Elmer's glue bottle like I used to do.

1 comment:

  1. I made a similar box using a cut up white tshirt for side panels and bristol board as the background. The thing works great - I just need a tripod and a better camera